Do you ever wish you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, give her some advice, like telling her to stop worrying or fearing whatever it is she's worrying about or fearing at the time? I do.
I would go back and tell my younger self that the pen you're pretty sure Denny Maier stole from you in the first grade is really no big deal. He never amounted to much and even though the fifteen cents you spent from your $.25 a week allowance was all the money in the world back then, it, like Denny Maier, in the great scheme of things, would never have amounted to much either.
I would tell my twelve-year-old self all those mean girls, well, they ended up pretty much in the same boat as Denny Maier and your fifteen-cents. They are certainly not worth one single tear, much less the depression they're causing you. And whatever hell they're putting you through on this particular day—telling you with their elevator eyes that you're wearing the wrong style shoes, or the same jeans you wore on Monday—in the great scheme of things, well, in the great scheme of things it prepared you for the rest of your life, because as you got older and more confident, you realized with every future elevator eyes encounter, I know what this is. This is junior high redux. Only now, I will be confident and friendly and understand their judgment of me is based on their own insecurity, not mine. Those twelve-year-old bitches gave you a gift. They helped you navigate and succeed whenever you encountered a group of judgmental women (or men!)
I would tell my high school self and college self, hurting through all the wrong boys and men, you will marry the most wonderful man you could ever possibly imagine in a hundred-million-years and you will have the three most perfect wonderful, most excellent children on planet earth and you will fly jets and write books and live in the greatest freaking city on planet earth in an awesome old Victorian that really needs a ton of what realtors would call "updating" but general contractors would call "gut rehabbing" and anyone with a brain would call tear-down, but it will be filled with so much love and fun and laughter and two rocking fat cats and a hilarious dog that will get mad when you lie to her about going for a run. I would tell my terrified self after 9-11, The best is yet to come.
And really a million, maybe even a zillion more things, I would tell all of my fearful worrywart younger selves.
In the same vein, I wish my older self would show up someday soon, to tell me in a dream or vision, or something, how everything will turn out okay, that each of my children will outlive me and how my husband and I will grow old together and sit in rocking in chairs on the porch of our old Victorian without having to work until we're eighty or eat dog food for dinner, that the world becomes a peaceful place where we all live together as One and the idea of Pakistan going to war with India, or Iran with Israel, sounds as preposterous as the idea Wisconsin would lob a thirty-ton nuclear cheese bomb at Illinois. A world where the air is clean, and the water is pure and plentiful and every single person on the planet has enough to eat.
I like to think on some level, like the astral or psychic or I dunno, just some new age level, that this is actually possible. So I imagine myself now going back and talking to my younger self, in hopes that my future self will somehow get the same idea and that she'll get here with her message soon. But you know what? Somehow, in just the simple act of writing this, I think she already has.
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