Hey. It’s me (you) from the future. Look, I’m going to be straight with you (me): neither of us is going to become an astronaut. I’m sorry, but it was never in the cards.
You will, however, become a writer (score!), just not in the way that you think. As far as you know at the tender age of nine, the Internet is a magical, omnipresent force that lets you play flash games online. What you don’t yet know (other than the fact that, in thirteen years, those graphics are going to look like absolute garbage) is that the Internet’s going to open up a whole new world of opportunities. The job I have now simply doesn’t exist for you yet in the way that it will.
So what is this cool, futuristic job of jobs? You’re going to work for an experiential marketing agency called Gemba. I know this sounds like boring grown-up jargon to you, but stay with me. Remember that time they let you try out a bedazzler at the mall, and then you forced Mom to buy it, and then you bedazzled the crap out of the living room couch? It’s kind of like that, but better, and with less bedazzler-related time-outs. Experiential marketing lets you connect with a brand. It would be like if Nintendo set up an actual, real-life Super Mario Bros. course, complete with gold coins, and let you run it. Okay, relax. I know you’re excited, but you’ve got a few years before that kind of thing becomes a reality.
Basically what I’m saying here is that the world is always changing, and you’ll have chances you can’t even conceptualize yet. Let it happen. Be open to it. Don’t let an opportunity pass you by. Go find an adult you trust and tell them to invest in Apple. (Don’t ask questions, just trust me on that one.) And stop spending all of your money on Pokemon cards, for the love of God. We’ve got student loans to think about.
I even asked some of my co-workers at this sweet, sweet future job what they’d tell their younger selves, and here’s what they came up with:
- Don’t mess with wasps.
- Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have.
- Start flossing.
- If you’re the best one in the room, you’re in the wrong room.
- Time is precious; if you’re not investing it into being productive, make sure you’re investing it into having a great experience.
- Eat more green stuff.
- Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.
- Explore the world at an early age.
- Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.
- If you want to go heliskiing, go heliskiing!
- You can change course whenever you want. The path forward is crooked, and it changes all the time.
- Marry your best friend.
- Adventure exists around every corner. Embrace it. Learn from it.
- Just because you sometimes fail doesn’t mean you’re a failure.
- Be cool. Don’t ever change.
See? Maybe you won’t get to be an astronaut, but you WILL get to spend time with these veritable human goldmines of wisdom. I’ve even included pictures of their suspender-clad past selves so that you know what kind of party animals you’ll one day be sharing office space with. This is where I leave you, but remember what I said about opportunities and Pokemon cards. And good luck with everything. I hope it all turns out okay. (Spoiler alert: it does.)
Your Future Self,