Seven Years Later

By Joshua Blake

3:48 a.m. March 16, 2021

I’ve had this blog for seven years, yet it feels more like twice that amount of time has passed. Now at 27, I realize that my 20’s have been filled with way more ups than downs.

My very first post on this website questioned whether looking back on your life was a problem due to thinking about it too often – thinking too much, in general, was what I was trying to get at. And reading it over now, I realize that I had no scope centered on the issue of thinking too far into futures that don’t exist.

But, if I could go back? Would I tell myself anything about my current life – y’know, anything other than a pandemic that ravaged the world?

I probably would pass up the opportunity. I mean, if we’re going to be technical about it, if I went back in time to talk with my 20-year-old self about my life today, that version of me wouldn’t live the life I do today. That’s because time travel isn’t linear. If you were to tell someone of the past about future events, an alternate timeline is created.

And even if everything were to happen the same way, I’d feel like I ruined my younger self’s surprise. I went on to finish college, write and research really interesting stories – I found the love of my life and traveled to their home country and met some amazing people throughout that experience.

People often say things happen when we least expect them to. But, the older I get, the less this makes sense to me. How can you expect something to happen to you if you have no idea of when it will happen?

I guess the reason I’m bringing this up is because I have a lot of dumb things I worry about – and not abstract things, either. These worries have to do with what a sustainable life should be like for me, and how I achieve that. A lot of my worry stems from my dumb fear of not being “good enough.” Whatever that means.

Most, if not everyone, deals with these kinds of fears – they’re normal. So, why do they feel so personal? Maybe it’s because everyone’s idea of “a sustainable life for me and how I achieve that,” is different just enough to where we feel like it’s a road traveled alone. Maybe it’s the Americanization of idealism – in that we must figure things out for ourselves as individuals and not as a group, in order to have the lives we want. I really do believe living in the United States makes it difficult to break away from that type of thinking. But that doesn’t really make sense, either, because life is meant to be ever-changing, and everyone, everywhere is affected by it.

Seven years later, and here I am, wondering if I’m all the more wiser than a depressed 20-year-old kid who was so worried about his future. Well, kid, if you had any idea…you know I’d still be there. Who couldn’t? Everyone always is, even if they don’t know it yet.

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