Back to the Future

Write a letter from your future self to your current self from 10 years from now. Describe your living situation, the people around you, your career or job, your family relationships, your own personality and way of being, your level of satisfaction and happiness and how much love surrounds you. Next, tell your current self what you did to get there. Explain the crucial things you realised and the major hurdles you overcame. – From Carmen Wyld’s Blog

I have been wanting to do this exercise for some time now. Today was the right time and it just flowed. I recommend you give it a whirl.

August 12 2022 (that feels weird to write)

Dear 30-year-old me from a 40-year-old me.

Here I am.

We own our own house with a little bit of land surrounding.  There are permaculture gardens all around and it is beautiful and abundant. We grow the majority of our fruits and vegetables and eat with the seasons. Our little slice of heaven on earth. We share this heaven with other like-minded families on a large property. It has been hard though totally fulfilling working on something of our own.

I am surrounded by grounded, aware and creative friends who “get” me. My husband and I have a bond that has strengthened enormously over the years and our girls are beautiful (at times difficult) teenagers who are full of identity, compassion, curiosity and love.

I am happily productive in a myriad of creative pursuits. I am a writer, photographer and general all-round creative woman who never ceases to learn and be intrigued and amazed by life and all it has to offer. I have made a name for myself and created a living doing that which I love. I  actively help to inspire others to do the same.

I am surrounded by huge amounts of love from myself and from friends and family that I cherish. I am lucky enough to have been able to tell people’s stories through my work and share love with and through them also. I am thoroughly satisfied with my life and all that has helped me become the person I am in the place that I’m in.

The crucial things that I have realised are; you are the only one getting in the way and stopping you from reaching your goals and seeing your dreams come to life. That action speaks louder than words (more heavy metal, less lullaby). And to be patient and enjoy the process.  I overcame my fear of asking people if I could tell their stories, my fear of “getting in the way”. I over came my nature of rushing into things and wanting to have it done right here, right now. (Enjoy the process!) I now understand how interconnected we are and that (usually) people are only too willing to help – you just need to ask.

Allow yourself to blossom and expand. Copyright Ketakii Jewson-Brown

Miracles start to happen when you give your dreams as much energy as you do your fears.

Learning lessons

So. What lessons have been learned you ask? Well, many.

Go slow. Read the fine print. Be thorough. Make sure you understand the guidelines given, and stick to them in your submission. Take more time to think about your idea/s and help “flesh” them out. Do NOT put it off to the last-minute. (I’ve always been a last-minute, under pressure type of girl. High school assignments were usually done the night before they were due to be submitted.)

You may have guessed by now that I didn’t win the trip to Africa to take photos. As bummed as I am, (it would have been AWESOME!) I am grateful for the inspiring experience and all of the lessons I have been faced with. I say faced with, because I obviously haven’t learned them yet. But I am. And I will continue to do so.

The main reason I think I messed up was because I chose to do a montage of images for 3 of the 5 photos required in the photo essay. Also, I could have taken better images, more suitable to the brief. But I didn’t. I left it to the last-minute, then rushed through it so I would have something to upload by the deadline. (That’s the problem with deadlines – if it was a personal ongoing project I would be able to chop and change and allow it to be a whole lot more of an organic process. But it wasn’t. Get over it.)

The positives: I have learned about myself. More about myself than previously known. I am going to work on these things. I have started a blog. Regular writing that’s not just for my eyes only. I have inspired myself and piqued my own curiosity (and hopefully the curiosity of others.) I have gained confidence in the knowledge that if you want to do something you just have to do it. One step at a time. In the direction of your heart. Be real with yourself and follow your dreams.

“Allow yourself to be drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray” – RUMI