Yesterday’s #reverb10 prompt asks us to play time traveler. “Future Self. Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (Bonus: Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?)”
While reading others’ responses to this prompt, I ran into Grace Boyle’s take, which included a link to the FutureMe site, where you can literally write an email to be delivered to yourself at any point in the future. So I wrote myself a long letter that I’ll receive on my 30th birthday next summer. It should be interesting. (And now I must promptly forget about it, so it’s a surprise.)
But if I was looking back at the year ahead from a vantage point of five years from now (I nearly need a diagram to sort that out), I would remind myself to stay in the moment, not get too caught up in the minutiae and to stay focused on the big picture. Self, I would say, dreading the next two quarters of Statistics will NOT make the class any easier. Just buckle down and take it one week at a time. Getting through two quarters of tough math will likely be the biggest obstacle standing between you and a master’s degree.
Remember to keep saying yes to new opportunities and people, while being smart enough to know that it’s okay to say no sometimes. Don’t automatically discount things because you haven’t done them before.
Self, I’d say, strive for balance. Busy is good, indeed, but remember that it’s no good if you don’t appreciate moments when you feel fully alive. Work hard at work – that enables everything else – and treat school just as seriously. But make sure to make time for friends and adventures, and also the occasional night to sit on the couch and watch tv or lie in the back yard under the stars. Each of these is such an important component of who you are and what makes you tick.
And remember to take things offline, too. Twitter, Facebook and whatever new platform that will become popular in 2011 are important for creating the connections, but they don’t really matter until you take them offline.
Most importantly, take care of yourself, self. Get plenty of sleep – no blog post or YouTube video is so important that it’s worth sacrificing much-needed rest – and eat well. Keep running and lifting. Remember how great you feel once you’re done. But also remember that you’re never really done – fitness is a life-long, daily activity, just like brushing your teeth.
And to my 19-year-old, college second-year self, I shake my head and smile. I would encourage that self to not hurry so much to graduate in three years, because September 11 created a terrible economy to graduate into. Instead, I would suggest that self go for the dual BA-MA program and graduate in the normal four years, and take some time to join extracurriculars, too. Oh, and there might be some sage words of dating advice, too.
What would you tell yourself from either vantage point – five years in the future or ten years ago? And are you writing a letter to yourself?