Friday, September 02, 2016

Things I would say to my 18 year old self

My 18 year old self would just be getting ready to join the military. Here are some things I would pass on to my younger self.

You've gone through the process of applying to join the military with Chris. The day you're both to swear in and sign the contract, Chris won't show. Sign anyway. An amazing adventure awaits you.

You're going to discover your creative self later in life. And love it. So, if you have any urges to do anything creative a bit earlier on, give it a shot. In particular, writing for performing, photography, and especially improvisation. Improvisation is going to teach you approaches to life and work that will blow your mind. Now that I think about it, you might not be ready for that powerful of a message so early in life. What do I know?

Stop trying to please and impress other people. Not only do people not go around thinking about you, they are just as concerned about how people think about themselves. Just be yourself. If you find yourself walking a different path than the rest, that might be a good thing. The only person you have to please is yourself.

Try to say yes to all of the opportunities that come your way. You may not like everything you get involved in, but you'll never know unless you try. Except for skydiving. You're wise to steer clear of that.

When Dad leaves the family, you'll want to maintain contact. Even contrary to the wishes of Mom. You'll hope he gets to share in your milestones and accomplishments. Don't bother. It will be a complete waste of time. You and other family members will get burned sooner or later. Just walk away and don't look back.

You're going to get into music. As a listener. In a big way. You'll discover some foreign artists long before others do. You'll discover you can DJ. Once you've DJ'ed for a while, you'll find that there are other things in life. You'll want out of the business and think about selling off your gear and music library. Don't worry about it. Eventually, music will become so ubiquitous, you won't even need a physical collection anymore, nor will you want one. Your entire collection will fit in the palm of your hand and you'll be able to play it in your car at the press of a button. No kidding.

You'll discover early in your military career that you like teaching and do it very well. You'll want to do it as your job, but there will be obstacles. Persevere. You'll not only get the job (in the military), you'll go on to teach much more after that career is done. Speaking of the military, you'll love that teaching gig so much, you'll beg to stay in Kingston forever. Not a good idea. When it's finally time to go, go. But don't take the shitty post offerings. Hold out for Calgary. It's the best bet for the next phase in your career, even though the base in Calgary will close while you're there. Leave your family in Calgary and come back after your military contract is up.

Say yes to the acting courses. Offer to help your teacher with future courses afterwards. Learn improvisation. Yeah, I know, I said that already. Follow your passion. Lose the fear. Failure is inevitable and necessary. I can't emphasize that last bit enough.

No comments: