Letter to My 80 Year Old Self

Hoping you’ll be around to read it.

No description available.

Dear Chris,

I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately. 2040 is not so far away and no doubt, the world will have changed; just wondering how much. The big questions seem silly to ask, but curiosity has gotten the better of me. What’s the weather like? How many mutations of Coronavirus have been discovered? Is Ivanka Trump president? Who in your orbit is still around?

There are of course things I’m certain remain true. Those certainties that have stood the test of time: the fear of God, every man or woman for his or her self, stupidity, denial, illness, religion, love and Cher. Self-destruction of humankind seems inevitable; however, I can’t help wondering if that’s you’ll go.

The planet has always gone through stages of birth, death, and re-birth; that is a constant. The big question on my mind is what lessons have been learned? Knowing that society’s changes are often temporary and uneven, I cannot help wondering how the billions of earth’s inhabitants are experiencing their current reality. How many billions are there by the way? As usual, I digress.

Allow me to explain my reason for writing. As a pragmatic cynic, I never had much faith in my fellow human. I watched too many of my neighbors place plastic in the organic bin. It wasn’t that I wondered if they cared, it was more that I knew they didn’t. Unfortunately, that’s what age does to you — you’ve seen too much to hold onto blind hope. Yes, there are rare exceptions to the rule. There are moments when you think that people have changed. But, as we know, history repeats itself and humankind makes more missteps than progress. Isn’t that what being human is?

You were always one to defend ignorance, therefore, I’m certain you’re spending more time defending and less time explaining. But are you mostly happy? Or maybe you been around long enough now to realize that happiness is relative.

Knowing that you are a dreamer, there are some other things I have been wondering about. For instance do you continue to care what others think? I suspect you do. That was an elusive lesson no matter how much you tried to detach; proving that imprinting early on is almost impossible to alter. I’m hopeful that the effects of gossip and idle chatter have softened you over time. As your taste buds only got stronger as you got older, I’m hopeful that this consistent pleasure, remains intact. I can’t help imagining that the walks have gotten longer and your bedtime earlier. The quiet of the morning hours becoming more of a comfort, as the messages from loved ones are more than likely, less frequent. I’m certain you expect less and long for even less.

What I hope for more than anything else, is that you have found peace. The ability to laugh at absurdity; comfort in your tears. Also, that loss has somehow passed you by or that time has only taken those you were prepared to go. I know that you often think fondly of Ashley, Giorgio, and Paco. The dogs who taught you more about life and love than most of the humans you encountered.

If there is anything I can help you with as the get closer to death, let it be this: time is your most precious possession. Cherish time, forget regret, love yourself first, dance when you feel like dancing, sing anywhere you like, love without fear, embrace your authentic self, if the play sucks, walk out, do not give away time to those who do not deserve it and spend time with those who do. And for once in your life, do not allow guilt to enter your heart and/or mind.

With hope, love and arrogance,

Your younger self

By CP

I was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1959. I've lived in several different places, but this is the first time I have resided overseas. My career has gone in multiple directions; however, education is my passion. My Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from New York University has opened many doors and for that I am grateful. Writing has become a pastime I enjoy and hope to further pursue. The future holds no limitations and I am keeping all of my options open. I have landed in Portugal and there is a vast and beautiful world to explore.

8 comments

  1. Christmas eve, my friend Robert was quoting Jack Nickleson in The Bucket List.
    1. Pee when ever you can. 2. Never waste and erection and 3. Never trust a fart.
    Words to live by.
    xxx
    d

    Like

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: