If I ran into my younger self, what would I say to her? As a 40 year old in the infancy of the second half of my life, it’s quite shocking to realise that adolescence was actually half a life time ago, and with every ticking second it is becoming MORE than half a life time ago. Time really does fly by. If I think about that too strongly I start to hyperventilate. Time is literally flying and we can’t stop it! We are on the roller coaster of life and we can’t get off until the ride is over. There is no stop button until the guy in the little cubicle flicks his switch. And then it’s over and you have to exist via the left side platform and out the turnstile. Your ride is done. Shit. Why does it have to end so quickly?
What happened to that adolescent girl I once knew half a life time ago - the one who left the arms of her mother the moment her head reached the “allowable height” line on the guide-stick, and jumped on the roller coaster of life?
As I sit and reflect back to where I started, the lessons I learned, the goals I set and the woman I have become, I do so as a mother figure to that child. My heart actually swells as I think about her. She is so young in mind, so skinny in stature (almost breakable), so lacking in confidence, she has no street smarts and seems blissfully unaware of the complexities of life. Yet at the same time, in a very quiet way, she is so determined! I can see her clearly. Her brow is furrowed. She is cautious but she is moving forward.
I watch the lessons she learns at high school and university (in and out of the classroom), the men she meets, the friends she makes, the things she sees and the life decisions she encounters. Some of the lessons were tough, some painful, some may have been better avoided. As I watch her accepting her degrees, marching through her career, buying her first home, walking up the aisle and cradling her first baby, I cry … with happiness. I can see her walking the road of life, ignoring the side streets, just walking with purpose and conviction towards me as I sit at my 40 sign post. Sometimes she runs, occasionally she jogs, there’s quite a lot of skipping, but mostly she just walks with determination. Should I tell her to take a different path? Should I give her any advice? No. I actually won’t. The challenges she has faced and is still to face are necessary ones. The mistakes she has made and is still to make have helped shape her. The experiences she has created and is still to create are valuable. The people she has encountered and is still to encounter are important to her whether they remain in her life for only a day, a season or a life time. This young girl of mine has done a bloody good job and I am proud of her. And that is what I would tell her. But most of all, if I met my younger self I would say thank you.
As I sit here watching my younger self approach me on the road side, I feel her slip easily inside me and we are one again. As we travel together on the roller coaster of life I nurture and embrace her and in return she keeps my spirit youthful. I don’t feel like deep fried fruit when she is with me. I feel fresh and firm and ripe!
Thank you … thank you … thank you. That’s all. There is nothing else. Just thank you.