I’m taking requests of people to write about in September and one of my friends asked if I’d write a post about myself. Hmmmm that’s not really the point, but I guess I did put it out there.
I asked him in what context. “Not sure really. A bit of self reflection… How you see yourself… Strengths / weaknesses… Something like that.”
“Well, I kind of did something similar for my 38th birthday.”
“Oh yeah, I’d forgotten about that.”
We settled on a future me post.
Which is actually really hard for me. Anyone who knows me even just a little bit, knows I’m not a planner. I don’t know what I’ll be doing more than a couple of months in advance, and more than that, I like it.
I’m not a 5 year-plan kinda gal, or a goal-orientated gal. There’s a Chainsmokers song out at the minute that has the lyrics:
You said, “Hey, whatcha doing for the rest of your life?”
And I said, “I don’t even know what I’m doing tonight”
THIS IS ME.
I spent pretty much all of my twenties knowing exactly what life had in store for me: the usual – buy a house, get engaged, go on holiday once a year, get married, buy bigger house, have kids, etc, etc. By the time I hit 30 I was having a massive wobble and realised it wasn’t what I wanted.
I wanted to feel unpredictability, I wanted to explore, I wanted to not know what was coming, I wanted to just go SEE what was out in the world. I felt like a caged bird desperate to escape.
So I did, and I’ve spent the last 8 years trying things. Going places. Making and taking opportunities. Just living. I started 2017 in Chile and had no idea I’d end that same year living in New Zealand. I had no plans to move abroad. But I did, and I’m so thankful I’m able to be spontaneous.
I wonder if future-me will ever want to have a plan? I’m not sure. I remember a conversation with my Mum when I was about 19 or 20. She asked me if I’d thought of getting a mortgage; buying a house.
“Holy crap Mum, no WAY.”
“I don’t want to be tied down. I’m not sure what I actually want to do, but I don’t want the commitment. I want to go explore I think.”
A couple of years later and I was signing a mortgage contract. I’d pushed those thoughts to the back of my mind, choosing a relationship instead.
Now, I can’t imagine actually living in a place that I own. Or living in the same place for more than a short time. I guess future-me is likely to have some sense of itchy feet.
Future-me does have some things that now-me wants her to do though. Maybe you’d call them goals? Things I want to achieve and stuff I want to do.
Now-me is writing my first book, and future-me will get it published. It’s hard, it’s exhausting and I actually have no idea what I’m doing. I don’t know how long it will take me; so far I’ve written about 7,000 words which means there’s only about 88,000 to go.
But I’ve gone from “OK how the hell will I do this” to “surely no one will want to read it” to “well let’s at least make a start” to “this is really hard, I don’t think I can do it” to “I don’t have enough content for a book” to “hmm OK I can see how this might take shape” to “I CAN DO THIS”. Even if no one reads or likes it, it doesn’t matter. I’ve written on and off since I was little and it’s something I love to do.
Future-me will also have a year or two of chilling. When I say chilling, I mean just not moving country or going off travelling or trying to fit a million things in. I’m loving my life in New Zealand, it’s less hectic than the UK and I’m enjoying the slow down in pace. There’s so much to do and explore here and the only things future-me will struggle with is not having enough weekends and holidays and missing some of my most favourite people. I can’t tell you how much I want to show and share my NZ life with you in person with you guys in the UK and around the world.
<COUGH COUGH…COME VISIT>
Future-me will want to stop time; future-me won’t want to get any older. She won’t want her family and friends to get any older either, because each year is another year that’s spent apart.
Future-me won’t have many worries or fears; because she’s spent the last few years understanding and learning to love herself, but she knows she also knows nothing and there’s so much more to learn.
Future-me, like now-me, will feel she takes more from life and others than what she gives back, although she tries her best to do as much as she can for other people. Maybe she’ll be a bit closer to a clearer sense of purpose, but now-me whispers in her ear not to expect a big epiphany. Now-me knows that every bit of the present will unfold in the way it’s meant to in the future.
Most of all though, future-me will fear looking back and not feeling like she’s lived true to herself. Future-me isn’t looking for a life full of adventure, spontaneity, exploration and unpredictability for the sake of it, or to show off some big achievements. Future-me wants that only if that’s how her heart continues to want to live.
As long as future-me remembers that, we’ll be right.