bts...Behind the Scenes

Message to my Younger Self

Johnny Botts Get Smart Jennifer Johnson Campaign

Out to dinner this week, Bench and I had a conversation about what we might say to our younger selves. What advice would we give with our current perspective?

I remembered an incident of my younger self that gave me a glimmer of advice, but I didn't follow through until years later.

I was attending a dinner at my high school to welcome new members of the National Honor Society. The National Honor Society recognizes scholarship and other characteristics in students, so it was supposed to be a big honor to be invited and to belong. I'm sure there were speeches and sparkling cider toasts, but only one part of the program made an impression on me--a student choir performing.

I didn't have a desire to sing, but I recognized that the choir had talent, and they were doing something they clearly enjoyed. I thought in that moment that I had done nothing. All I had ever done was work and study to get good grades. I was sad, and thought (hilariously now, given that I was in high school) that it was too late for me.

My advice to my younger self--and to anyone else who might see this--would be to actively look for things you enjoy doing, and start doing them now, not later. Find a way to fit into life the things you enjoy! I feel fortunate making the transition from a long work career into an art career, but it was a process. I started by painting in found moments--after work, lunch hours, and weekends. Now I paint nearly every day!

How about you? What have you learned and what advice would you give your younger self?