Sometimes I think about what younger me might say if she encountered current me. My immediate response is that she would be disappointed at my physical appearance. I can imagine her (me?) saying, “How did you allow yourself to get to this point?” I’d then have to explain a lot of chronic illness issues (something for her to look forward to…super sarcasm alert), but also a lot of, I didn’t do enough about it. I imagine she’d be disappointed to know I wasn’t anywhere in a career, and that I wasn’t doing musical theatre at all. I imagine that alone would break her heart.
Breaks mine, too, honestly.
But I do imagine she’d be terribly impressed by a lot of things.
I imagine she would be dumbfounded by my (our?) relationship and that people can be happy together for long periods of time. I think her little mind would be blown to find out things can actually grow over time, and become more magical.
I think she would have a veritable crap attack when she found out I (we?) have a full set of every Baby-Sitters Club book ever written. A full set. I imagine she would be thinking about all the book fairs it would take to amass every entry. I can imagine younger me sitting on the floor by those shelves and lovingly pulling various volumes down to inspect them and delight in the covers and blurbs on the back.
I think she would lose her younger mind to see all the cosmetics I have. All the glitter and brightly pigmented hues. I think she would immediately want to put everything on her hands and arms just to see how it looked. I imagine she would think, oh my goodness, one Caboodle could never hold all this!
I have a lot of clothes I can’t currently fit in (but I hold out hope I will again one day), some being really wonderful things. I imagine she wouldn’t believe that. I think about where I came from, not having much, and the embarrassment of riches I find myself among, and I know that would stun her.
To be fair, it often stuns me, too. Current me, I mean.
She would look at the ridiculous amount of games I have and be shocked. When I was growing up, I had a handful of games and I played them repeatedly. I played so much Super Mario Bros. 2, Tetris, Dr. Mario, and Bubble Bobble. When I got a new game, it was a real event. I’ll never forget my dad once bought me Final Fantasy for the NES (and it wasn’t a birthday or holiday so I have no idea why he bought it when he did) and I was in way over my head. I’d never played a game like it before, and I remember putting a crazy amount of hours in before realizing I was hopelessly lost and stuck and never finished and that always haunted me. I wanted to like it, boy did I ever want to like it, but I was so frustrated and it was hard to know one of the only games I had, I couldn’t progress in. I almost wonder if that plays in to why I feel compelled to finish games I start now.
But I do imagine she would be wide-eyed and ask, “Wait, how many games do you have?!”
I know, me; I know.
I know so much of this is about “things” and, when it comes down to it, I’m not terribly into “things,” but I hope I wouldn’t let her down, even though I know I would. I think fundamentally she would be devastated by current me. I’ve wasted so much time, not worked as hard as I know I could, and I don’t take care of myself as well as I should or want to. I’d like to make me proud of me. But I think young me would have a lot of questions for current me, and the answers are sobering.
I feel so grateful for so much, but I’d like to start living up to what younger me would have wanted older me to be. I’m never going to be younger than I am today, and I’d do well to remember that more often. I may not have officially given up on certain things, but there isn’t much to distinguish between that and reality.
I have work to do.
Don’t you worry, younger me; I may be an underdog, but I like dogs and I can find a way through this.
But, seriously, that Baby-Sitters Club collection; I did us proud.
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P.S. That image was one of my senior pictures. That hair was something else.