Dear Future Experiencer

Dear Future Experiencer,

Here we cross paths on this journey. You are heading into the uncharted wilderness, and I am on the path home. As a fellow experiencer, I wanted to impart a few pieces of advice on the terrain ahead.

I cannot give you my map because the path I took is no longer available. This territory is always shifting. Even though I walked with care, I seemed to find uneven ground, dead ends and blind turns. When deciding the path you should take, trust your instincts.

Many people will try to tell you otherwise. A lot of people, on a different journey from yours, will try to give you their own map. Do not use it. Their advice will bring you frustration and take you wildly off course.

Appearances and first impressions need further investigation. A spot can look great from a distance and end up being nothing more than quicksand. Investigate all destinations ahead of time and do not ignore warning signs.

Ask questions to make sure each camp is the right fit for both sides. The person running the camp may be more talk than substance. They may ignore you and your growth for their own gain. If this happens, change directions. You must have difficult conversations and make decisions based on your own long-term goals.

You are on this journey to learn. Never lose sight of the goal. Sometimes no bridge will appear to cross a raging river below. It is natural to want to shut down in these moments, but take this time to learn something new. What can you learn on this side of the canyon as you search for the bridge?

The further into the wild you go, the more your body will want you to turn back and run. It will rebel. Your mind will be at odds with your will. You will feel crazy, lonely and destructive. Taking care of yourself takes willpower, but you need strength to finish this journey.

Do not forget to laugh. This is not that serious. The fate of the world does not rest on this journey. This is a journey you should enjoy. You should make fun of yourself. You should find ways to laugh with others. When the world seems to be turning against you, call it on its joke and laugh to the heavens. The journey is easier with some irreverence.

Just like the map of this journey, the map of success is always shifting. You will create blind spots if you do not vary the trails you travel searching for success. Some maps lead quickly to a solution, but perhaps less often to the right ones. The person who stops looking around cannot see the hidden poison ivy. The person eager to try a new way should be aware of the roaming wolves.

Do not lose your humility on this trail. Holding your head too high will cause you to miss the traps before you on the path. Confidence should come from within, not because others think you should be confident. A bird attempting to keep his head in the clouds must constantly flap its wings. A bird aware of its surroundings may glide in the current.

You will get through this year—one way or another. All roads lead to the end of this journey, but not to safety. This year will not solve your problems. It will cause you to ask more questions. A time will come for you to venture into the wilderness again. This journey will allow you to navigate with a quiet confidence in yourself.

All the best,