dear future self

The following letter is a forward-looking exercise that my creative tech ethics team conceptualized. This was written in one sitting, 45-minutes continuously.

. . .

A Letter: 6 Months Later

Current date: Feb. 10, 2022 

Future date: Aug. 10, 2022

Dear Future Sam,

Congrats, you’ve crossed the nomad chasm! At least, I think you’ve stopped wandering the world at this point. Hopefully this letter comes to you as you’re settling down in that one big city that will become the next new home. But as we both know, our life is constantly filled with spontaneity and serendipity — I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s been a significant shift in your mindset, lifestyle, or energy as you find your groove. This letter will no doubt be as chaotic and fluid as your improv-rich personality, but I think it can be a good container to transport my thoughts and feelings to you across the dimensions of time. 

If I split my future aspirations into three pieces, I hope you’re tackling these in whatever order you see fit, or maybe even all together: creativity, comedy, and community. Another 3C’s framework, as you smile in approval. Well, I won’t ever stop being lyrical with my language and cheeky with my connections — and neither should you. With the exception of the first piece, these elements haven’t really been in place over this stretch of hopping around. How are we going to make sure that we give enough attention to the practices that are soul-nourishing and inspiration-inducing?

I want to feel a consistent sense of creativity, streamed through different sources of truth — interacting with other creatives, attending experiential events, and just mixing it up from time to time. I’ve learned that being a so-called “Creative” is not just about having an eye for art, design, or beauty. As you mature in your journey of becoming a full-fledged technologist, never forget the human side of the equation, beyond the bits and the bytes. At this point, it would a pleasure to see the Tech Ethics project launched, as I’m sure you’ve spent tons of mental and emotional energy wrapping your head around a new medium of expression. I want you to surprise me with this concept, and use it as a launching pad for more creative collaborations in the near future. 

I want to see a world where you take comedy as an art form, seriously. I’ve been saying to more people lately that the fundamental guiding principle of my life is all baked into the magic of improvisation. By now, you should have published that piece (Yes And, Sam) and have engaged in many fulfilling conversations about the themes. Heck, you might already be embodying an upgraded version of this philosophy. But as trite as it sounds, talk is cheap, and action is everything. Go take an advanced improv class. Go churn out more sketches for the public. Go try a standup open mic, if you haven’t already. All of these sound so scary on paper — believe me, I know — but you’ve developed such strong confidence and conviction after roaming around EMEA all this time. This time, it will feel different as you get on stage. 

You’ll notice that I’ve deliberately chosen not to focus on your professional aspects, and where I think you’ll be at that point. The truth is, I know you’ll figure something out without too much of a hassle (compared to our past life). It still doesn’t matter whether you’re called a growth product manager or whether you’re working at a Series A startup or whether you’ve finally unlocked the best way to create value in the web3 world. The very fact that you can associate with being a “technologist” is enough — just keep ideating, keep hacking, and keep shipping to “stay in technical shape”. You’ll be surprised what will come after taking these actions: the organic formation of community. Yup, thanks to your focus on creativity and art, you’ll be dancing with other comedians, writers, architects, musicians, actors, and any other wonderful humans who cross your path. But equally fitting is your ability to locate and resonate with other techno-minded individuals. These are people passionate about their craft, keen to make a difference through the technology-focused lens of scalable, yet mindful solutions. You’ll know these people when you see it, so don’t be afraid to lean in hard with your enthusiasm.

Lastly, we do need to address the aging elephant in the room. You’re about to turn 26 soon. That’s a flabbergasting figure because you’ve officially reached the late 20’s. We’ve done an exhaustive “life-in-review” at the corner of 25, so I don’t think a deep meta-analysis needs to follow. Instead, just find solace in the present; in the little things that make the summer air glisten, in the loud laughs you’re able to coax on-demand, and in the catalog of public spaces that stimulate your imagination. That’s it — another year, another series of big aspirations that you may or may not meet, but will thoroughly enjoy the process anyway. 

As you’re reading through this, I want you to take on a reflective mood today. Pause and take a deep breath. Look back and create two lists: things you’ve accomplished this year, and things you’re grateful for. After you finish, go for either a 15-minute metta meditation session or a 15-minute outdoorsy walk — your choice. Just thinking about this tender routine makes me feel refreshed and relaxed, even against the backdrop of a chaotic outside world.

It’s fascinating to think that even I might not fully know who you are and who you’ve become in the gap of 6 full months. If it’s anything consolation though, there’s one thing I can guarantee: 

You’re still running your own race, and I couldn’t be more proud :) 


Six Months Ago Sam

Published by Sam (samwong) 3 months ago on Thursday the 10th of February 2022.

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