My Future Self is Here and it’s Not What I Expected
You may have started building your legacy without knowing it.
Recently, I, along with my wife, daughter and her husband decided to make the 13-hour drive to Toronto. It was Thanksgiving weekend 2022, and we were excited to celebrate with our oldest son and his girlfriend. After all, it’s the closest he’s been to us geographically since 2014.
The Old Radio Station
On Saturday, since we weren’t far from our old stomping grounds of 35 years ago, we decided to drive to the old neighborhood.
Memories of decades past flooded my mind. I was 25 and excited to have landed a gig as an on-air announcer at Canada’s top country station, “CFGM 1320, Toronto’s Best Country.”
It was the eighth year of my broadcasting career, having worked at stations in New Brunswick and Newfoundland. I had made it! Unknown to me, I was building my broadcasting legacy. Back then, I wanted time to freeze. I couldn’t imagine life being any better.
Waves of Change
During my short time there, I was swept through a wave of changes. Personnel changes, a frequency change from 1320 to 640 AM and then a format change which left me behind. When the tide receded, I felt like a starfish on the beach. All I wanted was gone and they had moved on without me and my identity.
Thinking back, I could never have dreamed of who my future self would be, nor of the legacy I was building.
As my wife and I stand in front of what I think were the studios (I’m not certain…even the street number is gone!), I am only momentarily sad. We entered the building—the downstairs is now a clinic/pharmacy—it used to be just a pharmacy—to inquire.
The employees were as confused as I was. They wouldn’t have been born when I worked upstairs! It seemed like time had erased this part of my life—as if I’d never been there to experience it. I don’t know what I expected as I peeked around corners hoping to find something familiar. Not the usual boisterous greeting from Big Jim Marshall or a friendly chat with Gary O’Brien. Only in my mind.
The Common Thread Discovered
Looking back allows me to see the thread I could not see connecting me to my future self. That thread is communication. Most of the time, I was on the giving end of communication. Radio, stand-up, preaching, public speaking, emceeing, writing.
I still write, but these last few years I learned the importance of being on the receiving end of communication. Listening. Really listening. I wonder what I missed when I was talking.
In 1988, no one helped me see my future self, but somehow, I made it. Finding that thread about 10 years ago has helped me to make sense of it all. Now I work with clients to help them see their future selves so they can be more aware of the legacies they’re building.
Building Your Legacy
Every action you take is building your legacy.
The blustery wind nudged us toward the car as I took one last look at the old radio station building on Yonge Street. I was there. It was great. It mattered. My 1988 self could never imagine my future self…the me of today.
I’m a dad to three wonderful adult children, a husband to a kind and loving wife. I’m a follower of Christ and I’m a guy who, as a coach, gets a lot of joy out of helping others see what I could not.
No, you can’t go back. But you were there. What you did and what you do matters. Whether you know it at the time, every experience, every action, is a brick in your legacy.
I’m Brent Roy, PCC, CPLC, CMC, a certified career, executive and personal development coach and certified mentor coach. I can help you gain clarity in building your legacy. For more ways I can help, reach out to me.
(I originally posted a version of this article on LinkedIn) Please feel free to leave comments there.