Dear Future Self,
I’m writing to you at this moment to express an observation and a commitment I’m making in present time for your sole benefit.
Before I get to that though, let me paint the current picture to give you context and to remind you of the events that were happening at the time of this writing.
I’m sat in the international departure lounge at the airport.
I’m disbelieving of the fact that I’m actually here, because I’ve been waiting for this day to arrive for about 3 years.
Remember 3 years ago, while you were distracted with some mundane task like driving or walking the dog, when the idea to visit Paris suddenly formed in your head. It was just a fleeting seed of an idea at that stage which would, over the next three years, germinate, grow and flourish into a full on obsession. You watched and fell in love with the film “Midnight in Paris” which brought to life the visuals of Paris that you held in your mind. You began collecting Eiffel towers to adorn your home and every day existence as a reminder of this hope and dream to one day explore the Parisian life for yourself.
This was the beginning of a dream that would eventually manifest.
Around the same time, you became aware of an amazing woman who lives on the other side of the globe, a woman who would have an impact on the direction of your business and your life. Online Education was fast becoming an obsession and you were introduced to CreativeLive.com. You spent many late nights watching, learning from and absorbing the knowledge and experience of photographers and business people from the other side of the world who were imparting their unique brand of success. You lapped it up like a thirsty puppy. On one of those oCafinnate Academysions, the expert in residence was Sue Bryce – a New Zealander who was describing her journey of becoming an award winning and globally recognised women’s portrait photographer. From that first class you were hooked.
Remember the first time you did a portrait session using her techniques – you were in your bedroom and you’d invited some friends round to be your test subjects. You’d spent weeks sourcing your polyboard reflectors, deciding on the paint colour and getting the painting done. You’d practiced your setup, your poses, the way you would speak when you had a client in front of you. When the shutter sounded for the first time, you gasped at the image you saw on the back of your camera. You had created that portrait which not only astounded you but the woman in the image too.
Not only had Sue Bryce taught you a new genre of portrait photography, but she had also opened up your mind to the power of itself. She spoke of the importance of valuing yourself, as a photographer and as a person. She spoke of having a clear vision of what you want your life to look like. And she spoke about taking the bold action steps to make that vision a reality. There were times when you were in tears as you watched her speak from the Seattle studio while you tried to shield the laptop glare and muffle your sobs from your sleeping husband in the bed next to you.
Around the same time that you decided you wanted to visit Paris, you also decided that you wanted to meet and be photographed by Sue Bryce. You wrote both of these goals down in the many…many journals you were balancing at the time. At first you just wrote them down, not actually believing they’d be possible.
Whether you believed them or not, you kept those thoughts in your mind. You saw pictures of Paris everywhere. You followed Sue Bryce online, everywhere. You spent the equivalent of a Diploma Course on CreativeLive purchasing Sue’s workshops as she grew in popularity and the team invited her back again and again. You saw in your work how much you still had to learn, but you knew you were putting in the hours and with every shoot you were getting closer to the caliber of photographer that she is. Even now, I know I have a long way to go, but continue, I will.
So future self, this is the observation and the commitment I’m making to you now. As I sit here at the airport preparing to board a plane which, after a weekend visiting my family in the UK for the first time in 6 years, will eventually lead to me walking the streets of Paris with my husband for just over a week, culminating in meeting and learning from, in person, Sue Bryce, my observation is this –
- If I focus on my goals and dreams with enough energy and determination, and follow that up with decisive action when the opportunity arises (see my post about how I managed to secure this trip!), then I can manifest the experiences and things I want in my life.
- Chasing money isn’t everything. Even though money is important, sometimes the act of chasing it with such desperation can actually chase it away. Being open to choosing life experiences over a bank balance can be liberating and could end up having the opposite, more abundant effect.
- Sometimes you just have to leap. Even though you’re feeling anxious, even though you’re feeling scared, even though you don’t know how it will all turn out, sometimes you just have to trust.
And my commitment to you, future self, is this:
- I will dare to dream. I will dream big, wild, impossible dreams! The bigger the better. And if only half of them come to fruition, then at least you will have benefited.
- I will pursue experiences and a lifestyle and a business that makes me happy. I will be guided by my desires, rather than by money. My desire to be happy and to make other people happy and I will trust that the money and opportunities will show up.
- I will leap. I will take chances. I will push myself out of my routine. I will trust.
I will do all of these things with you in mind, because I know how obsessive I can get with my day to day routines and to-do lists. I will keep your happiness and your lifestyle and your business in mind whenever I make decisions. I’m accountable to you. And one day when I AM you, you will have moved on and I’ll continue to work towards the better, brighter and more beautiful future that you deserve.
Until then, I’ll make my way to the boarding gate and embark on what I know will have been a defining moment in your journey.
Your Present Self