Kristy Sullivan with cousin Adam Lockhart circa 1979

5 Things I Would Tell My Younger Self

Why is it when May rolls around each year, we suddenly feel ourselves going warp speed? We now have two college graduates and I feel the tears flowing inside (I am not much of a public crier). I can’t believe those cute little blond kiddos are grown up and starting their lives.

As I look back on the past couple of weeks, I realize that life is so short. If I were to visit my 20 year-old self, I would have some things I would like to tell her.

1. Don’t Major in Music

Especially don’t double major in music. I have two (nearly three) degrees in music. What do I do today? I am a user experience engineer and I teach flute lessons and write music for fun on the weekends.

It’s not that I regret my music degrees, I just have to fight twice as hard for where I am today, not making enough money with music. I have to make a living so having reliable work is imperative at this point in my life. If I had gotten a degree in business or marketing, I would have more of an edge in the business I had before the tech bubble and also in today’s workplace.

Minor in music only and enjoy all the fun gigs as a hobby. Get the knowledge in business or something you can use in the future.

2. Be Vulnerable

This area of my life needs the most improvement. Being one of the few women in music composition and web development over the years, I felt I had to be strong and never let anyone know how I feel. Looking back, this may have been a big disadvantage in my life. It’s not too late for being vulnerable in my work (user experience). It’s an ongoing thing that I am working with.

Being vulnerable will open many doors for you and help you grow in your work.

3. Be Intentional About Your Friends

Here at Ramsey Solutions, we surround ourselves with awesome people we call ‘thoroughbreds’, people that are well-rounded in every way, great personality, have a passion for the mission here, not afraid to work hard, the best in their field, etc. I wish I had been more open-minded and reached out to the thoroughbreds of my school days, as I feel we would still be inseparable friends and encouraged each other throughout life’s hardships and victories.

Today, I have learned to hang out with those that share the same passions, great work ethics, and best at what they do.

4. Don’t Lead Them On

This is a hard one to write about. For me at least. I believe that God leads us to the right people at the right time. The journey to that ‘God’ point was painful, as I learned a lot about myself and areas I needed to improve. Along the way, it seemed I led some hopefuls in thinking there was a future with me. I am truly happy in my life and with my husband. God knew what he was doing when he put us together.

My advice is to be transparent with your feelings when talking to the ones you are closest to or have meaningful relationships with.

5. Be Fearless

Anxiety sucks. I apparently was a very anxious kid growing up and throughout my college days. I finally got help and feel 110% better. In the early days, I used to throw up before every solo performance. I used to be sick for days at a time when a big event was about to happen. I was a mess! With anxiety, comes fear. Lots of fear. It crippled me in everything I did. It kept me from moving forward with my dreams. Don’t let this happen to you! Don’t be afraid. That’s resistance, and resistance will never quit. It will drag you down. It indicates what you want to do is what you should do.