It seems like it was only yesterday that I was wondering what my future will be like in 10 years.
I was 20. Little did I know that at 32, I’d be remembering that exact moment and wishing I could go back in time to speak to that hopeless, impatient, and worried girl.
I know, I’m only halfway there. But compared to my 20s, oh, boy! I hardly recognize myself in the mirror. And age has nothing to do with it. For me, the end of my 20s marked the beginning of a totally different phase.
That said, I look back and wish I could meet that old self of mine. I would tell her a lot of things she didn’t know back then—especially about love. Not that I know everything now, but I undoubtedly know better than before.
So I’ve been thinking about those things—what I would tell her, how I would guide her, and what she could change about herself.
When I shared this thought with my husband, he asked me about what I would tell her about love.
So I asked him to go first because my list was definitely much longer than his.
I expected all kinds of answers. But I didn’t expect him to tell me, “Nothing.” He simply wouldn’t tell his 22-year-old self anything.
Folks, I frowned at him.
I have at least 20 things on my list, and he says “nothing” to his old self?
Surprised, I asked him, “How come?”
He said, “I don’t have anything to say to my old self because I wouldn’t change anything. I would leave everything as is. If I change one bit from my past or advise my younger self to do things differently, I could risk changing the course of the events happening right now—the events that have led me to you. That said, if you insist, I’d tell my younger self to have faith—faith that the future holds good things.”
Okay, remember the 20 things I had previously mentioned? In that moment, I felt they were petty. When he asked me again about my own list, I told my husband that he was right, and I probably shouldn’t wish to change anything either.
It’s funny how we spend most of our lives thinking about what we could have done differently. We wish we could go back there and change something—anything—that points to a better, happier, more promising future.
But, really, would we do that? Does anyone of us have the courage to cut the thread that has led us here? I wouldn’t. I don’t want to.
So, no. I wouldn’t say anything to my 22-year-old self about love. Let her fall. Let her break. Let her heart shatter into thousands of pieces because one day—one f*cking day—she will be okay. She will learn, heal, grow, and trust that things are interconnected.
Do you have anything to say to your old self? Don’t. Let your old self be.