Present-day you meets 10-years-ago you for coffee.
Share with your younger self the most challenging thing, the most rewarding thing, and the most fun thing they have to look forward to.
I wouldn’t have a single nice thing to say to nine-year-old me. I will probably start out the conversation by telling him my current accomplishments and the situations I am now in. Then proceed to tell him the hell he is going to walk through in the next ten years to get to where I am. Call me mean, and brutally honest, but I call it tough love.
Perhaps I don’t want to spoil the surprises, however unpleasant, but I will warn him of the many things he will discover about life and how harsh it can be. Reflecting back on the past ten years, I realize there really is nothing to be grateful, or thankful, or optimistic about. Life just sucks. It’s a cycle of stress, disappointment, anger, hatred and irritation, which all culminates in death.
I feel like another walking contradiction. I feel proud of what I have accomplished and where I am, but if I were to be given another chance to do it, I don’t want to be where I am right now. I rather have my fun, take my risks, and lose it all. But then again I wonder if ten-years-in-the-future-me will reprimand me for doing so. Is fun and thrill worth it?
I guess I will never know, because I have never taken that road, and I cannot form an accurate comparison. My life is all about the regrets on the other path that I did not walk. Then again, I am proud of where I am now, thus I can’t really call them regrets, can I? Let’s call them objects of curiosity instead then. That’s much more accurate. How do you overcome this curiosity of wondering what would have happened if you walked the other path?
You can’t advise me to focus on the present, because I will always be curious. You can’t tell me to be grateful for what I have now, because I am not. The grass is always greener on the other side, in theory, and my imagination is a powerful thing. I always perceive the path I have not walked to be so much more rewarding.
If I am still being confusing, let’s phrase it this way. One path leads to safety and security. You are well-to-do, decently satisfied and achieved the minimum of what leads to a financially successful life. The other path leads to risk and adventure and thrill. You are exposed to strange things, experienced a great number of things, and perhaps have one great artistic talent, like singing, drawing, dancing or playing instruments. The future is very uncertain, though.
Oh, I just thought of a different way to phrase it which is much simpler. Comfort zone. Doh, why didn’t I think of that earlier!
I feel like I’m digressing so I’ll wrap it up here with a curious query: How do you dare to wander out of your comfort zone if you have so much to lose?