Hello, future self.
I need you tell me that everything will be okay. That my nights of anxiety and panic are just an extension of my inconsistent faith that everything will be okay, more than okay, phenomenal even, as exemplified by you, future self.
You know, you look a lot different from what I thought you would be. I always thought you’d be so luxurious and slightly unobtainable. I pictured you winning awards and accolades, massive amounts of recognition and praise. You’d have a catalogue of films that have gone on to premier at topnotch festivals and win a plethora of awards. Money. Wealth, Power. I’ve always thought you have it all, future self, and I’ve wanted to be you so badly. I’ve wondered if I’d ever be you, or if you’ll always remain a fantasy, a benchmark for my own self-worth. But I’m looking at you now, and I don’t see any of those things. Maybe they’re still there. Maybe you’ve kept them hidden from me, because all you want me to see right now is your smile. You look so happy, future self. There’s a genuine joy that permeates from your very being. You know, come to think of it, I might be seeing your joy so clearly because I can sometimes recognize it in myself as well. Yes, we have shared the same smile, except yours seems to be accompanied by a knowing wink…
Maybe we’re not so different after all, future self, and that the only difference between you and I is time. But the time between us just feels so vast. Or maybe, it’s not days or years that separates us, but an untamed imagination full of hopefulness and possibility, not burdened by my present desires to always compare myself to you, future self.
No, I don’t think we are that different, because the light I see in you, I’m seeing in myself. The love and community I see surrounding you, I see them in my life as well. It’s only that you’ve further cultivated these blessings, while I sometimes take them for granted.
Talking to you now does make me feel a little better, but if you don’t mind, I think I need to go now, because the more I keep talking to you, the more I’m ignoring my present self. However, I’m sure I’ll see reminders of you the moment I drop this pen, because my mother’s laughter, an embrace from my beloved, hours of conversations with my sister-friends, and the creativity needed to write these words are all a part of you – and I.
A part of me holds onto the way I had initially imagined you, and maybe a part of me always will; it certainly can be motivating. But I hope now that I’ve talked to you, it won’t be that imagined future self I run to during times of insecurity and rejection; rather, I’ll try to think about that smile and wink that seem to be telling me that everything is already okay.