Six years ago today I thought I was in love, but I had no idea. I was in a brand new city then, scared but never alone, less happy than I should have been, luckier than I understood.
Five years ago today I was back at home, stepping through paces with no motivation. I wish I’d done something stupid enough that year to remember it by.
Four years ago, I really was in love. It was incredible and horrible; I was every bit as foolish about it as anyone can be at 20. I learned how dumb it is to let emotions drive your decisions, and how life is too short to worry about being dumb. I learned what it’s like to lose your mind, and how to eventually find it again—it is a learnable skill, but may require therapy and medication. I wrote a lot that year, too—probably at least a hundred thousand words.
Three years ago the snot was frozen to my face as I stood and watched a pastor say a prayer beside a box filled with my grandfather’s ashes. I remember trying not to cry, and I regret it. I loved him.
Two years ago I wrote a piece of software in a weekend that paid mine and my partner’s rents for several months before the server crashed. The backup service we’d been paying for failed as well, and with the user accounts destroyed we were forced to cut our losses.
Around this time last year I was still returning to normal after a life changing trip. I was even poorer than usual, and moved into my parents’ basement. I started a new business with some friends, and revived an old business with others.
This year… well, there’s a lot going on, and I don’t really know yet which pieces will turn out to be “important”. I’m involved with two businesses, and I’ve applied for grad school part time. I’m more motivated now than I’ve been in a long time—I’m also playing in a band and writing semi-regularly again. It’ll be interesting to see where I’m at a year from now.
Being objective about my present self is almost impossible—I’m sure I’m not alone in that. We’re all so obscenely caught up in our own fantasies and nightmares that trying to gain a sense of perspective can be really difficult. Nevertheless, thinking about this has made me realise that in recent years I’ve neglected the “softer” aspects of myself (emotional/spiritual/artistic sides) in favour of the more pragmatic aspects (gaining knowledge, establishing finances, getting in shape… except for the last month or two). I’ve been using The Daily Practice to try fixing that; it’s been a surprisingly positive experience. I tried it on a whim but it’s become a really valuable tool, helping me to set aside a bit of time every day to nurture the different aspects of myself.
Anyway, in another six years, I hope that I’ll have grown enough to realise that this version of my self didn’t have a damn clue.