« Give me that old science fiction | Main | This week's SH fiction: "This Must Be the Place" »

What would your younger self think of you?

| 3 Comments

If some younger version of you could see you now, what aspects of your current self would they be unhappy about?

What aspects of your current self would they be happy about?

Pick any younger version(s) of yourself that you want to. As usual, if these questions are ambiguous, pick an interpretation that results in interesting answers.

For extra credit, consider some future version of yourself. Want to make any predictions about the ways in which your future self is likely to differ from your current self?

3 Comments

I have a horrible feeling she would be proud of me, but disappointed about many things, and would not be able to grasp many of my choices (age brings wisdom, or so I hear). Future self...I don't even want to think about that! It's just to hard. Not miserable, just hard.

These are interesting questions worth thinking about. I will consider and see if I have the chutzpah to cough up an more interesting answer.


Well, and I'll pick half my current age, just for the symmetry of it, and that college kid wouldn't want to be this grupp, even though this grupp is very happy, thank you.

At that age, I was expecting to be a bachelor, certainly expecting not to be raising children, expecting to live in an apartment in San Francisco, planning to be a professional actor, hoping to have a career in the theater. All of those hopes and plans were abandoned, and thank goodness for that.

On the plus side, I think my twenty-year-old self would be happy that I am making my Best Reader happy, since she was my best friend at the time (and still is). I think my twenty-year-old self would have liked a good deal of the stuff I've written, although far from all of it. He would be pleased that I'm not altogether bald, nor even balding to the point of risibility. My aging-related ailments aren't so bad that my twenty-year-old self would be dismayed by them, particularly as I expect he would view me as old, old, old, and lucky to be walking without a cane.

As for my character, I think my twenty-year-old self would be puzzled by my patience and lack of ambition, unsurprised by my lack of discipline, and pleased by my cheerfulness and helpfulness. I don't know that he would be surprised or even particularly interested in my having failed to pick up new skills (music, knitting, ASL, etc), but I'm sure he would think my laptop computer is awesome.

Now, if I were to add the sixty-year-old self to the table and all have brunch, I think... now that I think about it, the things I think I would want to know first are utterly and completely different from the things my twenty-year-old self would want to know first. Not a surprise, there, until I started thinking about it. I would start by asking 60Me about my wife and children, and then about my parents and siblings and friends, and then about himself; 20Me would ask first about his/my achievements.

I expect that sixty-year-old self will be even less interested in achieving anything other than the kith and kin stuff, at least as the trendline goes. Maybe not. I expect that 60Me would have as many questions for 20Me as the other way around, by the way... I rather think I will become one of those people who won't shut up about their kids. Or has that already happened?

Thanks,
-V.


Neat answers -- thanks to both of you!

If others are interested in answering, please do -- there's no time limit. ...I contemplated phrasing these questions as a meme--make it two brief punchy questions, numbered, and then tell people they have to "tag" other people when done answering. I imagine that might've spread it further, but it would've been at the cost of proliferating the meta-meme of "tagging" people, which I've never been fond of.

...The thing that sparked the younger-self line of thought for me was thinking about my teen self's absolute certainty about various moral and ethical issues and ideals, and how disappointed (perhaps even angry) he would be at my having caved on some of them (or, more politely, compromised).

I was also remembering how bored 23Me got with lunchtime discussions at Apple, where his colleagues talked about nothing but (as he semi-scornfully put it) "houzes 'n' spouzes" (plus ski trips). Whereas these days, houzes 'n' spouzes are among my major topics of conversation and interest.

20ishMe would also be unhappy that I have not yet become a famous fiction writer. On the other hand, he'd be mighty pleased that I get to edit a science fiction magazine.

I should note that currentMe is not at all disappointed or unhappy with what I've become; I think many of the changes I've gone through are pretty much the changes that most people go through as they get older. I'm not feeling any particular road-not-taken angst; just musing.


Post a comment