Note to Self
In my last quarter of college, I decided to take a free course offered by our career center because I had very little clue about what to do with a BA in Communications. I don’t remember much about the class, except that we were asked to write letters to our future selves. Years later, imagine my excitement when I found this long-forgotten voice from the past in the mailbox. In one of my recent attempts to de-clutter my life, I was sorting through a box of old college papers and came across the letter. Along the top of the page are two questions: No matter where you go and what you do, what do you hope you will never forget about yourself? What personal characteristics, values, interests and talents do you hope you will always express in your life?
What fantastic questions to ask oneself at age 21. Written by hand was this response:
Never forget that you have the ability to surprise yourself with the strength you exude in difficult situations and the tremendous things you accomplish. You have a lot of love to give, a lot to be proud of, and a lot to look forward to – so go after what you want in life with full force!
I hope you will always keep your head up and your mind filled with your friends, family, and other support systems. Remember that you have people you can count on, and also that you are someone others can count on.
I hope you don’t forget that it’s sometimes much better to be happy than to be right. Sometimes being stubborn can suck one’s energy source dry.
Keep living each day with motivation and spirit as your fuel. Keep up with yoga. If you’ve been on a break, get back into it!
Lastly, don’t forget to have patience with yourself and with others, because everything happens as it should anyway.
Nearly a decade later, I know that I’ve grown up quite a bit. I’ve lived, loved, and lost more deeply. I’ve explored the world and myself to much greater extents. And yet, some of the greatest lessons I’ve learned aren’t actually new information. They are re-occurring epiphanies of twenty-somethings like me.
You are stronger than you think.
Being right isn’t as important as being happy.
Live each day to the fullest.
I spent this past weekend talking with some amazing people at various World Domination Summit meetups, from friends like Therese Schwenkler of The Unlost and Life After College author & old co-worker Jenny Blake, to new connections like Emilie Wapnick of Puttylike.com and Barrett Brooks of Living for Monday. I also reunited with several Bold Academy alums and had a blast hosting a couple of them during their Portland stay.
My voice is now hoarse from all the conversations, and there are many a-ha moments I plan to share on this blog in future posts. But in one of the first meetups I attended, I was asked to write my dream on a board that was being passed around a restaurant booth. Without thinking first, I touched the marker to the white surface and this flowed out:
My dream is to live everyday in a way that makes me feel alive, vibrant, centered and creatively stimulated.
As I hold the letter from college and think about this dream I have for myself, I see how much love, support, and confidence I carry within; It’s enough to get me where I need to be. When I combine that with the love and support I get from my friends, family and online community, it’s enough to wildly exceed my needs.
Though I feel incredibly fortunate, I know this power to live my dreams isn’t unique to me. We all have this power. To explore our potential. To define success in our own terms. To find what makes us come alive and share that with the world in impactful ways. As my dear friend and Bold roommie Morgan puts it, we are currently experiencing an Enlightenment period in which creative/authentic expression, unconventional thinking and social impact are showing up with increasing frequency in everyday conversation. It feels to me as if there is a collective a-ha moment happening. Do you feel it, too?
With courage, love and intensity,