Have you ever wondered what would happen if there were a time warp and two versions of yourself were able to meet?  Perhaps a younger version of yourself could meet the current you?  Or the current you could meet an older version of yourself?

I often wonder what would happen if my 25-year-old childless, unmarried self could meet the nearly 35-year-old married mother of two that I am today.  Would we even recognize each other?  Would we be friends?  Would we even like each other?  What advice would we give each other?

I have no doubt that the current me would have found the younger version of myself to be a pretty fun person.  I also have little doubt that I would find her to be a bit frivolous, naïve, and selfish.  I may even look at her and think “You are not cut out for this.”  I would doubt her ability to survive post-partum depression after the birth of her first son with her marriage still intact and her child healthy and thriving.  I would doubt her ability to endure three consecutive miscarriages while keeping her heart, mind, and faith relatively unscathed.  I would doubt her ability to get by on just a few hours of sleep for days or weeks at a stretch.  I would doubt her ability to listen and respond to two children telling two different stories at the same time.  I would doubt her ability to calmly clean up the vomit that was just spewed on her by her son without throwing up herself.  I would think (though I probably wouldn’t actually say, unless she caught me on a really bad day): “Think again.  You don’t have what it takes.”

I am just as sure, however, that my younger self would have looked at the current me and thought, “When I am a mother, I will do things differently.”  I will easily birth and raise four kids without missing a beat, instead of realizing that two is all I can handle.  I will not let my son carry a blankie and suck his thumb when he’s five years old.  I will take a proper shower in the morning and get dressed in “normal people” clothes, instead of considering dry shampoo and deodorant to be an adequate daily cleansing.  My children will be clean and well-dressed, instead of going out in public with dried snot and marker covering their adorable little faces.  I will not lose myself and my identity to the role of “mom.”

Regardless of different expectations and goals at various stages in my life, the fact is that we are different people at different times in our lives, with each version being equally necessary to the survival and fulfillment of the whole person.  We grow and learn.  We realize that we are capable of so much more than we ever thought when we are actually confronted with a difficult situation.  And we realize that our ideals and visions for the future must change, grow, and evolve.

I like to think that ultimately the younger and older versions of me would be friends, despite wholly dissimilar personalities and lifestyles.  I like to think that my younger self could learn something about patience, flexibility, and open-mindedness from the current me; and I know that the current me could certainly learn something about laughter, confidence, self-worth, and silliness from my younger self.

Maybe I’ll call her up and we can go out for a drink tonight.

Author

45 Comments

  1. Beautiful. Thank you. I would love to have a drink with her (yours or mine) as well and find her lack of knowledge of what is to come very refreshing indeed. Sometimes we get so caught up in our current situations, we forget that we are not our circumstances and need reminders. Now I must go and clean up some throw up.. 🙂

  2. Oh this is a good one. What would I say to my 25 year old self? “Girl you are NOT fat!!!!”

  3. Whenever I think of my younger self the biggest comment is, “You have no idea what being tired is!” or “What in the world are you doing with all of your free time?” Maybe those were just the years where we needed to store up.

  4. Wow, what a completely new way of looking at things. I wonder how I will be 10 years from now, and know that 10 years ago I never expected life to end up the way it has. Thank you for putting things into a completely new perspective!

    • Thank you for reading. I know – I wonder what the person I become will think of the person that I am now. Am I spending my time appropriately? Am I spending too much time worrying about things that really don’t matter?

  5. Interesting idea! While the 25 year old me was very different than the current me everything she did made me who I am today!

  6. I’ve actually never thought about that…how interesting! Pretty much what Lisa Todd said. The most accurate comment ever 🙂

  7. What an interesting concept. Because I had a honeymoon baby at a relatively young age (25), I never got to have the fun free-wheeling twenties that most of my friends did. But I wonder sometimes what might have been. It’s a very human response. I think the absolutes you have in your head (or even your friends have in their heads) “I would NEVER. . .” have no place in the world of growing children. I still never say never until I get to that moment. Absolutes are for chumps. Erin

  8. Wouldn’t that be amazing? My 25 year-old self would probably be horrified by how I am now. Then again, I was rather silly back then.

    I had to laugh at dry shampoo. That stuff is a mother’s best friend.

  9. Oh the things we’d talk about. I wouldn’t want to meet my younger self. I mean I’ve written to her but for what? I had to go through all the crap and awfulness and stupidity to get to where I am now and if I hadn’t…where would I be?

    Good post.

    • Me too! It’s amazing how I let insignificant things throw me back then. I also had a nagging “unsettled” feeling that I no longer feel at this stage in my life.

  10. What an interesting question.
    I often try to put myself in my younger self’s shoes and imagine meeting my older self – but my younger self is my me, NOW. My older one is like 80. And I’m thinking, why weren’t you kinder to yourself and more appreciative of who you are? Just like I think when I “talk” to my 18 year old self from this vantage point. (-:

  11. Howdy! Thanks for this post – I often reflect on the same thing. I think I’ve come to the conclusion that I would simply avoid pre-dad me. I found out I do have what it takes, but I don’t think foreknowledge would have been helpful – it probably would have been terrifying!

    • You are so right. The foreknowledge would have just gone in one ear and out the other. Kind of like when people tell you to sleep while you can and you just shrug them off. I so enjoyed reading your latest post. Well done. I look forward to reading more.

  12. Sometimes you think, I wish I would have done this, or that. But if I would have done that, I wouldn’t have done this, and I’m glad I did this. Circular thoughts. And after that comes acceptance. Thoughtful post.

  13. I would tell my 25 year old self you are in for a wild ride. And kids will bring up emotions you didn’t even know you had!
    I could really relate to this. What I knew at 25 and what I know today are vastly different, although at heart we are similar people with the same core values, as I’m sure you and your 25 year old self are.
    By the way, I love love dry shampoo and use it shamelessly!

  14. It’s amazing how our perceptions change as we get older. I would find the younger version of myself to be scattered and frivolous. I also would doubt her ability to come through postpartum depression relatively unscathed. Very thought provoking post!

  15. Such a great post. I feel like a completely different person from years past. Even recent years. Even the last 2 years! LOL This was so beautifully written. Thank you!

  16. Oh, I love this. My 34 and 24 year old selves would have a similar meeting, I think. It makes me wonder what my 44 or 54 self would think. I have a feeling she would cut me a break much more often.

  17. I just had a painful heart to heart with my husband last night about how I wasn’t just losing myself in my kids, but in fact was lost. Your post just reconfirmed some things that have been floating around in my head since then.

  18. Excellent question and a fun thing to ponder. I’m not sure I’d want to meet my 25 yr old self. I might find it hard to like her. I’ve changed so much, and I don’t know that I want to meet who I was. Wow. Very thought provoking. Good job!

  19. I enjoyed this post! It reminded me of those investment commercials, and later the SNL spoofs, of the older person talking to the younger self. I think my younger self would think my older self is super bossy – because I am.

    Great prompt, actually.

  20. Wow-Christine—-you sure did a great job here!
    I am awed at your writings!
    Loved it!

    Beth

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  25. Well, I can’t help but admit that me and my younger self would probably not be friends! 😉 But that was really a great spin on the topic, so insightful! =)

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