I was driving to town yesterday to take Emil from Aylesbury House to Everett’s. I was remembering my younger self in a critical, judging way, when suddenly I felt sympathy for that self. She didn’t deserve the hard eye from someone looking at her from the distance of decades, from an unsympathetic viewpoint.
When I think of a future self sending a message back to a younger self, it’s always been with the assumption that it would be a helpful message, offering wisdom and experience and hope.
But the way I was thinking of my earlier self was, instead, mean and cold.
And that can never be helpful, even in one’s imagination. I resolved to treat the memory of my younger self with kindness and respect from now on, instead of thinking the worst of that “pore girl.”
Sometimes I’ll be driving along and notice that my hands on the steering wheel look like those of an old woman — wrinkled, thin skinned. Poor things, I think; they need some coconut oil.