Message to my 22-year-old self : Be bold, be fearless, be grateful.
Today's December 30th 2019. With 2020 just around the corner, I've decided to take some time to reflect on the decade that is about to end.
I was listening to Rubble Rebel (Champion) from Randy Valentine. My attention got caught up on that quote from the song : "I'm so grateful for family, so grateful for the friends who've been there for me. But I'm so sure I wouldn't have grown if I didn't take that journey internally. This life of mine is mine to live."
I found it so profound and inspiring. I mean, a lot has happened during the past 10 years. Things I never thought I'd see or do. Inspiring social movements and tech disruptions, challenges facing humanity (Climate change is real yo !) I could go on over and over.
I admit I sometimes felt helpless in the face of such growing hatred, violence and despair, but there were so many more times I've felt hopeful. It has kept me moving forward.
Face forward, this is the way. And all of that is only possible because I am surrounded by a loving family. They're my pillar. They're the only ones I can face when I cannot face anyone else. I love them and I thank God every day I have them.
My friends are also part of my growth. Especially since they've helped me open-up so much.
I'm the kind of guy that does not like much sharing personal feelings, As a Nigerien-born French, I grew up believing strong men don't have sentiments and are never to express their feelings.
Stupid is it not? I dare say yes. And that would be first advice to my ten-year-younger self. Express your feelings. Express your emotions. Be true to yourself. Because unless you do so, one day it will all blow up in your face. Believe me, it's embarrassing.
I've always been the kind of friend that has your back all the time yet I am capable of forgetting I said I'd help you moving apartment. Yeah. I too believe I'm an a**hole sometimes. But truth be told, I care for my people. They often don't get it but I sure know I love them and they love me back.
My family and my friends are one of a kind. My friends are family. We're not blood-related but why would anyone care anyway ? My family is amazing. I am so grateful to be surrounded by such amazing human beings.
These are the people I grew up with. We tried so many things. from rafting to travel by bus to get to a safari. People who've lived in the middle of a slum somewhere in Africa and people hitting the streets of Paris, Lyon or Tokyo at night. We traveled a lot. But that is not enough. The world is so big! Just go get it !
These adventurous, bold, fearless friends gave me confidence. They kicked me out of my comfort zone so bad I can never come back. I can assure you, this is where all the fun is. I want to be bolder everyday, facing forward the year and the decade to come.
So that's my second advice : be bold, be fearless, get out of your comfort-zone. That's where you grow. That's where you fail. That's where you learn. That where you learn humility.
I've been told countless times one cannot learn from someone else's mistakes. You got that right. But here's what I've learned over the past ten years : you can't learn from it yet, listen and take notes. Be humble and accept that as wisdom.
Think about it, you never had to experience a snake-bite to guess that'd be stupid to play with one wouldn't it ?
I guess what I am trying to say is that you should try everything that crosses your mind. Really, be bold. Make mistakes, it doesn't matter if someone told you before. But be prepared as much as you can. That's when other people's mistakes will come in hand.
One last thing before I go, Be curious, don't take anything for granted, be grateful, and don't compare yourself to others. There's only one you. Whenever you fill depressed, remember, someone else 's been there already. It will pass. It always does. Learn from it and move forward.
Follow the path of the Lion.
Web developer - Butterfly breeder
PS : To all my friends around the world, I would like you to know how grateful I am that we met. I would not be the same one without you and your support.
Thank you God for the blessing of my family.
I wish each and everyone of you a wonderful, fearless, bold and full of gratitude year 2020.