Now and again there will be a prompt that I cannot connect with. Writing a letter intended for me to read twenty years later is one of those prompts. The future is not a set path, it changes daily with every decision made or left unmade. Twenty years passing I was in a time of crisis. I was struggling financially to raise my three children after a divorce. I was cursing my past and had no vision for the future. Fortunately, things change. Looking back, I cannot name which idea, which step, which decision started me on the current path. Perhaps it was all of them collectively or maybe none of them at all. I kept moving forward. Keep moving, that is most important when things go wrong. Keep moving.
What would I write to a future self? “I don’t want to know.” Don’t send me a letter because I do not want to know. I do not want to know if my parents are still living or my children, or my spouse. I don’t want to know if I get sick or lose my good health, or die. I don’t want to know if my finances are secure or if I will be struggling again. I don’t want to know.
Don’t tell me what to do to make a better you. You were here and you didn’t do it, what makes you believe I will. Don’t tell me what mistakes I will make; they are not mistakes until you make them anyway. I don’t want to know what I will come to regret and what will come back to haunt me. In truth, I already know before I make those decisions that I shouldn’t be doing such. It didn’t stop you, what makes you believe it will stop me. There is nothing you can tell me that I hadn’t thought of first. So, what’s the point. There is none, so don’t write me a letter telling me what your life is like and what I should do to make it different. I don’t want to know.
I have a plan. I take care of my health, exercise, eat right. I keep my finances as straight and balanced as the economy allows. I support my family and take care with my credit/debt ratio. I am not falling into the future; I am stepping into it one day at a time. I move forward with the knowledge that things will change and I will change with it. If I am not changed in twenty years, it will be because I have stopped moving forward.
Attempting to compose a letter to someone who hasn’t happened yet did not appeal to me at all, but I did give it a try. Thinking about myself twenty years from this day has inspired me. It made me consider all the “somedays” in my life. Someday I’m going to quit smoking. Someday I’m going to paint a portrait . Someday… My future me would likely inform me in a letter, had I not been so mean about telling them not to, that someday never came.
When is someday, exactly? I believe it must be between Sunday and Monday. It’s the time I have between my lazy weekend and my busy weekdays. Someday is yesterday, tomorrow, today, everyday: Stop saying someday, put a date on it.