Words of Wisdom from Future Me

December 21 – Future Self. Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead?

Dear Rowena,

Though you are about to turn 25 this year (a quarter of a century old!) your life experiences these past couple of years has made you feel older and wiser than your actual age. However, knowing what is to come for you in the future, I just wanted to share these tidbits of advice as you move ahead in 2011:

  • Never get too serious. Don’t forget to laugh and have some fun! It doesn’t show that you are unfocused – it shows that you know how to achieve balance. If you get too serious about your work you start to feel unfulfilled and hate your life!
  • Tell those important in your life how much you love and appreciate them. You never know what’s going to happen, where people will go and how long they will be there with you. Never take their presence for granted. Show them in simple ways how much you care about them.
  • Take time to celebrate your accomplishments. Stop being afraid of thinking that others will find you cocky – you have a right to be proud of what you have achieved! You can certainly celebrate good fortune properly – girl, you totally deserve it!
  • Never stop singing. Remember the audio recordings mom made of you at 2 years old singing Jingle Bells. Think about Les Mis and Urinetown. Some of the happiest moments in your life were when you were on stage – don’t ever forget that. You may have found your career path, but always remember that singing is your passion and you should never remove that from your life.
  • Don’t be so hard on your mom. You know that you always feel so guilty afterwards, so why do you have to keep being so impatient and snappy? Think about all that she’s done for you, especially when you got sick in 2004. Maybe you should be a little more grateful and take the time to have a conversation with her.
  • Stop feeling like you need to get engaged. I know, I know, you see all the Facebook announcements and then there was the false alarm and you are getting the itch to be engaged, but really, what is the rush? Mike said so himself, he will propose to you when he feels he is ready and the time is right. If you know you are meant to be together why do you need a ring on your finger to validate that? So give the poor man a break already, k?
  • Travel as much as possible. When you become settled as an professor, go for that Fulbright. Take opportunities to travel internationally whenever you can. Remember how liberated and alive you felt when you went to Singapore and Thailand? You can relive that again! Explore new cultures. Take Mike with you. Move outside of your comfort zone.
  • Be the best teacher you can be. Don’t forget: falling in love with teaching was one of the reasons why you decided to go into academia in the first place. Never forget that passion. Put everything you’ve got into your teaching – share your knowledge, and mentor your students the way your mentors have helped you.
  • Work on only the things you are passionate about. If you become bored with something, then that means you need to move on. Don’t sell out – research things that you truly are passionate about, explore areas that you truly are interested in. This ensures that you will remain happy with what you feel you are meant to do.

There is so much more that I can tell you, but I think if you focus on these things, you will have a successful year ahead of you.

Good luck with what is to come, and don’t be so hard on yourself ok? You are at heart a good person, and I know deep down inside you know it too.

See you in a few years!

Love,
Me

About Rowena Winkler

Passionate Performer, Speaker and Writer by Calling, Dancer of All Good Beats, Yoga Practitioner and Enthusiast, Spiritual Trustee of the Universe, Traveler of Many Distant Lands, Lover of Derek the Logical but Amiable, Mother of Eponine/Dex/Teyla, Architect of Spoken Word Poetry, Trainer in the Craft of Communication, Unapologetic Individual, First of Her Name.
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