I must admit to being big on “lists”…I have lists for many things. I have an IDEA book which contains some what-were-you-thinking-of! ideas and some, if I may say so myself, pretty awesome ones. I also keep a food diary listing every thing that goes into my digestive system more diligently now, as part of my nutrition training; a to-do list (urgent and important tasks), a books-to-read list (getting longer by the day!), and so forth.
Lurking around are 3 existential lists, if I can call them that – the Proust Questionnaire (Vanity Fair readers will know this well) which has been 80% complete since last November; the next is “IF Questions for the Soul” where I randomly select questions from the book (by MacFarlane & Saywell) from time to time and force myself to answer them – some questions are really provocative (such as, “If you are God for a day, what would you do?”) and force you to confront yourself. Last, not least is the Letter to my Younger Self list where I started jotting down thoughts but have not quite penned the actual letter to my 29-year-old self yet. There’s a reason I chose the age 29, but it’s not something I am prepared to share on my blog now, sorry!
I was motivated to write to my younger self after reading a moving letter by Sally Brampton to her younger self. I know if I put my mind to it and do it honestly, the process will be cathartic at some level. I look at my mom now (she turned 78 yesterday) and imagine her as a 20 year old (pictured here):
and wonder what she would say to herself at that age about life, what to enjoy more of and what not to worry about (like her good daughter, for instance!).
What would you say to your younger self at a significant age (you get to pick an age) with all the wisdom and experience you have today? There’s even a website dedicated to this by author and coach, Ellyn Spragins who published a collection of letters from famous people to their younger selves. Yes, I have that book and read it too 🙂 Very inspiring, learnt lots!