A Letter to my 17-Year old self

Dear Bethany-Angel,
You have so much to experience
My Advice smell the roses
Take time to inhale the air around you
Be in the moment.
Because Time flies by so quickly.

I know it seems like you will be young forever
But the years have a way of sneaking up on you.
Take advantage of the opportunities that come your way
You never know when the lesson learnt
may just be what you need to get out of a jam.

Finally, do not be afraid to be You.
Yes it can be difficult in a world
That seems to thrive on uniformity
To have the courage to be different
But the world needs you to be who you are.

It’s been fascinating going back in time these past few weeks and recalling and recounting my experience 20 years ago. Looking back, I see how blessed and privileged I have been to get the opportunities that have come my way. I love to think that the 17-year-old version of myself would be proud of the woman I have become.

The truth is that she set the pace; she was courageous in her way. She pushed herself to do new things even when she was afraid. It wasn’t comfortable moving to Zambia at 14 and learning in a new system. Yet she found a way to excel. That B she got in French was a badge of honour that would encourage her in future.

As I end this reflection, I want to say thank you to the people who have had an impact on my life. I am thankful to my parents, who believe in me and encourage me. Listen, my parents are my biggest fans. I am grateful to my siblings, who are some of the people who truly understand the struggles of being a third culture Adult. I am thankful to the Staff at Chengelo, the school that set me on the path to greatness. But I wouldn’t have grown so much during this time, without the friends I made there, friends who pushed me beyond my comfort zone.

But lastly, I want to thank that 17-year-old girl, because, without her, I wouldn’t be here.

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