Friends! Romans! Countrymen! Oops, sorry, wrong introduction am I right?
Hi Claire! This is Claire! You’re future you! The graduation speech to yourself that the laws of physics will never able to allow! But, luckily, on the Internet anything is possible! Even giving speeches to yourself from ten years ago!
Hey, Past Claire! You know, some days I’m really disappointed in you. You’ve let the uncertainties of life dictate your career choice. You didn’t want to go into education, because at the time you were looking into it, you also were reading news headlines of massive teacher strikes and you were worried about job security.
Don’t let the news scare you.
You wanted to be an English major, specifically Shakespeare, but you were worried about what jobs could fall under that category.
Don’t let unknown possibilities scare you.
You thought about sales. You were amazing at sales! In 2008, you were the top third salesperson in the country at New Balance Shoes! Your secret sauce was actually *listening* to the customer!
But you didn’t want the compounding pressure and worried about making numbers every month or year drive you crazy.
Don’t let manager’s expectations scare you.
You didn’t want to do anything with a lot of math and science. Because you were always told you weren’t smart, even by some teachers, and you were scared they might be right.
To this day, we still kind of think that deep down.
Don’t let your haters scare you.
So you decided to be an author. You were a bit scared of not being good enough, because we kind of suck at grammar. Like, a lot! Also, you hid who you were for years. Because you were scared about what they would say based on presumptions and stereotypes.
Don’t let their misunderstandings scare you.
You got yourself publishe. And yeah, your book flopped. Got terrible reviews. Said it was as if written by a sixth grader they did! No matter how much money and time we spent on editing! And you were just about to give up on that, too.
Don’t let negative feedback scare you.
So here is the real advice:
Don’t let fear control you.
Don’t pretend to be someone else to conform.
Spend your money wisely.
Spend your time even more wisely.
Don’t worry so much about being perfect.
Don’t write a story based on what you think readers want, they’ll hate it.
Don’t let mentors’ voices get in your head.
Be the own voice in your head.
You keep going, even when you’re scared. You keep going even when you know it won’t make a difference. Because that’s where you’re wrong, inner-voice-Claire.
Would I do anything different? I say I would. But truth is, I’ve been living the same life for so long, I don’t think I’d really change as much as I said I would have done things way different. It’s always hindsight.
But that doesn’t mean my future can’t change. Just because I’ve wasted the last decade, and really the last TWO decades based on what I was worried would happen or what other people led me to believe … doesn’t mean we can waste another ten more years doing the same.
It is time to embrace my true Self, loud and proud! I am a Geek. I am weird. I am a Creative. And I’m obsessed with time. I’m not going to try to be something I’m not, anymore. I’m not going to try and be “normal”.
So if you’re just graduating, or have had graduation on your mind being the time of year of Grad parties, do your past Self a favor and start living the life you dreamt of during your graduation! You owe it to yourself! And if you already are, congratulations! That’s the true graduation gift: living the life you promised yourself all those years ago!
So what advice would you give your past Self at graduation? Share in the comments and let’s chat! Thanks for watching!
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