I am sitting here at my desk considering and reflecting about what I should tell my younger self.
It is a big responsibility.
If I influence myself to actively pursue or avoid something, then I could change who I am now.
Every trigger action has a resulting consequence, good or bad. Cause and effect.
So rather than advise myself, I choose to simply reassure myself.
I would appear to myself as a ragged old man with a swirling cloak, a long staff, and a wispy grey beard. Someone familiar, wise, ancient, 8-bit.
I would exclaim to my former self in a booming voice, "You have accomplished so much. There is much more to come. The moments are everything. Enjoy them! Don't worry, you are going to be okay. Take more holidays!"
I would keep it positive. I wouldn't want to be rich. I wouldn't want to be poor. I wouldn’t want to change things, no matter how bad or good they get. I don't believe in fate or destiny; I believe that we are all creatures of endless possibility.
As a boy, I enjoyed reading about magical faraway trees and friends who journeyed to imaginary lands to fight against evil. I read as much as I could all about the myths and legends of ancient Greece, Egypt, Mesopotamia, the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Norse gods, and the ancient Green Man who still resides in gardens all over the U.K. I loved the adventures of Sun-Wukong the Monkey King on his Journey to the West, his powerful staff made from a mountain, his chaotic vagabond spirit. I read about nature, wildlife, and the delicate ecosystem we share on this planet.
I attended university and studied for a Bachelor of Science in computer communications at Northampton University. I was not particularly clever or studious, but I was determined, and I didn't give up.
I learned about neural networks, spectral equations, X25, all the theoretical stuff we rely on every day.
I postulated about the multiverse, secret societies, and the Big Bang.
I learned first-hand about mind control and subsequently about fear and the dangers of quackery and woo. The internet helped me find like-minded individuals who supported each other. I explored our capacity to survive and to move on and that there is no instruction manual for life.
I was inspired by Carl Sagan and his Pale Blue Dot.
An opportunity to travel presented itself and I took it. I wholeheartedly recommend this to everyone. Go get your bags packed, leave your desk behind, and have adventures.
I saw the beautiful golden skink lizard who ran over my feet in Australia. I swam around the Maldives and saw the damage we are doing to our beautiful world. I sat amongst the flax in New Zealand watching for yellow-eyed penguins. I swam with the fishes off the edge of a huge reef searching for black pearls in the Cook Islands. I met a flying German botanist named Wolfgang from Leipzig who taught me to go slow and appreciate my surroundings. I was audited for Thetans on Hollywood Boulevard. I discovered music, my singing bowl, guitars, ukuleles, and an old tape of the Bee Gees that kept me going while driving with a boating injury in New Zealand.
I helped out at an international cheerleading competition, learned how to tumble like a clown, and still avoided learning to dance. I found my place on the front line of a political protest. I met a Nazi nun and an ex-Metropolitan police chief who I upset because he was prejudice and I told him so. I am the only person I know who has crashed an electric car halfway up a lamp post. It was icy.
My trade was learned in data centres, garages, workshops, back offices under stairs in data cabs, with interesting people who all have amazing stories. I've seen technology change. I'm amazed where we are now and I can't wait to see where we are going.
I have been lucky enough to be able to afford my own home, lucky enough to find a wife, lucky enough to have a child, lucky enough to have supportive family and friends, lucky enough to have a lot of animal friends. I also discovered I preferred being vegetarian, most of the time.
I lost my father recently to dementia. A horrible experience. If you know anyone who has it, hug them. It’s too late to learn things from him now.
In 2013, I formed a limited U.K. company based around SolarWinds monitoring technology. SolarWinds made my work interesting again and gave me purpose. SolarWinds gave me the tools and access to knowledge I needed to help others.
It became possible for me to walk into a room and know things.
I know things all the time now and so do you.
So after all this, would I traverse space and time to give myself advice?
I've seen the movies, the paradoxes, the risks, that a butterfly effect or a sliding door could disrupt time and space messing things up and I wouldn't be me and you might not be you.
If I was to go now, into the unknown.
I would go with a smile, knowing that I have lived.
Laugh with me and have a wonderful Xmas!