If someone had told me in the summer of 2006 that in five years time I would be a graduate of the University of Miami with a double major in international studies and journalism, I would have studied abroad for five months in Argentina, I would be fluent in 3 languages, and that my favorite past time would be attending music and camping festivals, I would've laughed so hard I probably would've peed myself a little.
That summer I was but a wee bear, blissfully ignorant in the daze of adolescent life. My days were filled with your run of the mill stresses related to high school, young love, a first job, and the promise of college on the horizon. I wasn't a drinker, never attended any wild and crazy parties, my favorite music was whatever pop music was repeating on the radio. I was as straight edged as they got. Always studying. Always trying to find more extracurriculars to fill up my spare time. Always focused on my future.
I am by no means ashamed of the person I was or the person I have become - I love who I am and I wouldn't trade my experiences and memories from the last five years for ANYTHING in the world.
But if I could go back in time and impart some words of wisdom to the Nikki of 2006, it would be this: Don't ever let anyone tell you what you can and cannot do. Always try everything once, and always tell the people you love just how much you love them. You never know what life is going to throw at you, but as long as you take each day for exactly what it is and keep good, strong people by your side you can conquer ANYTHING. Don't forget that everything happens for a reason.
So now let's fast forward to a conversation with the Nikki to come.
Dearest Nikki of 2016,
I hope that you still have your spunk. I hope that most of your dreams have come true. I hope that you are happy. I hope you haven't forgotten the people of your past, but you have also remembered to welcome the new people that will become a part of your future. I hope that you still live as fearlessly as possible and that you still think you're the shiznit. I hope that you still have big dreams for your future. I hope you never settle for anything less than what you deserve. I hope that you have as few regrets in possible. I hope you still remember how to love unconditionally. Most importantly, I hope you still give your everything for the ones you love.
Nikki of 2011
While I don't regret much from my past, there have definitely been a few cringe worthy moments. It's expected. When we make a mistake, it's a learning experience that helps shape the person we are going to become. I wouldn't take back any of those moments that helped shape the past five years. And I hope that I never regret any of the many moments still to come.