Hope you are doing well and livin' life like we always have. I turned 25 last week, and I wanted to write this letter to you, so that one day down the road you can look back on it and see how far you've come. I think as we age over time, this letter will resonate differently with each year you read it. I can only imagine when you hit your next quarter-century mark, how different the world will look. As I write this, I'll be thinking about you sitting down in the year 2046, hopefully smiling, and remembering these times.
I am writing this to you on my blog I started this year, the Bonker Beat. I've really picked up a knack for investing and business, and I've enjoyed giving this writing thing a go. I have only written 10 or so blogs so far, and I started a few social accounts on Twitter, IG, and even TikTok. I'm god-awful at making content so far and still feel slightly embarrassed every time I make a video, or a tweet, or a new post on social. But I hope I stick with it, because I truly believe that the creator economy and social media movement will completely re-shape the way we market and conduct business. I'm willing to bet that individual people and creators will make up a larger total % market share of advertising revenue than traditional media companies by the time you're reading this as a 50 year-old in 2046. I still don't believe we have fully wrapped our head's around the power of the internet here in the year 2021, and how the free and immediate distribution of information has forever disrupted the way we conduct business.
As I write this I think about how even the most cutting-edge technology I am interacting with right now will be child's play to what you are used to now. I currently have an iPhone 10, and still need to plug my phone into the wall and charge it every night before I go to bed. I spend too much time glued to my phone, but so does basically everyone I know and hang out with. I wonder if people still use Apple iPhones, or if we have moved on to a new medium of communication and connectivity. It seems impossible to think of the world without Apple and iPhones, but then again 25 years ago the world also wouldn't have been even able to comprehend what an iPhone was because the internet was still in its earliest phases, and nowhere near ready for the mobile applications we use it for today.
I drive a 2018 Subaru Outback that I got from my first job working as a Territory Sales Manager at Mars Wrigley. It runs on gas, and I have to go to a gas station once a week and pay $50 to fill it up. If you turn on the news they are talking about Tesla and electric vehicles nearly every day. They say that by the end of this decade all new cars will be 100% electric. I wonder how that turns out. I wonder if we are even driving cars by 2046, or if they are all autonomous by then. I wonder if there are even CARS or if we've finally made the jump to the Jetsons and we're just whipping around in tiny little space shuttles. (Alright Gordo calm down, lets not get carried away)
Me and the Subaru, Sept. 2020, Portland, Maine
This past year was probably one you still remember vividly, the year of the Covid-19 pandemic. I was in quarantine with Mom, Dad, and Johnny for months, and even went almost 2 months without seeing Amanda. There was no sports for 6 months, March Madness and the Masters were cancelled, and we as a society became so bored we started posting edited Instagram stories of Bill Clinton holding our favorite 4 albums. Here was mine:
Also, since work was remote and I had literally nowhere to go or anything to do, I tried growing a beard, and BOY do I hope you are better at it by now then I was last year. Here's a video of me I found in our childhood bedroom back at the Lodge playing "Shallow," on the guitar that shows how bad it was:
Jokes aside, 2020 and the pandemic were some of the most challenging times the world had faced since I was brought into it. There was political and social unrest, the stock market crashed, and millions of people lost loved ones and family members from the deadly disease. It was unlike anything I had ever seen, and hopefully I will never see it again. But I think we learned a lot from it, and I believe there is a lot of change coming from it that probably has lasting effects still in your day-to-day life.
As I mentioned before, work went completely remote for over a year. We are starting to see some offices open up now or in the near future, and most companies are looking to try a "hybrid" approach, having employees come in a few days a week. I am still unsure that will actually stick. I think for many people, the toothpaste's out of the tube, and they know they can be just as productive remotely without the hassles of commuting.
For me personally, I miss going out into the world for work. At first, I enjoyed the flexibility that WFH offered. However I recently switched companies in the midst of the pandemic, and it really hit me how hard it is to onboard, meet new people, and learn a new role. The remote aspect of work for new people is extremely challenging, and I don't know how we continue on this path of complete solitude in our home offices. My mental health has never been more challenged than it has been from the changing dynamics of work, and the isolation that still exists within it. I am, and hope I always will be, an extrovert and people-person by nature. I love people, and need to be in an environment that allows me to leverage my love of building meaningful relationships with others. And I just like to talk! In the remote world as it exists today, we only talk to our peers when something is needed. I don't get to talk to people about the game last night, or their weekend, or their hobbies. (People forget, I was voted most talkative in High School)
There's a Brad Paisley song called, "Letter to Me" that inspired me to write this blog to you. There's something powerful about the idea of connecting with another version of yourself. I think back to the 12 year old kid, back in Sparta, NJ that just wanted to be on a baseball field from sun up to sun down, and play at the Lodge with his friends. I'm so thankful that those same guys I was with then, can still all usually be found just down the street from me here in Morristown, NJ every Friday night. And I know that they will still be there 25 years from now too, maybe not down the road, but I can bet they're all still just a phone call away. I also feel like the luckiest guy in the word, because everyday I wake up next to the same girl I started dating in college, and I hope that never changes. I love Amanda dearly, and I hope the two of you are laughing and reading this together thinking back on some of our early times together both at school and here in Morristown with our motley crew. I also hope we've gotten a dog by then, because if not, I can imagine Amanda has been giving you some serious grief about that.
25 years has gone by incredibly fast. I've been blessed beyond my wildest dreams to have had the family, friends, experiences I have been given through the first quarter of this game called life. I am sure we will have some more ups and downs as the second quarter starts, and I might not be ready for it all, but that's okay. That's part of the game. I'm just happy to playing it.
I guess I'll see you in the mirror.