Do you remember yourself in 1995? Who were you then? What interested you, what troubled you? Who did you hope you would become in 20 years? If you could say anything to yourself-20-years-ago, what would you say?
20 years ago, TLC’s song Waterfalls became the number one hit on Billboard Hot 100. Do you remember it? I heard a mention of this fact on the radio recently, as the song was played again. Hearing it flooded my senses with memories. I didn’t listen to the lyrics closely enough then to know that the song was about drug use. The subject wasn’t relevant, but the music and the mood of the song intertwined with my life, and became a leitmotif for my 19th year.
I wish I could tell my younger self to spend more time with grandma. In 1995, my grandmother went from healthy to incurable within months, and passed away in November. I was away in college, and so wrapped up in the everydayness that I didn’t make enough time to “just be” with her. “I know that you’re gonna have it your way, or nothing at all, but I think you’re moving too fast,”, sang TLC in the background. My 39-year-old self couldn’t have put it better, but the 19-year-old-me didn’t listen, and didn’t hear.
I would advise my 19-year old self to take Economics classes early on, rather than wait until the last semester of senior year, as I would fall in love with the subject. At 19, I didn’t think of myself as someone who was interested in Economics, but I didn’t know then that people are terrible at predicting what will make them happy. I wish the science of this was out in 1995 rather than later.
At 19, I met one of my greatest friends. Now, I would have told my younger self to give this friend more time. We watched each other navigate waterfalls, lakes, and rivers of life, crashing in the waves and resurfacing over and over, learning by experience to stay afloat. Then, I let go, and eventually, so did my friend. Always having my attention on something I didn’t have yet, I missed an opportunity to stay connected with someone who understood the idea of anam cara. At 19, I longed for what I would have at 39. At 39, I think of all the things I’ve missed at 19.
I wanted to know that everything will be ok, which meant to me that there would have to be a great love story involved. My then-“great love”-sort-of-boyfriend encouraged me to switch from studying Spanish to studying Italian, seemingly for no reason other than to test his influence. I obliged. We parted ways while Waterfalls was still at the top of the charts, but the reaction chain was set into motion: as I switched from Spanish to Italian, I met an outstanding professor, who has become my mentor and one of the most influential people in my life. Soon after, I got on a plane to Milan to see my new Italian boyfriend, and fell in love with Italy. On the return flight, I was seated next to a Ph.D. student in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. We talked about organizational development and psychology and work. The conversation felt like opening a hidden treasure box, and finding a secret career map in it. I knew I needed to adjust course. Upon returning to NYC, I switched career tracks from Clinical Psychology to Industrial/Organizational Psychology.
The difference between mistake and providence is a matter of perspective that we choose. Would I be where I am now, if I didn’t let go of a great friendship, of a bad relationship, of a career path that I had in mind for myself since early teens? I’ve heard somewhere that forgiveness is letting go of a hope for a better past. So, I stop wishing that my 19-year old self could have done better. I forgive myself for who I was, for what I’ve done and haven’t done. Now, 20 years later, I slow down and listen.
Wiz Khalifa is in on the radio, with See You Again. I’ll go now and look up the lyrics. After all, it could be a message from my 59-year old self.
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Applied Intuition Workshop
I’ll be sharing intuition development tools during a 5-week workshop at the New York Open Center, starting in October. I’d love to see you at this workshop! Please, register early to ensure a spot, and share with your NYC friends: Taking the Intuition Leap: Solutions for Everyday Living. Thanks! I will also be giving a free talk, Intuition: Science, Myth, and Practical Applications, on October 1st, 7-8:30 p.m. in Fair Lawn, NJ. Please, join me!
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TRANSFORMER VIP Program
Let’s be honest: improving your life on your own is a difficult job. When you feel that improvements are simply necessary – for your health, for your sanity, for your progress – let’s do this together. Join me for a very personal, deep 3-month executive coaching collaboration, TRANSFORMER VIP Program .
This program offers a powerful transformation in the area of your life where you want it most.
- We’ll work as partners for 3 months (September-November)
- You will be at the top of my attention, as we work on accomplishing your personal and professional goals.
- This is what I can guarantee you as we work together.
- Up to 6 one-on-one in-depth coaching sessions
- A detailed follow-up report after each session
- Full email support from me personally between sessions
- Up to two 30-min intuition experiments (if you are open and interested) at the beginning and at the end of our collaboration
- A pdf copy of my book chapter, “Practical Guide for Making Choices without Regrets”
- Additional resources from my colleagues around the world
- Financial Investment: 1,499 US dollars
For availability for the September-November program, please email me ASAP with TRANSFORMER VIP in the subject line. Alina@MindTerrainCoaching.com