Time is a strange thing.

I realize I probably could not have named this post with a more cliché statement, so I apologize for that, but I have a somewhat decent reason for doing so. (Maybe.) First, though, sorry for the extremely long delay in writing on here, and thank YOU for taking the time today to read this!

Three years ago today, I boarded a ten-hour flight and returned from London, England to Los Angeles, California. I left behind what seems to me now to be an entirely different person in a lot of ways. I left behind a city that still occupies my visions at night and my dreams during the day. I left behind rows upon rows of old books, cobblestone streets, mysteriously painted butterflies on side roads, and endless cups of tea and coffee that, by their very nature of being British, were infinitely better than any American cup I’ve ever had (sorry to my American barista friends).

Now, three years later, my life isn’t anywhere close to where I expected it to be, if I’m completely honest. I graduated from college, but I’m kind of unsuccessfully navigating the confusing waters of post-grad employment and graduate school decisions. I’m facing the disappointment of being rejected from my choice of graduate school. I’m still coping with the fact that I have a (benign) brain tumor and I had major surgery less than five months ago to try and get rid of it. I’m re-learning how to live at home with my parents after a long time of being on my own. Nearly a year later, I’m still trying to figure out how to be single again and, more importantly, how to love myself and how to be loved by God.

Twenty-year-old me was a lot different than twenty-three-year-old me. I’m probably a lot more cynical now, a lot more sarcastic, maybe more jaded in some ways. I hope, though,  that I’m also more compassionate, more forgiving, more ambitious, and more courageous. As I think back on the past few years and my time in Oxford and the things that have brought me to this point, here’s what I want to tell myself back then and what I want to tell you today:

The most important thing in life isn’t that anatomy paper you’re stressed about writing. It’s not that boy you swear you’re gonna marry one day, even if everyone else says you shouldn’t. It’s not the schools you attend or the résumé you have. It’s not the letters that follow your name, or the zip code in which you live, or the types of people you post pictures of on Instagram. The most important thing in life is Jesus. Follow Jesus. It’s not easy, things won’t magically always fall into place, and life (and people) will disappoint you. But follow Jesus.

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