Ten years from now you will be 35 years old. Hello future me. How are you? Is life treating you well? I wonder if you will have settled into adulthood by now, perhaps playing the role of mother in a white picket fenced house. Or have you forsaken the society you have often been so critical off in your younger years for a globetrotting quest a la ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, a book you have been equally critical of? I guess what I am trying to ask is if you have found an antidote to your restlessness.
Dear future me, I hope you remember how happy you were at this very moment. The 20th of January 2019. A friend has recently proclaimed that at 25 years old we have made it in life. She was referring to the fact that we drink expensive wine at dinner parties now rather than starting nights we don’t (wish to) remember with £4 bottles from the corner shop. Yet you have so much more to be grateful for than your choice of intoxicant. You now have boyfriend who knows what the letters R-E-S-P-E-C-T mean in that consecutive order. Gone are the days you sit on your best friend’s floor crying over the guy who didn’t deserve you in the first place. Will those dreadful days have made a return in your life by 35? Speaking of floors, you currently live in cute little apartment on top of a hill with stained hardwood floors and a collection of adorable house plants.
Future me, I wonder if you have finally gone to Patagonia, the place you have been dreaming of since you were fifteen. Although at 25 you have yet to visit this corner of the world, I hope you will always continue to understand how grateful you should be for all the travels you have been able to make. And continue to make those travels.
Fear sometimes gets in the way of younger you. You have come a long way already and have learnt to deal with the crippling anxiety of your early twenties. You have found that stillness and nature are the best remedies for almost all of your woes. Yet at 25 you still struggle with fear of the unknown, worry and self-doubt. Have you added some more strategies to your repertoire by now? Can you confidently chase after all your dreams? If so, would you mind sharing your secrets with me?
Future me, I hope you still find yourself beautiful. Do you still take pride in your feminine figure, your big blue eyes and your delicate hands? You should recall you have made significant progress in accepting not only your best physical features, but also your slightly large nose, your blemished skin and your crooked teeth. Will you have come to terms with the wrinkles that have set into your face by now? Have you learned to appreciate your external appearance without using it as a way to deflect from the insecurities you have about your introverted personality?
At 25 you are not as lost as you once were. The dust of youth has settled a bit and you have managed to nestle into a particular mould of life without experiencing the angst of Torschlusspanick* on a daily basis. You still feel uneasy sometimes with choosing one particular avenue in life, as you worry that it might close the door to other options for good. I wonder if at 35 you have started over once again. Have you forced open the gate to another life or has life perhaps forced you to forsake your current path in search of a new one. I am curious what similarities our lives have. Are you still working in marketing, are you still mad about travelling and lukewarm about having children and are you still with the first boy you could ever see yourself grow old with?
Do you have a nice life, future me? I hope so, because I am really rooting for you. And wherever you are at in life, future me, I hope you can look back at your younger self and take a moment to feel grateful for the intense happiness you felt that Sunday afternoon in the cold January sun of 2019.
*a sense of anxiety or fear caused by the feeling that life’s opportunities passing by and diminishing as one ages.