What should I tell future me?
It’s tradition for my students at Marquette University to write letters to their future selves at the end of the semester. Here are excerpts from what they wrote.
If you aren’t feeling gut churn every day, then you need to reassess the situation.
You are probably working 8–5 every week and going home to your apartment to make food, watch a show, and go to bed.
If this describes you, STOP!
Live a little.
Don’t justify laziness because you’re tired from work. Grandpa worked 12-hour days as a high school band director, gave private lessons afterwards, and raised nine kids.
Get out and explore the area you live in. Because no matter how long you have lived there, there is always something you haven’t seen or something you haven’t done.
There are so many beautiful and wonderful things in this world that remain in my blind spot, but I’m working on how to see them.
It’s Ok to pause and let your mind wander. Make time for stillness, for ideas and for art.
I hope that you remember how much questioning the world has improved your writing and your outlook on life.
Writer’s block is merely not asking enough questions. Remember that.
Just write. You may have a million excuses, but the words aren’t going to write themselves. You just have to sit down and run with it.
~You can Write~ Regardless of your mood, the topic, or your skillset.
You are now a student of the world. Everything is relevant.
Pay attention. This has always been one of your faults. Every little detail is worth something to you, whether that be in life or in work.
Slow down, take a deep breath, notice the things around you, and don’t always rush through things.
Make people think, “What the hell is he talking about? I want to work with this guy.”
What I wish for you is that as you continue in your career, you are amazed by the things that inspire you, continuously. Find that joy, feel that momentarily break from reality to really live in and appreciate the experience.
I hope I remember the power I have, no matter how small I may feel at times, to create a legacy that challenges the negatives in society and helps others realize their abilities.
Stress isn’t bad. It’s how we respond to stress that can be bad.
Exercise is a way to relax. Do that.
If you haven’t gone to church in awhile, go next Sunday!
I hope, wherever you are when you’re reading this, I hope you’re living the life you’ve dreamt of, and are working to do your part in writing a remarkable story. If you’re not where you want to be, know that you have the skills and abilities to get to that place.
Be open to meeting new people.
It’s hard to imagine myself as a grown-up, but I’m sure you’re doing great. Challenge yourself to be like a kid — craft, paint, draw — take some time to do things that bring you joy. You deserve it.
So, future self, I hope you are continuing to be curious. I hope you are still challenging yourself, getting over your fears, and writing about them.
Remember: You are loved, you are creative, you can do it.
You made sure to not give up even though you desperately wanted to, you kept pursuing.
In the future, I want you to remember that feeling of finally having an idea and executing it.
Lots of love, and don’t give up,
Your past self
PS Oh and keep writing, because I want to know your thoughts!
I want to sincerely thank the students of media writing, social media measurement and the art and science of creativity for their enthusiasm and curiosity and for inspiring me constantly. I’ll see you in the future.