I continued to think about the “Future Me” and what I would think of the present me. And Future Me had a bit of advice. He said that we are living in a home, eating applesauce, wearing diapers and all I have are my memories. Don’t screw them up. Spend time with your friends and family, because those are my favorite memories. Stop spending so much time on the little stuff, you can barely remember that anyway. Travel more, you will love Africa. Take a few chances, but not too many that you look like a moron (and you are approaching that level so be careful). Enjoy your successes and indulgences, you will see that guilt is a waste of time. Do things for others without the need for acknowledgment or reciprocation (you will get both in spades anyway). Be happy for others who are more fortunate than you, help those that aren’t, respect both equally. Do things you normally wouldn’t do every so often, those are some fun memories. It is okay to cook and do the dishes, but make sure you say thank you when someone does for you. When you get here (the future) you don’t want to have settled.
We could all benefit from calling our Future Me’s every once in a while. We need that reality check of how most of this won’t matter even a few months from now, much less years. We need to live a little more for the moment. That doesn’t mean go crazy. It doesn’t mean bounce your last check. It doesn’t mean shun stability and responsibility. It doesn’t mean pack up your shit and move to Nepal. It means to do things you will be happy to look back on. That may mean taking the stable job for some, or going with the start-up for others or even leaving it all behind and going to Nepal for a few. Life isn’t black and white. There is no need for you to be stable or reckless…you can be somewhere in-between. You don’t have to married by 28. You don’t need to have kids before you are 35. You don’t need to have your career all set by the time you are 40. Life is different for everyone and very few of us live up to the expectations we set for ourselves or other set for us (and those that do probably feel unfilled in some way). Take life as it comes, change it as you go, and stop worrying about where you are now…just enjoy that you are here and moving forward. It takes some people a few years, others a life time. We all get there.