On Worry, The Future, and Past Selves

The only reason I keep a journal of any sort is to go back and read it.  Tonight, I picked up an old red journal titled “September 9, 2003 to June 23, 2004” and was struck by the page to which it opened.   In lieu of reflecting here on my days and weeks, I give you January 1, 2004:

“Today, I had a vision of what felt like the future.  Not really a vision, just a feeling that I will behappy in my choices, my career.  It all seems so far away, though, and the fact that peers of mine are grasping that future five years before I expected us to is what’s scaring me.  It’s not time to have children and be married, yet.  It’s hardly time for us to no longer claim legal dependecy on our parents.  I can’t even fathom paying rent.

“I cannot be afraid.  The future has been coming on for days, now.  Years.  Some day, my chidren will be sitting on their beds wondering about the future and cowering before the possibilities, just like I am.  And one day, I will be the mother who is pacing overhead, still scared of the future.  Because the future never really gets here, you see?  Minutes, months, years ago, this was my future, and yet I’m living it now.  The future will never be here because I’ll be too busy worry about it.  And even if I do worry about it?  What will that get me?  Surely, I won’t be any better prepared for it than those who didn’t worry.  Maybe I’ll approach things with a type of caution typical of those who have spent an excess amout of time worrying, but I don’t think that an extra bit of caution will make me any better equipped to handle stress.”

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