Dear Younger Me

Dear Younger Me,

Hello. First, I would like to tell you that the things that you are worrying about right now you won’t even remember when you get to this point, so relax.

 -Oh, the accent. Yeah, you’ll live in South Mississippi for eight years, and it just kind of happened. People will never know what part of the country you’re from, just that you are not from--this is off topic, focus.

I am not here to give you a lecture, or to tell you something that will change the future us. I am writing this, to you (younger me), just to have a conversation and give you something to think about.

Right now, where I am, the world is completely different. I know, how different can the world really be? It is not like we have been on this earth very long, but it is. Things like Netflix, Instagram, Facebook, something called MySpace (which won’t last long, but boy, the time we will take designing our profile) don’t even exist yet. The Internet only dwells in the public library and cooperate offices, and “wifi” probably sounds like a made-up word, but these are parts of our daily lives now.

Just hear me out.

In the future daily living will become ‘easier’ in a sense. If we want something, we will order it on Amazon and it will be at our door in two days or less. Want to watch a movie? It can be at our fingertips and playing on the screen in seconds, and with the several subscriptions we will be a part of, don’t worry we will find what we want to watch on one of them. Best part, we won’t have to wait week to week for a new episode. Just click next, or ‘still watching’ and binge to your desire (yeah binging is a thing here, you will understand later.) Also, if you want to talk to someone don’t even worry about waiting to call after 8 am or not calling them after 9 pm. Acceptable hours for calling people is a thing of the past (or your time, I guess). Here, anyone can be reached at any hour via text and are expected to answer, or else be perceived as very rude or possibly dead, so don’t fret about not getting a reply.

Best thing is that we will have this device called a smartphone. It is more than a cell phone and way more advanced than that brick mom has now. It is basically a computer in our pocket. This may be hard to imagine now considering our current computer is this ginormous box looking thing, but trust me it is possible. We will have a world of information in the palm of our hands at all times. All we have to do is make sure to charge the thing.

The advances in technology are kind of mind-blowing, and here in the future, they seem to be happening every day. Things, just don’t take as long anymore, but that is also what I wanted to talk with you about. When you get to this point, in life, we begin to notice some things and become more self-aware. More aware of our surroundings and others as well.

I should rephrase what I said earlier. I don’t want to give you a false impression. What I should have said is that things are more convenient here, but this 'convince' has made some other interactions harder. It has also affected our minds and how we expect the world and our life to run. We will start to notice that emails, texting, and other less personal forms of communication will take place of face to face interaction, and are often preferred. We will find more gratification in snapping and sharing what we are doing with people through a screen and various form of media rather than with those around us. We will even ask our self why this is from time to time, but never really think long enough to find the answer. When we go out, we will find it difficult to hold a conversation with people or sit somewhere alone, and immediately grab that device I was telling you about earlier just to have something to do rather than be still.

Now let’s talk about our patience. We are getting better, but it still needs some work. We will start to notice how we want things instantly and on the first try. Take too long, then guess it wasn’t meant to be. This is completely untrue. Like I said in the future I live in people can pretty much have whatever they want, within reason, and rather quickly. However, that does not apply to everything, yet our mind and heart have a hard time grasping that. In a world where even the foods we want are available all year round, and we don't wait in line for coffee thanks to apps, we will often lose sight of needing to slow down, and work while we wait.

I am writing this to tell you we will need to be very intentional about what we spend our time on, how we view ourselves, and ask why we do what we do. In the future there is a thing called “binge culture” and you will start to see the effects of it bleed into other areas of our life. We will consume things (music, entertainment, technology, food, knowledge etc.) so rapidly, due to how readily available they will be, that often we will forget to appreciate what is already in front of us. Reaching a goal will no longer be enough. We will immediately want to attain the next new thing or big dream, show everyone, and never stop to look at what we worked so hard to achieve. We will start to binge more than new series and clothes, and binge on experiences and people. Creating shallow relationships to attain a false sense of security rather than taking the time to connect on something more than an Instagram photo. But one day we will realize that is not how we what to live.  Experiencing everything while everything in life passes by; truly appreciating [recognizing the full value, worth, treasuring, respecting, and admiring] none.

Don’t be frightened. A lot of these advancements have helped and improved our way of living for the most part. Hey, we can navigate our way around the NYC transit system now, and we have maintained friendships from across the world, but here is what I want you to remember younger me.

There is something beautiful in the wait. I mean the wait for anything. Waiting for our cup of coffee to brew, waiting for that fellowship we applied for to call us back, or waiting for someone to come along all share the same value. We learn to be still for a moment, learn something or reflect in the time between, and know that anything worth having takes time. So cut the crap with your instant gratification needs (sorry younger me that was for present me).

 As we start to realize this we will intentionally put things in our way to make us wait. We start cooking from scratch just because it takes longer. We will begin to tell our self no when we want to buy something. Not because we can’t afford it, but to learn to work with what we already have, because it is enough. We will even pull out the headphones and turn off the music from time to time to teach our brain it is okay to listen to the silence and that every single moment does not have to be filled with noise.

Just like all those other things that have made life so convenient here in the future have an affect on the we live our life, so will taking the time to do things that cause us to slow down. Just something to think about. You can go back to your Gameboy color now.



Chantel RiveraComment