Write a letter to someone, anyone.
Dear young Brayden,
Hello from the future! Wisdom is gained through experience, and so I wanted to impart upon you a few things that got learned along the way – not that what was done was bad or wrong, but that the path of life can be so different if you look at things through another lens.
Quietly driven. That’s probably the best way to describe the last twenty-ish years. I haven’t always been satisfied in the present, which explains my great tendency to plan for the future, and revel in the past. Don’t get me wrong, there have been plenty of moments along the way that were most enjoyable, and they have been the result of planning, and remain in my memory as joyful, but remaining in the here-and-now is so, so important.
In that “driven” part, too, is the need to be just slightly off-kilter in your thinking and how you do your things. It’ll serve you well over time as you work hard to find your way in a world that doesn’t know quite what to do with you. Even by the time you get into the Regular Force, the system loves you, but you’re not like the others. There’s a hunger for knowledge, and, like dad, you know how to leverage it so that the next great thing comes around.
The last piece of advice I want to offer is two-fold: Don’t be afraid to be yourself, and don’t be afraid of the future. It took too long for me to feel confident enough to really know who I am, and I didn’t spend enough energy trying to stand up for myself and go after what I wanted. Fear is powerful. Don’t let it take over.
The rest is easy – you’ll do just fine. Be good to yourself.