To attempt to think of the self from the stance of some former self. A you from long, or short, ago. To place the situation of actualities in the current under the lens of younger days.
You know, what I mean. Would ten-year-old me think I’m cool?
This is one of those big questions. And essentially what every philosopher was aiming to get at. To the best of my understanding. Just in bigger, and many, many, many more words.
And it is a question that I have asked myself before. What years past were truly like, and what would I think of the path that I have gone down, if the chance were able to look ahead before the steps. And the answer generally tends to be the same. I have not lived any horrible life, and still either hold on, or at least, cling to the ambitions a younger man dreamt up. I think I would be alright with the life I have thus far lived. All things considered.
But if honest reflection be the means here, it stands to argue- my ten-year-old self knew little to nothing about being cool. That kid was a wreck. Total dork.
So perhaps, his opinion on the matter, doesn’t matter all that much.
As some future form of myself, if I get lucky enough to have one, would likely think of me. In the present tense.
Laughter may fill his mind as he ponders upon these ramblings. Or perhaps he may cry out at the witnessed muse abuse. In the literary sense. Or he may recall fondly, these future days he shall see as history. Remembering a simpler time, where he didn’t know shit. Where he was being a total dork. Or rather, I was. Or am.
And it may be the current self that suffers the most from this reflection. Looking around back and forth through the timeline has the easy excuse of having already passed. Or is still ahead to be.
But the moments in which I live are often the most critical. Always, in fact. And they are the moments in which I am most criticized. By my self.
Rightfully so, at times. I can be horribly lazy and have already let so much time slip away. And despite clinging to those dreamt up ambitions of yesteryear, anxiety regarding failure can often freeze any motion towards progress I might have. Afraid to try, never mind ever trying hard enough to fail. Perhaps I shall just stay inside. Uninspired and uninspiring.
Then comes the deep breath. And the fear subsides. Never fully passes but its grip upon my action is lost.
I won’t pretend as though what others think doesn’t have play. Outside opinions hold sway.
I am, at least in mediocrity, a writer. I write as I please, but if it is not read, it loses its point for existence. They don’t need to be nice thoughts regarding the body of work. They just need to be thoughts found from the type words. Need not be accolades, or anything like that. Disgust and infamy tend to go a lot further, as far as gaining attention. It may be a shame I don’t take such a route.
But I write for someone to read. Could be someone specific. Or to all the vague people out there. Hell, this may just be a note to a future self. Or a joke.
But the words get two times to have meaning. Now, for me. As I write them. And then for you, whoever you are. As you read them. As you hear a voice- yours, mine or something fictional, echoing these sentences about it your mind.
So, what is it I mean to do? And what is it I hope you find in all this?
Someone I know told me one of the things she wants most in this world is to be inspiring. She may not be too sure exactly how, but she is certain that inspiration need be the result. And she has succeeded already, though she continues onward in attempt. She has inspired me, which has been quite kind of her. But she aims to do more. And will, I bet.
And perhaps that is the best thing that we can do. Inspire. It is wonderfully vague and universally understood, though sometimes only when in the true midst of it.
Everyone’s means and ways are different. And sadly, not all inspiration is benevolent. But much of it is. Or at least can be made into something better. Even horror can inspire. Tragedy. Heartbreak. All able to stir something inside a soul. Stir something that can go about and stir up something else.
Highly infectious stuff.
I cannot say how you should. I am not even certain for myself. I just know I’ve been doing this for some time now. I like it. And I’ve been told I’m not too bad at wrangling words. Even I can say improvement is a constant. The more that is written, over time, the better the writer.
I have other means. But while we’re here, let us try and find what we might not even have known was to be looked for.
So, I suggest some thoughtfulness. It seems like the day for it. If your day isn’t already run out. And not to say get lost in your mind. There’s a time and a place for that. Instead, what I mean make a point of is to be attentive. To avoid some mindlessness. To give a task some focus. To truly hear the words of another. Don’t doodle, draw a picture. You know?
I figure this- if we all give a bit of our mind to pay attention to all the life around us, we are more likely to see some value in it. You don’t need to be a poet. Or a motivational speaker. All that is needed is some intention. To live on purpose.
So, someone else may do the same. Seeing something inspiring, to be inspired, to go on inspiring. A world full of at least partly thoughtful folks sounds pretty grand.
Because it is not important to inspire your ten-year-old self. It is impossible, most likely. Unless you have a blue British telephone box.
It is to be the inspiration for some other, in the style your own. That is far more convincing that any artifice.