I’ve been dying to meet you for as long as I can remember. When I was little, I wondered who you would be as a ten-year-old, as a teenager, as a college student, as a 20-something. Now I wonder who you will be a year from now (hopefully a happy, productive, 26-year-old graduate student), or as a 30-year-old. I hope you’ll be a fun 40-year-old, a hilarious 60-year-old, and a cool 80-year-old.
I want to meet you today, mostly because I stopped believing in God a few years ago. I’m pretty okay with this, except that I am at the disadvantage of having to take full responsibility for how my life turns out, rather than leaving it all to a higher power. Not to put too much pressure on you, Future Me, but that kind of makes you my higher power. I want you to come to me as a 90-year-old, or even a 26-year-old, and tell me that I’m on the right track. You don’t have to whip out the crystal ball and tell me the name of my future book or future spouse (and hopefully they come in that order), but I would appreciate some guidance.
There are times I wish I could talk to my old self too, so I understand what it’s like to be in your position. I want to go back to 5-year-old me and tell myself that my life is good, and that there will come a day when I laugh at all the problems I thought I had. I want to find 9-year-old me and tell myself to quit measuring my waist already, and to just take care of myself as I start puberty instead of fretting about my shape. I want to talk to the middle-schooler me and reassure that popularity is artificial and fleeting, and a total sham. I want to tell the high-schooler me that while it is true that college will be way better, there are plenty of good things and good people in high school, and to slow down and enjoy it. I would tell the 24-year-old me that I do know what I really want, but that I just need the courage to actually admit that I want it and go for it.
Hopefully you can understand better why I yearn for your sage advice, even though I know it’s not possible to get. Maybe it’s just something I’m not meant to have. Perhaps learning is really only learning when you live through it. I wonder – if I heard it from you, would my understanding be the same?