Thursday, February 9, 2012

Gae Polisner: Letter to My Future Self

Please welcome the awesome author of THE PULL OF GRAVITY, Gae Polisner.

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.


Present Gae

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.


  1. What a great letter, what a fun post! This book is on my list, for sure.

    To the future Kristin, I'd ask: Have you given up on the purple and red streaks in your hair yet? Because it's actually not making you look younger, no matter what you think (and hubs never liked it, you know).


  2. Dear Future Lupe F.
    Have you forgiven me for posting the vlog of me posing in a speedo? I'm sure the law suits alleging sudden blindness will be thrown out of court.

  3. What a great idea!!! Loved this!!!

    To the future Michael: so glad you finally gave up on the serial exclamation points. You wore out the !1 key.

  4. Okay, first of all, I WANTED to do a pantsless vlog and someone (who I won't mention and shall remain nameless) stopped me.

    Secondly, how much do I LOVE reading other's notes to their future selves?!?! SOOO much. Almost enough to run around pantsless and tape it and link to it in the comments.

    But, not. :)

    Thanks so much for having me, Amy. <3

  5. Ha ha ha, Gae! Just remember, I was not the one who axed the pantless vlog idea. And when I lied and said such reports were groundless it was only to protect your fragile reputation! ;)

  6. How fun! We think about our past selves more than our future selves, I think. It's fun to look forward and think of who we might be-- and if we're on the track to becoming that person.

    Thanks for this post, Gae, and thanks for hosting, Amy!

  7. Way to work the Hacky Sack club in!

    I love the bit about surprising yourself. I'd never thought about that. This may just change some things.

    To myself? I think I'd remind myself to never quit, and I don't care if I'm stinkin' 99. I'd tell myself to keep going.

    Either that, or I'd ask how cool it was becoming the co-chair of the internationally reknowned Hacky Sack Club? ;)

  8. btw, for what it's worth, the link you have to my blog is to my women's fiction blog (Trying to Stay Afloat in a Sea of Words) where I often talk about love, marriage and open water swimming (and am not always teen appropriate). This is the link to my YA blog, That Wee Bit Heap, where I mostly am appropriate, although sometimes pantsless.

  9. Wow! That's awesome!
    To future Britney:
    See, it didn't turn out so bad afterall! Now go get another brownie because you deserve it.

  10. Okay, Gae, fixed that. Thanks for the heads up. :)

    Britney - Lol! Yeah, I'm all about brownies for my future self, too. :)

  11. I love future Gae as much as I love the wisdom to teen Gae. Yay for doing this with me, Amy!

  12. Dear Future Myrna: That project you don't want to revise anymore? It's not there yet. There's probably some chocolate stashed in your sock drawer.

  13. So sweet! Love the graceful comment. :o) Thanks for sharing, Kristin! And thanks for sharing the letter, Amy!

    I would write a reminder to myself to a) enjoy the moment and b) stop caring what others think because there is great freedom in that release as well as being true to yourself in action and deed.

    Happy weekend to all!

  14. Great letter! Humor is so important, as is continuing to surprise yourself.

    What I'd say to the future me? I'm glad you persevered and kept smiling. I'd remind myself to enjoy the moments because life is too short.

  15. This is fun!

    Dear Future Me,
    You knew this season of quiet days to write would come. Now embrace them with all you've got!

    Catherine Denton

  16. Thanks for reposting the link to this, Amy--I missed it somehow before, but it's delightful!
    I'd tell my future self: Aren't you glad you decided to have lots of kids so you wouldn't be lonely in your old age? :)

  17. Dear Future Stu,

    Why did you spend all that time interviewing authors, when you could have been writing about what you were actually doing in China?

    And what was so special about collecting Totoros? Now you've got an apartment full of the buggers collecting dust, and nothing in the bank account!

    At least you've got all those memories you can pass on to your kids and grandkids... except you never had them either.

    Gee, when I look at you, I really do wonder why you bothered at all.

    Mind you, with all the daft things you've done over the years, you've managed to keep you lovely wife, Ellen happy.

    She really was the best thing you ever managed to get right.

    Oh, and if you still haven't worked it out, the secret to that dough was to add less water - you're not making ciabatta, it's pizza base, eejit.

    Now go, keep that beautiful wife of yours happy.

    Because that's the only reason you're here.


    Past Stu.

  18. Stu, that letter was quite poignant...and funny. Maybe you can work on the dough and the wife at the same time. Now, go, hurry! Tell us all about what you were doing in China.


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