Dear 27-year-old Yvette,

Today is my 2nd anniversary with Work.

Because hindsight is only useful in how you take it to shape the future, here are five things I’ve learned in the past two years that could hopefully make you, future Yvette, a better person:

  1. Your job will never love you as much as you want to love it. It’ll beat you down and wear you out and take away your dreams. But hey, now you realise that it’s just a bloody job. You chose it, and you chose to stay, and you can also choose to leave.
  2. Your work doesn’t matter. Really, it doesn’t. Even if you mess up this little thing, the world will still be spinning, the moon will still be there, and the universe will still be ticking on. The universe doesn’t give a shit about that typo in a magazine most people have already tossed into the recycling bin.
  3. Set your own standards. You started out trying to meet other people’s standards, and that’s a good start, because you wouldn’t know what the baseline is at the beginning. But when you realise that you disagree and don’t care for the standards of others, you bloody well set your own damn standards to meet. Don’t let it become a situation where you don’t care about the quality of your work and you just want it done and gone. You need to find something – even a little thing – to find pride in.
  4. Motivation is an elusive bitch. You’re going to chase it and lose it and fall down multiple times in pursuit. That’s normal. But you have to go after it anyway: Get up, and go. Right now, I look at the people I severely dislike, and I think, Fuck if my standards sink to theirs, and I let that be my motivation.
  5. Your work in Life is to create meaning. Yes, you need to work because you need money to survive. But to live, you need to create meaning. And you know you are at your happiest when you take words and craft a world within them. You love writing. Keep at it. Don’t let your job take the joy out of it. Write what you want. Write what you love. And hopefully, you are now closer to the dream than I currently am. Gotta hustle.

Future Yvette, I hope I wouldn’t recognise you when I meet you. The person I was a year ago, two years ago is definitely not the person I am today, and I think I would find you as much a stranger as you find me.

Good luck, and have fun.

And because this is relevant right now, I wish you fair winds and following seas.

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