I’m not sure that I would have listened to me, but if I could take a Wayne’s World time warp to impart some *wisdom* on my twenty-something self, these are a few of the things I would say.
1. Being creative is largely about protecting precious time. Be vigilant. Guard it like a mama bear defending her cub. Don’t allow anyone or anything (this includes yourself) to encroach on this time.
2. “I declare this world is so beautiful I can hardly believe it exists…” Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote this in his journal in 1840. And, boy, was he right. Look around.
3. Put down your camera. You don’t need 200 blurry, half-lit photos taken in a bar on a rainy night. Come out from behind the camera and enjoy the evening. (You won’t remember most of their names anyway.)
4. Your parents aren’t necessarily the best advisers when it comes to your career. They’re from a different generation and the workplace has changed drastically. There are more ways to carve your own niche than ever before.
5. Don’t assume change is a bad thing. In fact, it can be very good.
6. Everything. everything, begins and ends with compassion.
7. Those jeans you love? They don’t fit.
7a. That guy you love? He doesn’t fit either.
8. When you feel overwhelmed, take three DEEP breaths. It really does help.
9. The world needs introverts.
10. Follow your interests, even if they don’t seem practical. Remember how you really wanted to learn more about art history and astronomy? But you didn’t want to waste college scholarship money so you decided to take “useful” classes like marketing and management. Drudgery. You never enjoyed them much (okay, at all) and you were never engaged. Talk about a waste.
11. It’s not personal. Really. That eye-rolling cashier? Your spiteful roommate? These reactions have nothing to do with you at all. Even if it may seem that they are purposely being mean. it’s not about you.
12. The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them. I think Hemingway said this. There’s a lot of truth in that statement. How can you expect someone to trust you if you don’t first offer the same in kind?
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Have a great weekend, everyone!