I like to joke that I am who I am today because I did everything wrong in my 20's. I've always been fearless, and it often got me in trouble. I wasn't afraid to start a business, borrow a bunch of money, or quit a well-paying job to travel the world.
Now that I'm in my 30's, life is pretty good. While I haven't learned it all, I feel my head is screwed on straight enough that life is much less stressful. I've come into my own and built the foundation for a secure and prosperous future.
Even though things are going well, I often imagine what it would be like to go back into the past and teach myself what I know now. I know enough to be certain that I lost most of my twenties to a struggle with debt and poor decisions. If I had done things differently, maybe I could have been where I am now at age 22.
I know, it doesn't do any good to ask what if. If I had known it all at age 22: I probably would have been a little cocky. Doing things the hard way seasoned my character. I like who I am and I wouldn't change a thing.
Sometimes I imagine that I'm in a fishing boat, thousands of miles away from the life I know, slowly drifting across a lake: As I recline at an uncomfortable angle created by the wood bench, I glance over at the 18 year-old version of myself and upload my wisdom to him.