I know that we’re not supposed to live in the past or the future. We’re supposed to live in the moment and be present.
But — sometimes I look forward to keep me going forward.
Let me explain.
I’m sure you’ve heard that we should reach back to our younger selves — apologize to them even. I know people who have written letters to their younger selves in a therapeutic way. They apologize to their younger selves for the mistakes they made when they didn’t know any better — for the boundaries they didn’t set, for the treatment they allowed, and for the love they didn’t give themselves.
Looking backwards is used as a way to see how far you’ve grown, and to tell your younger self all the life lessons you’ve learned over the years. Essentially, you tell your younger self that it’s going to all be okay, and that everything works out in the end.
But looking forward is helpful too.
I imagine a future me, and I think about what she would tell my present self, and how she would think I’m living my life, and using my time, right now.
I’m certain that the me — ten, twenty, thirty, forty, years from now would have some insight and opinions.
I also know that the choices I make now will decide the quality of her life.
Whether it’s me ten or thirty years from now, she would tell the present me that she’s still young, and that she still has time. She will tell me to relax, but to go for it all. To work harder and to give all that I have within me. To live harder. To laugh harder. To love harder.
She would tell me to be more intuitive, to love my body more, to love my self more, to know my worth, to not settle for less, and that the life I want is out there — and that she’s there at the end waiting for me.
I know that I’m surrounded by the women in my family who have gone before me — including my grandmother. I imagine that, at moments, she’s also there with them.
She will no longer have many of the things that I take for granted — my health, physical strength, or mental acuity. If I take these things for granted, she will look back on the present me with regret and remorse.