Tonight feels like it’s gonna have a 3 AM reflective writing session. I dunno. I’m just getting the feeling.
For now I need to study for calculus. So I’m gonna leave a piece I wrote for my “final selection” portion of my Lang portfolio. (Part 1 was taken from an ask I answered on this blog.)
Dear “Past Me”,
Hello. You always seem to be with me, accumulating mass as each second of my life goes by. But I don’t speak to you very often; perhaps I feel no need to. I often think about you, if that’s any consolation, but forgive me for not visiting more frequently. The neighborhood you live in is too crowded, you see.
Thank you for being my greatest teacher. The lessons I have learned from you surpass any textbook or responsible adult or loving friend. I have learned the extent of love, the weight of guilt, the ugliness of reality, the beauty of honesty, and the list goes on. Lesson after lesson after lesson. This curriculum is never-ending, yet no one has mastered it as well as I. If you were a discipline, I’d be your scholar.
You are ever-changing, just as I am. There are times when I look back at you, feeling like I hardly even know you, because of the things you’ve done. But other times, you are strangely familiar, fitting me like a perfect embrace. For you are me and I am you; we will always be together. But I am glad to keep a certain distance at all times. Because you are in the past for a reason—so I can move forward.
Dear “Present Me”,
You are struggling. I see your thoughts right now and they are jumbled. Summer is approaching and in it brings a new array of fears. These last days are bringing you frustration. Your mind is already at the beach, the pool, the park—frying in the sun. It has never felt so exposed by the searing light; it is afraid. But your body is still here, chained to your chair, fingers fastened to the keyboard keys. You reach for your mind, searching for words that don’t appear. You call, call, call… the line is dead. You’re checked out. You’re done. You have burned yourself out.
You adore the sunshine, basking in its spotlight, never fearing sunburn. But there are days when the sun is too strong, and before you notice, the heat scorches you. You panic; yet again you have stayed outside for far too long. But there can be comfort in some shade. So you seek a tree, acquaint yourself under its protective leaves, and take a deep breath. You let the cooler air hit your beads of sweat, soothing the aches.
You must find balance in your life. Too often do you charge ahead full speed, driven to a goal in mind, but losing yourself along the way. Everything in your life you experience in extremes. Of course, you pride yourself in this. Live life with a daring attitude! See more, hear more, feel more! But you forget that you are human. You have limits. You need the occasional rest stop to cool down for a breath of fresh air.
You and I are a close pair. Thankfully, you usually heed my words. But sometimes you sprint in bursts, leaving even your present self behind, ignoring all my warnings. I hope that now with your newfound sunburns and your skin wrinkled like a prune, you see the value in some darkness.
I love that you run. You never run away; you are always running towards a destination. But I can’t always keep up with you. And if you won’t wait for me, who will you ever wait for?
Dear “Future Me”,
You are a stranger to me. Yet I can never reach out my hand to shake yours, because you are only an illusion. A dream that fuels me. When I think about you… I think of happiness. I envision a glowing individual, accomplished in all her pursued fields, with a wealth of supportive loved ones surrounding her. Is happiness not a human’s endless goal?
I know I’ve given you trouble. I’ve held you back from places that you wanted to be. And sometimes I don’t always act in your best interest. I’m sorry for being so selfish.
But I never forget you. You are a model, ever present in the forefront of my mind, a looming pressure that encourages and motivates and stresses me. How do I live up to your lofty expectations? By taking one day at a time. I apologize for keeping you waiting, but I promise I will reach you eventually.
I can see you curled up next to a fireplace in the winter, holding a warm cup of tea. It looks like you finally found your shelter, the appropriate protection you need from the bitter cold raging outside. But I also see your distance from the fire. Currently, I am a fiery individual, driven by flames of passion. You, however, have learned to control that fire. I find that accomplishment remarkable.
It is my sincerest hope that you are what I dream of. The better, refined, older me with a stronger soul and hardier heart. But dreams change and reality shifts in unpredictable ways. I have been told that you resemble me in appearance… but perhaps I wouldn’t even recognize you.
I guess I will never meet you, stranger. You are an illusion that I am content to feed. For you represent a shining future that I will never cease to work for.
Time ticks on.