Future Self

The Prompt:

Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (Bonus: Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?) (Author: Jenny Blake)

Okay.  What?  Is my future self giving my current self advice?  Or is my future self giving my future self advice for the upcoming sixth year?  I’m confused.  How did I just get caught in an episode of Sliders? Further, this prompt also assumes that I would take advice from myself.  Which I might not.  Basically, I’m digging in my heels here.  I can’t fathom how to give myself advice from a standpoint of having experienced experiences that I haven’t experienced yet.  I’m just not that astute and fiction isn’t really my thing.  So instead, I’ll take the bonus question for $1000, Alex.

Dear 21 year old Jen:

Oh for crying out loud, are you drunk?  No, no, nothing.  I didn’t mean anything. Huh?  I’m laughing because you crack me up.  Yes you.  I haven’t changed at all.  Pour me one, wouldja?  What?!  Carlo Rossi?  Chablis?  You can’t be serious….shit, I forgot you drank that crap.  Yes, of course I’ll have a pint.  Hand it over.  Yeah, a straw too.  And pack that bowl.  We need to have a chat.

You, my girl, are currently in the midst of what you’ll later be inclined to label as the most carefree and happy time of your life.  With the benefit of hindsight at my disposal, I’m going to make a couple of suggestions that could serve you very well in the upcoming years and perhaps save us both quite a bit of angst.

(Pardon?  No.  Uh-uh.  NO!  Your mother did NOT send me.  I really am your 31 year old self.  Yes, yes, I know that it’s graying.  Yes.  I see that line every day.  Well then quit smoking.  No?  I didn’t think so.  I’m still struggling with that so, shut up.  Can I continue now?  Yeah?  Thanks.)

1.  You hate your hotel major.  I’ve got news for you, kid, you’re going to continue to hate it.  So drop it.  Bite the bullet, stay another year, take a minor in Women’s Studies and make your second major Journalism.  You need to start RIGHT NOW to listen to your gut on things like this.  It’s not going to get better, so get rid of the romantic ideas of what COULD BE, and move on to something you’ll actually love.

(Oh, enough.  Enough of the what-ifs.  No.  No, that isn’t going to happen.  You’ll spend three years working for way too little money while other people take credit for your work.  AND you’ll drink way too much because you loathe what you do so badly.  I don’t know.  Well, it certainly can’t be worse.  Okay, fine.  A bottle of vodka says that Journalism is a better decision.  No, I can do WAY better than Stoli.)

2.  Follow through with the opportunity to get certified as a group fitness instructor and personal trainer through the gym.  You’ll never regret it.  It’s something you’re going to forever wish you’d done.

(Because I said so.  Really?  Okay, What size are your jeans?  You wanna know what mine are?  Yeah.  Sorry, that waist isn’t going to stay that way forever.  Huh?  Yeah?  Oh.  Thanks.  Well, I work at it.  You should start now.)

3.  Put half of everything you make at the bar away.  Don’t touch it.  EVER.  I’m FUCKING SERIOUS.

(Because you already should have traveled more than you have.  Ha.  No smart-ass comment I see.  Good.  Start now.)

That’s it.  Yes, really.  What?  Yes I remember him.  Oh, don’t put too much stock in it.  He’s got a big dick, but he’s fucking crazy….AND he writes terrible poetry.  Plus, you’re going to have an amazing New Year’s Eve.  Just don’t get too drunk….Trust me, it’ll be worth it.  No.  No hints.  Okay, just one:  when you think you ought to take the chance and call someone, do it.  No.  You get nothing else.  You’ll overthink it.  No.  You’ll overthink it and then make an ass of yourself.  As it is, you handled it just fine.

Okay.  I’m going.  I love you.  You’re doing fine.



12 thoughts on “Future Self

  1. You rock, you know that?

    The advice was good, the talking back to younger self was where the revelations came in, the little bit extra that makes this shine.

    Well done, especially for somebody who wasn’t feelin’ it…

  2. OMG. I HATED this prompt for all the reasons you mentioned. Talking to your former self based on experiences you actually had- that I get. But how in fuck can I give my current self advice based on experiences my future self will have had but hasn’t yet. It makes no sense. I couldn’t deal with the nonsensical prompt so I skipped it. But have been thinking all day about maybe advice my son’s future self might give him. That makes more sense. I at least have some idea what perspectives he is likely to gain between 12 and 17. But so far I just wrote about my totally unhealthy emotional mess of a former relationship turned burden I had to visit today who tugged at my heart and fucked with my head.

    Wow. Do I get points for longest run-on sentence ever there? Please? I oughtta get points for something. Okay. Maybe not.

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