Advice for the Young at Heart

Mike Scarpiello
5 min readNov 14, 2023

Thoughts on living an extraordinary life

Tears for Fears, AKA Curt Smith (left) and Roland Orzabal. Photograph: Peter Noble/Redferns

When I was 22, I had just graduated from college and was working at a dead-end retail job on the East Side of Cleveland. I had no dreams. I had no aspirations. No goals. There was no internet. No Facebook. No online job searching. You still had to look at the want ads if you were seeking employment.

If you wanted to own your own business you either bought an existing business or started something out of your home. You couldn’t make money selling things on eBay or Etsy. You couldn’t start a blog and litter it with Amazon ads. You couldn’t get a job in social media doing the same things you were already doing at home all day. To make a movie you needed a real camera with actual film, not just a GoPro or an iPhone.

Life is exponentially easier overall now. I traverse the city via Uber. My groceries come from Instacart. I get job openings emailed to me every morning from LinkedIn and Indeed. I trade stocks free on my phone using Robinhood. And I run errands using Zipcar.

All this being as it may, my advice to myself or anyone else at the ripe young age of 22 would be basically the same. Here are 5 recommendations I would make to a 22-year-old:

Oscar Mike (On the Move)

A Pew Research Center survey taken a few years back showed that 57% of Americans have not lived in the U.S. outside their current state, 37% have never left their hometown, and 20% have left their hometown but have never lived outside their current state. Most of those surveyed stated family ties as a major part of their decision. I can understand this up to a point.

For me though, I don’t think there was ever a time I didn’t think of moving away from my hometown. I moved to Florida for 3 years, and then to Chicago where I’ve been ever since. Granted, I have not lived in a lot of U.S. cities, but I think getting out of your hometown can be a major factor in exploring new places and new faces, and can open up a whole world of new experiences. I recommend trying a handful of major U.S. cities (or cities in other countries) before picking one to settle down in. You may even decide to return home someday.

Smile, You’re Traveling

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Mike Scarpiello

Senior Experience Designer, writer, musician, poet, humorist, mountaineer, world traveler, bull runner, music, craft beer enthusiast.