Some of us might have done an activity in school where we were asked to write a letter to our future self. This was done to give us a plan, a road map you might say, that has us consider our future and what we hope our lives were like.
However, now that many of us are "grown-up," we can see that things we hoped and wished for when we were 10-years-old are not quite what we could have imagined.
Reddit user, yourfavbrownguyy, wanted to know how we've all changed when they asked:
"What would 10-year-old you never believe about adult you?"
As a child, your understanding of money might be a little misguided. Responsibility isn't even a word many of us could spell when we were ten, but it certainly is something we have to know about when we're grown up.
You Can Play Anything, But You Can't Play Anything
"All the video games I have but the lack of time to play them. Alas, we weep"
"I thought I'd outgrow them. Instead I just have less time for them."
"Man, 10 year old me would be absolutely mindblown at the idea of just pushing a couple buttons and having basically any video game or movie or TV show you want show up on your TV (which is friggin HUGE compared to the console box TV of the 80s). Same problem though - so many movies, so little time. Sigh."
What Are You Spending Your Money On?
"I don't eat candy all day."
"10 year old you: "then what's the point in having a job?""
This Is What I'm Spending My Money On
"that 35 year old me bought the ninja turtles arcade cabinet of my 10 year-old self's dreams."
Jobs have a way of making you understand the value of a dollar. While some of us are able to work our "dream jobs," not all of us hit those heights, and that's a lesson we're still learning.
Having $100 Doesn't Make You A Millionaire
"That $100 is not that much money."
"Holy sh-t I feel this. When you’re 10 a $20 bill feels like an endless pile of money. Then you’re an adult, and buying food is $100"
Numbers Are The Most Fun
"Math is actually kind of fun. And we work with numbers all day."
"10 year old me "math is stupid and I can't wait to never have to do it again". Current me, an accountant, and I like it."
There Aren't Explosions Everywhere
"I didn't end up being a ninja-spy-gangsta lady who can throw knives and rides motorcycles. Honestly, the fact that I don't do cool martial arts stuff nowadays would probably break 10yo me's heart. I don't even have a sidekick or some dangerous pet. Generally, the lack of life threatening Action and how little I enjoyed any dangerous action I ever saw would horrify 10yo me."
"I desperately wanted to be a hot antihero from a kids movie and in adult life there are shockingly few superweapons to steal, villains to counter monologue and a total lack of escaping my enemies through third floor windows in black latex suits. I don't even ever punch people in the face and the few times I had to in my life, no cool one liners were dispersed."
And then there's these, realizations that we've truly aged, there's no way to go back to who we were, but that's the way life is.
Not Everyone Sticks Around
"I don't talk to anybody I knew when I was 10. It's like they don't even exist anymore."
"My best friends at 10 were a set of twins, Matthew and Wesley (we’re 27 now). I was close with them till the end of high school when they started getting into drugs. I haven’t talked to them in years (they don’t even respond to birthday texts). But I talk to their dad every now-and-then for updates."
The Whole Country Has Changed, Really
"I would be scandalized if 10 yo me found out I've gotten high."
"All those hours in D.A.R.E. gone to waste. Such a shame."
"Ten year old me would be SO SHOCKED to learn that I regularly drive my mom to the dispensary so she can buy weed."
I'm Going To Be A Grandpa?
"Considering how old I thought my parents were when they were 30 is the fact that I’m a grandparent now and mostly retired would blow my ten year old mind. Ah, perspective."
We Are Going To Keep Aging And Aging
"That I lived to be 58 years old. I thought 30 was old."
"nah when I was 10 I thought 14+ year olds were basically adults. Becoming older than that was practically inconceivable."
"When I was a kid, for some reason I always subconsciously assumed that becoming an adult turned you into a completely different person with different interests that you wouldn't be able to relate to. I'd be really into a game I liked or a particular thing I was interested in and I'd sometimes wish "man, I really hope I still like this when I'm 25, that'd be so cool"."
"Of course I still like it. I'm the same person, just older! Getting older is a slow and gradual process, it's not like you just wake up one day and forget everything you liked when you were younger. Chances are if you found something you liked, you liked it for a reason and you can at least relate to that thought process and look back on it with nostalgia as an adult. Yes I liked Zelda games as a kid, and yes I'm sure as hell buying every new main console entry in the once-per-5-year event when a new one comes out. 10-year-old me would be surprised to hear that, even though it makes complete sense."
It's All Okay
"That I'm good. I'm happy. I have the family I always dreamed of having, an occasionally exciting job that gets me occasionally labeled a "hero" (such moments in reality are few and far between, but that's okay), and that I have the opportunity to pursue the things that make me happy."
"I always worried I'd grow up to be poor, jobless, or stuck working some job I couldnt stand. But somehow things have worked out."
"I'm not rich, and my life is far from perfect, but I'm happy."
Growing up is okay. Maybe that's the thing we should be explaining to our younger selves. It's not always going to be how we like, but if we change our thinking, it'll be how we can handle it.
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What is it about someone that captivates you instantly?
Could it be the twinkle in their eye as they talk about their passions? Or perhaps its their overwhelming sense of humor that draws in everyone in the room?
Whatever it might be, everyone has that one trait, that one quality, that can make them instantly interesting to someone listening nearby.
"What's one thing which makes someone interesting to you instantly?"
It doesn't even have to make sense why that person is interesting to you.
If they're only funny to you, and no one else, doesn't matter.
You'll sit, listening to them, for as long as you can.
Make Me Laugh
"Sense of humour"
"I have entire relationships that are built on mutual humor. Sincere humor is the best, when someone can be their full selves with you - serious moments are appreciated and occur but our love language with one another is our ability to laugh together."
You've Seen Things Others Haven't
"If they have traveled outside their home country or have lived/are living outside the home country."
"As someone who spent the last 15 years outside my home country, this is normal for me, or that they’ve learned a second language.(I have too just not always the language of my host country)."
Math And Numbers All The Way
- "If they're interested in math I instantly love them. Haven't met anyone tho"
- "Funny sarcasm a bit situational, but if someone is good at using sarcasm in a gunny way I want to be they're friend."
Totally Got Into A Fight With A Bear
"Facial scars, and not ones done intentionally. If you got a big ol scar on your face, you've seen some sh-t, and I am dying to hear about it."
"I have a fairly prominent scar close to my eye that I got from walking into the corner of a table as a 2yo."
"Can't say I've seen sh-t, but I sure as sh-t didn't see that table."
Conversations are tricky to navigate, especially when you think you'll do nothing but bring the group chat down.
That's why when someone perks their ears up to give you the floor, it's intriguing.
Let's Talk TOGETHER
"They draw people into the conversation by finding topics of mutual interest."
"A great tip for doing this is to abandon any embarrassment at knowing nothing about someone's passion. Instead of trying to change the subject or staying quiet, ask the basic questions that come to mind."
"You'll find there are two types of people - those who delight in explaining why they're so passionate to you in a way that makes their passion practically contagious and those who can't be bothered making an effort. The first group are the ones you want to talk to anyway, as they not only match the effort you made but make it effortless for both parties."
Take Your Time. I'll Listen.
"People who can find the sentence through all the stuttering I do and are actually interested to chat for an undetermined amount of time"
"Hang in there buddy! It's a shame how society treats people who stutter! I'm a speech therapist and the biggest problem for my patients isn't the stuttering, but the inability of other people to just take a little bit more time and let them finish their sentences on their own time"
Or Maybe We Don't Need To Talk At All
"Ability to enjoy and appreciate comfortable silences without having the need to constantly talk."
"Nothing's more annoying than someone who constantly talks just to fill the air."
You don't know why, you just know how it feels.
It's a gut thing, deep down inside, that lets you know this person is something special.
Let It Out
"Passion. Doesn't matter about what, they could be passionate about installing toilets and I'd listen to them. I find it infectious."
"YES fully f-cking agree. My friends always apologize when they go on about something I’m not into/haven’t even heard of, but I could listen to it for hours. Just hearing the excitement in their voice and seeing their eyes light up just soothes my soul."
"They’re not afraid to like things. I’m so bored of people whose personality is based around not liking things or being too cool for things. Coming from someone who used to be extremely cynical — cynicism is boring."
Eyes That Make You Feel
"Their eyes. Some people have very kind eyes and I’m extremely attracted to that."
"Omg this. So far I’ve only met one person with really kind eyes and there was a time when I was in bed just crying about it cause whenever he looks at me it’s like all the mistakes I’ve made in my life doesn’t matter"
Speak Your Truths
"Honesty. Even at their own expense. Extremely attractive trait in friends or significant others."
"Double this. It comes down to being able to accept wrong and being unafraid to open themselves up to judgment, criticism, and consequences of action, which is a huuuige display of strength, and == hot. Dishonesty is insecurity at best, malice at worst."
Trust your gut.
You never know what kind of fascinating individuals you'll be lucky enough to interact with.
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It's easy to be annoyed over petty things. We just have no time for nonsense when untoward actions get in the way of us trying to go about our day.
"What is something you hate with a passion?"Are some of these relatable?
It's best to avoid people with certain proclivities that leave a lot to be desired.
A Cowardly Role
"People who always are the victim no matter what they have done."
"People that cannot admit fault."
"People will respect you if you come out and say you messed up and you're sorry."
"People who make subtle rude comments in such a way that if you call them out they can make you look like the a**hole."
Below are example's of the actions of people ranging from annoying to absolutely unforgivable.
"People who block doorways. It just happened to me over the weekend, walking in and a family of 4 entering before me all blocked the way for myself and the guy behind me."
"I know I'm not running and I don't need to maintain a pace, but have some spatial awareness for gods sake."
Disrespectful Of Public Places
"Littering. How can anyone be that lazy and disgusting? Do they not use bins in their own homes?"
Epitome Of Irresponsibility
We may be guilty of some of the following we're too ashamed to admit.
"How aggressively and passionately people follow influencers and put them on a pedestal."
"It's so bizarre how apparent it is that someone has never been surrounded by smarter people. You'd listen more and be less confident if you know that you have much more things to learn and that you, too, can be wrong."
Not Relationship Material
"People who hold a conversation and then just stop texting back in the middle of said conversation, being left on read and people who cheat."
Prone To Judge
"People who judge a people by their appearance. I work a blue collar job and the looks I get when I'm off work at like a gas station makes me mad. I'm sorry I'm covered in grease and bs but I want a coke and need gas."
I have a very low tolerance for people who don't understand the concept of being punctual.
There are many variables causing a person to be late, whether it's for a date, work, or a friend with whom you've planned a coffee date to catch up.
Even though I'm a procrastinator in other situations, that is not the case when someone else is involved. I always allow myself plenty of time to get to where I need to be with some wiggle room for subway delays or traffic.
A 10-15 minute late window is perfectly fine. However, I've waited 30 minutes to an hour before for people, and they never had a valid excuse except for the fact that they are terrible at time management.
It's enough to get me fuming, but maybe that's on me for expecting everyone else to share the same mentality that people's time is precious.
Everyone talks about how the 20s are supposed to be the time of our lives. And that's largely true. But it's not all wine and roses.
Among all the freedom and youthful exuberance, so many people spend that decade struggling through the chaos of having absolutely no idea what their passion is.
And when we've internalized the desire to find an occupation that aligns with our values, sounds cool to talk about, and provides us with existential fulfillment, it can be difficult to identify the perfect fit.
So we hum along rather aimlessly.
Thankfully, some people do find their vocation and hunker down. But for others, it takes a little longer.
Perhaps struggling to locate that ideal passion, Redditor wibly_wobly_kid asked:
"People who discovered their passion at a later stage of life, what is it and how did you figure it out?"
Many people talked about making a career switch when they least expected. For the longest time, they new they didn't enjoy their work, but they didn't know what to do instead.
Hiding In Plain Sight
"I went to college twice in my early 20s for journalism and communications, but never graduated. I spent the rest of my 20s in a dead end food service job, miserable and angry at myself. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life"
"My extended family has lots of little ones (cousins having cousins) and every time there was a family get together, I always found myself playing with and entertaining the kids. One day, my uncle pointed out how good I was with kids, and did I ever consider working with them? I laughed it off but later thought 'hey, I have nothing better going on. What's the harm in researching a bit?' "
"I found out I could become an early childhood educator, working in daycares or kindergarten classes. So I applied to a couple of colleges and got in right away (applied on a Monday and got accepted the Friday). I quit my dead-end job and focused entirely on school. I made the dean's list all 4 semesters (something I have never done), and aced all my classes."
"I had a placement at a daycare/before and after school card place, and they hired me right after I finished my placement. So now I'm working there and happier than I ever was in my 20s"
Never Too Late
"Law. I was 45 when I went back to school. I'd worked blue collar jobs all my life, was a high school dropout. My daughter started taking paralegal classes and I thought, 'I could do that.' "
"So I got my GED and signed up for a 2-year paralegal certificate program through the local community college. Fell in love with law. Also discovered I was good at it. I had several professors who were lawyers tell me I'd be wasted as a paralegal and should go to law school."
"So I transferred to a 4-year school. Worked full time through undergrad and graduated with honors. Got into law school. I graduated law school at 55, oldest in my class. But I'd gone from being a high school dropout to a lawyer in just 10 years."
"Passed the California bar first try and I've been a public defender ever since, which is the only thing I ever wanted to do with it. I'm 60 now but I'm healthy and energetic and have a lot of years left. I love what I do, I'm very good at it, and it's the best move I ever made."
Every Week an Achievement
"Was 39 when I took a temp job in a social services type industry. Just basic stuff."
"Realised after a couple of years that I'd circled back to my idealistic 17yo self's plan for my career. Spent the previous 20 working sh** jobs I hated."
"Turns out it's really important to do something that aligns with your values. Finish the week feeling like I've contributed to society, rather than working to screw people for money."
Others discussed the passions they've discovered outside of their working life. These won't bring home any income, but their importance to life satisfaction cannot be understated.
"My dad discovered his life's biggest passion at 67. Mountain climbing. Serious mountaineering."
"He climbed Kilimanjaro and Whitney just months apart."
Plenty More Shredding In Store
"I started Rollerskating (on ramps) just before I turned 40 , it's never too late to start, you just need more safety gear :)"
"I've been doing it for years now I'm in my mid 40s and still rollin. It makes me a bit sad I didn't start when I was younger, but I reckon i've got another ten years left in me."
Moving the Needle On Women's Pockets
"Sewing/tailoring clothes. On a whim I took a class at a local community center and got hooked. After learning some basics in the class and following some YouTube videos I can make a passable pair of pants/trousers and basic shirts. I'm lucky that my local library had sewing machines you could check out so I didn't need to commit any real money early on."
"The best thing to come out of learning this new skill was making a pair of pants with actual pockets for my wife. Guys, you have not seen joy until you see your wife get a pair of functional custom pants with human-sized pockets. I thought her head was going to explode she was so happy."
Keep an Ear Out for Jingles
"I always wanted to learn an instrument that wasn't academic related."
"Over COVID lockdown I picked up the guitar."
"I picked it up pretty quick. So I learned the drums."
"Now I'm finishing building a music studio. I wanna write commercial jingles and just throw a bunch of sh** online for fun"
Unexpected, But Sounds Awesome
"I'm 31, but one year ago I discovered camels. Now I own three. I love them 🥰" -- ZhenHen
"I assume you are not talking about cigarettes, so how does one acquire not only one but three camels? Where do you live? How much did they cost? I'm very intrigued." -- dufresne90
"When you're into camels, every day is Hump Day." -- HolIerer
And a few put a finer point on the nature of that work vs. hobbies dynamic. They assured that one's professional career doesn't necessarily have to provide all the fulfillment they're looking for.
Sometimes, we just need to punch the clock.
Earning Free Time
"PSA: you don't have to be passionate about your job. Your passion can be a hobby you do in your free time. I don't think I will ever find a vocational passion."
"Used to think I was broken because of that but really there is no requirement to be head over heels about what puts money on the table and food in the pocket!"
Career's Moving, Still Painting
"Late 40s here. Got a book called Learn to Draw in 30 Days about 4 years ago. Then about 3 years ago I heard about #the100daychallenge where the goal is to create art every day for 100 days. I never stopped and made it a goal to hit 1000 days."
"In that time, I won contests, got about two hundred commissions, raised over $5000 for a charity, and had a great time. When I hit the 1000 days back in December, I decided to go back to college and get an art degree. I signed up for classes and talked with my manager at work to see how much they would pay for college, she was excited that I was going to get a business degree and said she'd work on getting all of the classes covered."
"Free college became too tempting to pass up so now I'm planning on getting the business degree and then on to law school because they'll pay for that too. I just finished my first semester with a 4.0 and I'm on day 1136 of my non-stop painting journey."
So if you're still looking around for your passion and feeling discouraged, rest assured that it might come your way when you least expect it.
And life is long, my friends.
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Thankfully some of us aren't totally enveloped in the complete dystopia that is the USA job market.
Some of us actually love going to work every day. (Or working from home every day.)
Who are these magic beings? They live among us.
Yes, it's true. Someone YOU know loves their job.
Don't believe me? Take a look below...
Here were some of those answers.
I think up and draw cartoons. Every day. A syndicated comic for newspapers. Only learned to draw at age 43 so it's been a cool midlife turn. I'm one of those handful of people trying to be at least a fraction of what Gary Larson was/is.
Virtual Yet Practical
Matte painter for film.
It's fun and lives at the intersection between having to have artistic talent and technical experience. Honestly sometimes it can be maddening as I come from a creative background (traditional illustration and sculpture) so certain programs are like going from speaking French to speaking Chinese.
But all in all it's fun to see your work when it's composited into a film and get to see the shots before any VFX goes in.
Frankly it's surprising just how many movies use VFX and I can assure you it's almost everything you've seen including smaller independent films.
-Insert Jurassic Park Theme-
I make replicas of dinosaur fossils for museum display. The company I work for does full sized replicas, but I primarily work in the division that creates teeth and claw replicas, and a few scaled down skull replicas, for gift shops.
Carpentry Became Her
Facilities—a glorified janitor.
The position has morphed, I started by cleaning floors and toilets. Now so many of my creative strengths are used. We're updating our campus, so we build furniture, construct new walls and stages, choose paint colors, engineer unique solutions for an aging campus, and so much more. I've learned electrical, concrete work, welding, sound engineering, drywall, installation of floors, ceilings, doors, stage backdrops, you name it. If something needs be be done, we get it done. I love it.
Come Back Broadway!
Before the pandemic shut everything down I was a Broadway dresser! I got to work backstage on some awesome shows with pretty costumes and be a part of the magic, it was such a rewarding feeling.
I'm a Meteorologist. I look at weather all around the world and work directly with Fortune 500 companies to help them prepare for natural disasters.
Considering I've wanted to be a Meteorologist since I was 5, it's a dream come true and I feel blessed.
Sexy Librarian Status
I was a college librarian for 21 years up until recently and loved my job. Interacting with students, faculty, technology, having access to any normal article or book, having a sense of helping appreciative people. It was a dream. My commute was 7 minutes. Decent pay, good benefits. (I can't do chats. Sorry! My iPad can't handle them.)
Everything is free.
I don't have to sell anything.
People come in because they want to be there.
I get to help people who want to be helped, or provide and environment where they can chill and relax.
They only owe money when stuff is late.
A Hard Time For This Work
I'm a social worker. Currently I work with seniors who live alone with a disability and have no family to take care of them. I plan on getting my masters and becoming a therapist. After working construction for 8 years and getting a degree in business I said screw it and followed my passion regardless of what everybody in my life said. I am so. Glad. That i made that decision.
It was really hard to get myself into the mindset that it's not too late. Once I was there though, I wasn't leaving. I put my foot down and was determined. Went to a community college, got 12 credits, working an entry level social work job and will be applying for my masters once this shit show of a pandemic is over... or maybe when i cave and decide to do online classes. Either way I feel like i'm living my dream, even though i'm not nearly where I want to be... yet.
Art Isn't Easy
Freelance illustrator and graphic designer.
I've always liked the idea of making things that are useful to people in any way, and I always try to apply this mentality into my work. Not to mention that stimulating my creativity is something I've always enjoyed, and something this line of work requires on a constant basis.
Of course, creative blocks are an issue occasionally, but it's still something I truly enjoy.