Saturday, November 10, 2012

A letter to my younger self

One of my fellow bloggers, the MFP, wrote today about whether she'd ever go back in time and change anything if she were given the option.  It's something that I wrote about before when I did the 30 Days of Truth Challenge, both in terms of things I wish I'd done, and thing I wish I hadn't.

When I wrote my answers, I was in a very different place than I am now.

More different than you are thinking possible, I promise.

I've been thinking about writing on this topic for a while, more specifically on what I would tell my younger self.

Let's just say that I have spent an inordinate amount of time re-evaluating things lately.  Wondering if things would be different if this had happened, or this hadn't happened, if  I'd made this choice, or taken a different path.

Part of this re-evaluation, I think, is part of getting older in general.  Wondering if the grass is greener on the other side.  Musing about the what ifs.  Part of it is forced and situational, an inevitable consequence.

It's true, of course, that no one can ever go back in time and change what they've done.  So, in large part, talking about it even just as a theoretical possibility is an exercise in futility, destined to further frustrate us.

It's also true, I think, that most of us, with enough time, understand that to go back and alter whatever has happened in the past would almost certainly change where we are now.  The butterfly effect.  One ripple there, a huge crashing wave here. Presumably because most of us wouldn't go back and change anything small and insignificant, but we would change those things which altered our lives already.

I'd like to say that I still believe that I wouldn't go back and change things, that I've made my peace with the current universe I dwell in, but I know that is wrong.  I know that there are things now that I would give anything to change, though most of them aren't things that were ever in my control in the first place.  They were the outcomes of choices made by other people in other mindsets in other dimensions.  Even if they affected me irrevocably, they don't involve me at that level.

And so, I suppose that if I were to write a letter to my younger self, I would not caution her too much about what the future would hold.  I wouldn't want her to know what would happen.  I wouldn't want her to believe even for one second that she could ever be responsible for the choices of others.

I would tell her to stay just the way she is.

I would tell her to follow her heart.

I would tell her that she is strong.

I would tell her that she is capable.

I would tell her to stay true to who she is.

But I don't need to tell her those things.  She already knows.  She knew them then, and she knows them now.

If I could tell her just one thing, it would be that she will make it through all that stuff someday, and that she'd be sitting at a computer on a dreary Fall morning deciding not to write a letter to herself today.


  1. I hope I am never given the chance to change something. I would fear damaging the perfectly imperfect life I have now. :) It's good when we can recognize the strength that we have. This was a great post!

  2. I kind of hate the letter to my younger self. Like I would've read it at the time anyway...

    Whenever I think about how I might change something, it freaks me out because of the idea that my present situation would be different than it is. Because as crappy as things sometimes are, I figure they can always get worse. So I'll just take this. I have a ton of stuff to be grateful for.

    Anyway, you are wise and wonderful as usual. xo

    1. Right??? At least I know and am adjusted to this version of crazy.

  3. well done. you argued with yourself quite a bit in there, didn't you? in the end, it all works out. we have no control. your letter to yourself needn't be written because you've done beautifully so far. :)

    1. I like to hope so. I tend to walk right up to the edge of crazy....but step away just in time.

  4. OOOF! I love this! I can so relate.. Reevaluating is totally natural especially during tough are awesome..xo

  5. One day, I will write that letter.


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