When I am old I'm sure I will have mixed memories of my younger self. Some good, some bad, some sad, some glad. (Dr. Seuss, anyone?) But what I really want when I am old...what I really want is my grandkids to think I was some sort of graceful badass when I was young.I will burn all ugly photos and delete all evidence of weakness and failure guaranteeing that they will have no other option but to think I was awesome.
What?!?! I'll be be a senile old bag of bones in a mu'umu'u. Think I'll give a fuck about historical accuracy?? Hell no!!
I just want to leave a legacy like my grandmother's left for me. I want my grandkids to think I was as cool as I think my grandmothers were. My grandmothers lived through the depression, they worked hard, they raised families, they stayed married until death did them part. They were young once and had adventures. Then they were old and had a lifetime of experiences to be proud of.
The legacy I intend to perpetuate is not entirely unfounded. There are certain things in my life that I will look back on with pride. I'm proud of leaving home when I was 17. I worked, played sports and maintained a B+ average in college. I briefly had my own petsitting business. I earned everything I had and was dependent on no one. I ran a half marathon when I was 33. I travelled solo. I overcame debilitating depression. I became a competitive dancer. I loved and I lost.
And I'm sure the list will continue to grow with time.
It's interesting to find out what accomplishments people are proud of. Usually you are proud of things that you did that were really fucking hard or challenging, but you did it anyway… somehow. Sometimes you aren't even sure how. It wasn't planned. It just happened. Or it was planned and you worked really, really hard for it. But you did it. You. Because you set your mind to it, or,as Bill Cosby said, “you decided you wanted it more than you were afraid if it”.
I think I want to be proud of my younger self, and my life, when I am old. It's still a work in progress but I'm getting there...