If I could go back in time and speak to the version of myself from ten years ago, I would give myself “good advice”. About which college to go to, what to major in, what hobbies to take up, and where to live after I graduate college. About what to say to people and what not to say. There are a lot of things I would tell myself to do differently. So that I could become the best me.
But then I would be a much different person today. In essence, I wouldn’t be me. Though I would have life figured out, it wouldn’t be my life.
From 1995 to 2006, I spent hundreds of hours writing and recording and performing music. All that time, it seems all I really did was keep myself entertained. At the surface, it led to nothing lasting.
But writing hundreds of songs made it easy for me to write for this website. It took an old hobby to make a new one.
If I went back to myself ten years ago and told myself to take up an interest in daily creative writing (instead of music) so I could eventually have a website that a small corner of the world reads, the younger version of myself probably wouldn’t have been very motivated.
Life is made up of countless bland surprises that end up shaping who we are. The ordinary turns into the exciting.
And of course my musical past is only one minor detail in the strand of events that brings me to my present day. But without it, I wouldn’t have moved to Nashville to pursue a musical career and a year later met my wife.
So what’s the best advice I can give myself today? Don’t go back in time and give yourself advice. It would only mess up everything. Not help it.
As much as I try to structure and plan out my life, it has ended up being something slightly different instead. Instead of taking the interstate, by instinct I end up on the scenic route every time. Capturing my current thoughts and perspectives in my writings which become like snapshots. Scenic route snapshots.
“And when I look behind on all my younger times, I’ll have to thank the wrongs that led me to a love so strong.” – “Perfectly Lonely” by John Mayer