Dear Him: What I Would Tell My Former Self in March 2016
"Dream. Try. Do Good." Mr. George Feeny
You've felt as though your heart has been ripped out of your chest. Twice. You've allowed one of these pains to dictate the beliefs about yourself. The past has sometimes succumb your every emotion. You've wondered what you did wrong. You've ask God why he put you on this track just to rip it out of your hands. You can't understand why someone wouldn't respond to such a vulnerable and heartfelt gesture who you once considered the most important person in your life. You've doubted whether you'll ever love like that again. You've taken rejection personally and can't believe some of the people who got what you wanted so badly.
You've often felt guilty for cutting someone out of your life who cared a lot about in the past. You made the right decision. You are better for it. You now know what it's like to have people in your life who encourage your dreams and ambitions.
It took you awhile to find exactly what you wanted to do huh? You've always been good at your jobs. Best Buy, Cumberland, Stone Ridge, Lomonicos, Pretentious Palace, Meadowbrook. Nothing really made you feel on fire though. These were skill acquisition spots. You now understand that everything contributes to your advancement. Best Buy taught you how to interact with customers and gave you your first taste of leadership. Stone Ridge taught you some marketing skills and how crazy some chefs can be. Lomo's taught you to pay your damn taxes (You also met some really cool people too that will keep you sane though this time along with some qualities in women you really didn't know existed you want now). Urban Cafe will give you a backbone and make you stand up for yourself. (You get fired but it's fine. You find something much better). Meadowbrook. Well, Meadowbrook gave you your work ethic. If you could put in 70-80 hours a week to a company that's structure was to maintain and keep everyone happy, you'll be that much more excited to innovate. To take something and make it better. To create products from thin air. Change people's lives in the process.
Meadowbrook also taught you want you really wanted right? The 1% teaches you a lot. It wasn't until you moved back home and worked at a bar where people lived paycheck to paycheck that it really opened your eyes. He didn't show you both worlds for you to settle. You'll understand this at a critical time.
Back to the the first paragraph. You drove to Tennessee, interviewed, thought it went well. You knew people at BG. You had to get into one of these schools right? When you didn't, you felt like a failure. Every sign showed you this was your path. The guy you sat next to on the plane who gave up his Wall Street job to finally do what he loved. The conversations you had with Robbie and John who you miss dearly. Doesn't feel right does it?
You'll come to realize this was a gift. Life is long and short at the same time. You can afford this year in the grand scheme, even now at 27 I'm telling you this. You don't know it, but you're getting another year with two people who mean the world to you. You'll also come across an article by Tim Urban called, "The Tail End."
I’ve been thinking about my parents, who are in their mid-60s. During my first 18 years, I spent some time with my parents during at least 90% of my days. But since heading off to college and then later moving out of Boston, I’ve probably seen them an average of only five times a year each, for an average of maybe two days each time. 10 days a year. About 3% of the days I spent with them each year of my childhood. Being in their mid-60s, let’s continue to be super optimistic and say I’m one of the incredibly lucky people to have both parents alive into my 60s. That would give us about 30 more years of coexistence. If the ten days a year thing holds, that’s 300 days left to hang with mom and dad. Less time than I spent with them in any one of my 18 childhood years. When you look at that reality, you realize that despite not being at the end of your life, you may very well be nearing the end of your time with some of the most important people in your life. If I lay out the total days I’ll ever spend with each of my parents—assuming I’m as lucky as can be—this becomes starkly clear. It turns out that when I graduated from high school, I had already used up 93% of my in-person parent time. I’m now enjoying the last 5% of that time. We’re in the tail end. ~ Tim Urban (entire article)
So you've been given a gift. You don't know that right now though. You want to be off on your own and doing your own thing. There's some things you need to come across before you move on and spending another year with your parents is one.
Another thing, you'll come across a podcast. I know you don't know what a podcast is right now. It's gonna become kind of a big deal. After a workout while relaxing by the pool, you'll come across a podcast called the Sports Motivation Podcast. You'll dig this guy's vibe. You'll start listening more. Your beliefs about yourself and the world will start to change. You'll start to understand reality and the way the world actually works. You'll get on his email list and hope to get more good information. You'll send him two emails asking for career advice and wishing him Merry Christmas. He won't respond but that's okay. He's got 5 kids and running his own business. He's busy. I'm not shitting you, a year and a half later, he'll be giving you daily career advice, wanting your opinion on HIS business, and sent YOU a Christmas card. I know right? INSANE! (full story in another post).
Remember when I said podcasts would be a big deal? Well... you go onto produce the very podcast you fell in love with. Not only that, you get pretty good at this podcasting thing. You go on to help other's get their message across. It's a great feeling, trust me.
Oh, and if you would have got accepted the first year, you would never have gone to Colorado Springs in the summer (you didn't go to China it's a fair bet you wouldn't have gone to Colorado in between your first and second year). Oh and there's this kid you'll meet. You'll get along great.
I can't promise the heartache goes away completely. You're strong enough to work on it though. You'll be able to use this experience to understand what other people are going through. If you're honest, life hasn't really been that hard until now right? I remember. You felt guilty because this is your "rock bottom" when other people are dealing with a lot worse shit. You'll learn you can't think like that completely. You'll learn self-care is imperative to success. You'll find out comparison doesn't do anything but make you feel guilty. You're allowed to feel crushed and devastated. It will make you more resilient. This makes you a better person I promise. You are not you without this. You'll come to understand that, I promise.