I love Time Travel. I love the idea of moving through time and living in the past eras. For the longest time, I joked that my past life was an ancient Egyptian scribe. I loved to read, I loved to write, and ancient Egypt was awesome. A couple years ago, I read a Nerd Fitness article titled ‘Days of Future Past: How to Use Time Travel for Success’. You can click on the link to see the full article. It asks the readers to look at their past and the future they want, and write out how to get there.
I decided to do that today.
This is a fun exercise to look at the past and the future. As I said in the earlier blog today, my past still affects my present. What if I could affect my past?If I could go back in time, what would I tell my past self to affect my future?
Where was I ten years ago?
Ten years ago, I had just turned twenty-one. I think I was living at the house with my brother and Rachel. I worked at the bookstore. I went to college, although spent a lot of time mostly screwing around. I was not a heavy drinker, although I did go out and drink. I had no relationship to think of. I believe this was my first year really doing National Novel Writing Month (and I completed it). I think that was the year my brother started dating his future wife.
What would I tell my younger self?
Keep Writing. I never really stopped, but I would want the younger me to know that he needed to keep up with it. Ten years more worth of stories would be nice.
Be compassionate. I still have my bratty tendencies. I give the ‘Brat Prince’ Lestat a run for his money most days. I would want my younger self to know that he shouldn’t throw friends to the wayside. He knew a lot of good people, and pushed some of them out of his life for really stupid and selfish reasons.
Study Hard. This is two-fold. I would want to graduate earlier and start a career in writing, but also not want the heinous amounts of student loans I currently have. It would take focus my younger self probably didn’t have, but I would try to impart this to him nonetheless.
Pay your debs. I owe a lot to my brother. He helped me get where I was and paid for things that a younger brother shouldn’t have to do. He footed my rent when I was heading to the Navy, and lent me money countless times. I try to help where I can now, but owe him a lot. I’d let my past self know to pay your debts.
Be in Milbank on/around October 18th, 2009, or at least stop at the gas station and meet the woman working. Regardless of what changes, I would need my younger self to meet Charmaine. She continues to brighten my life. She changed my destiny, and if I was changing time for myself, I’d need to help keep her glorious present fantastic.
The second part is looking into the future ten years. What would I look like in ten years? Where do I want to be?
I want to have ten books published. That is a book a year that is written and edited. I would like to be writing some sort of comic book based on my stories. I would not mind still bartending. I would like to travel a bit more, and I would like to be smiling as much as possible. It’s actually hard to look into my future and see the person I want to be. I am starting on the path right now, so thinking about what to do to change just seems odd. Nonetheless…
What would my older self tell me to get where he is?
Keep writing. This seems like a no-brainer. Even the last few weeks, writing as much as I have has not been easy. I have taken time every day to write two blog posts, although some are not as long as others. It has, however, pushed my novel writing to the background. I am working on that this week trying to get the first part done and working on part two next week. I’d like a completed draft done by Christmas. I’d like two blog posts every day through next year.
Read often and with focus. This also seems like a no-brained. I am trying to read a book a week. I finished Rules of Magic and posted a review. I’m currently reading A Clockwork Orange. I have two books waiting for the wings. Reading will help me with my writing. The second part is actually harder as it takes dissecting what I am reading, which I am not great at doing. Reviewing will help that.
Treat yourself better. This comes from a variety of ways. I need to heighten my self-esteem. I need to be eating better. I need to exercise. I am doing all this right now, and I see myself in ten years being much better because of this. It just takes time and effort, and I need to keep on it.
Just do it. A bartender told me that if all I wanted to do was travel, I needed to buy a plane ticket and make it happen. I did just that with my trip to New Orleans. I will probably do just that for a trip to Chicago for my birthday (with my best friend). If I set it in motion, I will force myself to make it happen and make it work. It’ll make it an adventure, and I am always up for that.
Fall in love whenever you can. I need to have my heart open. This goes for friends, for lovers, and for family. Don’t hesitate to fall in love over and over again. The way future me would smile when he said this means he knows it’s in my future. And it’ll make me smile back.
It might just be a fun exercise, but I think it’s important to see that end goal. The journey will be what makes it entertaining but having something to look forward to will definitely be something amazing. I cannot wait to see how I do look in ten years and see who is standing beside me. That future me is a superhero, and right now I’m on the right path.