Christa Desir and I are doing a joint-blog hosting today. Gae wrote a letter to her Past Self over on Christa's blog and a letter to her Future Self here on my blog, so you absolutely MUST read them both.
So excited to have Gae here. *fans self* There was some rumor going around that she had agreed to do a vlog for my blog in her swimming costume -- or without pants -- or something like that -- in an attempt to join the Hacky Sack Club (see side bar), but these rumors were groundless, people. GROUNDLESS. She is here, completely clothed. And without a vlog (dang it!).
So without further ado, I give you the unique, absurdly-talented, uber-adorable Gae Polisner....
Dear (ugh, older) Future Gae,
Sh*t. Here we are. Man that went fast.
(gazes back). Hmmm. Not bad. Not terrible. But, I see you’re still hard on yourself. It’s okay. It’s the thing that drove you to keep going, to do your best to seize every day. To keep making something of yourself. And keep remaking yourself.
Some days you did better; others, not so much (see, for example, endless hours spent on facebook. . . speaking of which, remember facebook? How we thought it would never wane...). Anyway, I don’t care what anyone says, I still think idle days are overrated.
So, let me look at you.
Yep, old. Hah! You knew it would happen, but, still, you didn’t believe it.
Well, so what. You’re what? 60? 61? That’s the same age Susan Sarandon was when she dumped Tim Robbins and ran off with that ping pong guy! Fine, allegedly, allegedly. Whatever.
Still, see? Not terrible.
So, let’s see what’s still intact. First and foremost, it’s nice to see you found those things that were important in your life and held on to them, despite sometimes-shinier looking new distractions. The best piece of life advice you managed to cling to was that -- that the novelty always wears off. Even in ping pong palaces.
I remember how hard you worked to see beyond the shiny distractions, to what lay grounded beneath the surface. And, you know what, Gae? You did good.
Also, it’s nice to see you pushed yourself to be brave, and try new things. To write new and different stories, to put your words out there, at the risk of inevitable rejection and criticism (which always came).
And, it’s also nice to see that, the older you got, the farther you swam, and only partly because you learned fast that neoprene, though tight, actually hides a whole lot of flaws.
Yes, there was that (some habits die hard), but there also wasn’t a day you weren’t grateful for the water, a day you didn’t marvel at the skies.
There really wasn’t a day where you didn’t try to breathe them in and try to memorize them, and internalize your good fortune.
And remember the winter you got those Psycho gloves? Oh dear. It was like, once you discovered them, there was no stopping you, even on the coldest of days. You impressed even me then. You surprised me. That’s a good quality as you age.
Remember to keep surprising even yourself.
But also remember that, eventually, even the neoprene and Psycho gloves won’t save you. When you reach that point, you can still look to the same things that mattered as a kid: good family and friends, a loving heart, and, maybe above all, a constant sense of humor.
Keep working to be graceful, Gae. Surprise me. And make me proud.
Now tell me -- what would you say to YOUR Future Self? I'll send a copy of THE PULL OF GRAVITY to one lucky commenter.
And don't forget to check out Gae's other letter here.