A letter to my future self

May 23, 2012

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Dear future 30 year old me,
Your life is over. I hate to break it to you but you are officially 30 years old. For those who knew you well in college, knew about your 30 year old rule. To those who may be reading this, please don’t be offended. It’s more of a goal that I’ve set for myself. I must accomplish and have made something of myself by the age of 30. Let’s take a stroll back on memory lane.

Time flew by so fast in college. 5 years gone, in the blink of an eye. It makes me wonder, how much have I accomplished in half a decade? I entered college as a naive girl that grew up in a small town that was 1/5th of the population at the University of Texas. And now I’m leaving with a bachelor’s in nutrition with a successful food blog that has spiraled into two separate business, Macarons By Jane and Jane Ko Photography

You’re going to look back 5 years from now and laugh. All the times when you struggled through your science classes to the times when you were in tears around exam time. And hopefully having 4 part-time jobs every semester will have paid off now. I have no idea how you did it. It was literally, school, work, school, work, and more work. 
You’ve always pride yourself on being extremely driven. Crazy, some may say, but you’d like to considered yourself driven. There’s 24 hours in the day, 24 hours to create something wonderful. Something that will change the world, which I hope you would have done by now. Remember this quote by H. Jackson Brown, Jr., “Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”
Hopefully by now, you will have learned how to balance work and friends. I’ve never felt more alone than I did on graduation day. Towards the end of my college career, I was spending less time with people my own age but instead with working professionals that were 10 or 20 years older than me. College graduation was entirely different from high school graduation. I was surrounded by groups of friends, giving the thank you speech and leading the Texas flag pledge as Student Council VP but now I was just another number in the crowd. Ironically, I graduated with the same colors. Black gown and gold sash/tassel. 
Remind yourself to slow down and enjoy the moment. Get up early to have some time to yourself, appreciate the people around you, stop multitasking, and stop worrying. And for goodness sake, put down that camera and enjoy a real meal for once.

Regardless, I hope you will have figured out what you want in life. Let it be food stylist, food photographer, blogger, food critic, public relations or an undercover CIA agent. The University of Texas has always reminded us that “What Starts Here, Changes the World”, but is it for the best or worst?
22 year old me.


Jane Ko is the Austin blogger behind A Taste of Koko, Austin's top food and travel blog featuring the hottest restaurants and weekend getaways. Jane has been a speaker at South by Southwest (SXSW), Texas Conference for Women, BlogHer, and more on entrepreneurship and social media. She lives in Austin Texas with her dog and cat.