Encourging Through Time Travel
Talking To Our Younger Self
If I could time travel and meet my 16-year-old younger self, I’m not sure what I would tell her. I would probably try and reassure her that everything is under control. That she can’t really predict how her life is going to turn out to be, but to not worry about anything. Whatever happens it’s going to happen anyway, whether she wants to or not.
I’ll tell my time travel doppleganger that 16 years from now she’ll be fine, she’ll be engaged to a man she really loves and who loves her. She lives in Paris and will soon move to Hawai’i. Or that I talk to ghosts and spirits and now it is my job.
You see, the 16-year-old me would never believe that. She’d call me crazy or she’d think that she’s yet in another vivid dream or she’s hallucinating the time traveling me, because this life I’m living now is beyond her wildest imagination.
Summoning The Time Traveler
While walking on a white sandy beach in Hawai’i watching the sunset, I decided to try and talk to my younger self so that I can show her around. It’s easy to “summon” her to time travel to me. Some 2000s music playing in my ears, walking along the ocean shore with the feet in the water, holding my phone like an old mp3 player and there she is!
I feel her youthful, joyful presence and her incredulous gaze following me. She looks up and sees some beautifully tall palm trees. The view of the ocean doesn’t surprise her. It is June after all and she’s used to go on the beach in June in Albania even though it’s not a beach she recognizes.
I look at her and smile. She looks back and asks me if I’m from the future.
“Yes, I am,” I reply, smiling.
I tell her it’s the year 2022 and we’re in Waikiki, a beach in Hawai’i.
“Wow, Hawai’I,” she says, bewildered. ”Holidays, I assume?”
“No” I reply, “We live here now. We’ve been living here for the past year.”
The look on her face makes me think that she doesn’t really believe me. Like she knows she’s dreaming.
“And what are we doing here?” she asks with her eyes. She doesn’t really need to ask. I can read all of her questions in her mind. I am her after all, and she is me, at least a part of me, somewhere still there deep inside me.
My sweet little time traveler wants to know if she’s with someone. She wonders if she ends up with her high school sweetheart, the only love that she’s experienced so far. But she also knows that it can’t be true.
The 16-year-old me didn’t really believe that she was loveable. She didn’t really believe that someone could choose her above anyone else, that someone would find her attractive, that someone would decide that she was worth it, worth the love, worth the wait. So, she doesn’t dare to ask, but I tell her anyway.
“You’re much happier that you thought it would be possible to be.” My answer is not satisfactory. She doesn’t really know how that is supposed to feel. I am now in a conundrum.
How much can I really tell my past self without ruining life’s surprises? All of it, the good and bad, yet get her to experience life in the way that I did, bring her to the same point I am now. How can I tell her things and pretend they won’t impact her?
Can I tell her that she only has a few more years left with her father? If I do, she may choose to never leave for South Korea and in consequence never meet her husband to be or she might choose to never even go to France for her studies and maybe never even start to learn hypnotherapy. No, it’s too risky to tell her anything precise about the future events.
What Should I Tell The Time Traveler?
I reconcile finding a few things I can tell her; things she needs to know.
“Don’t doubt yourself so much,” I say. “You don’t know how lovely you are. One day soon, you’ll meet someone, and you’ll believe in everything he says. Don’t do that. People can only tell you what they believe is the truth, but there is no one truths. What they’re really saying is their beliefs about that perceived truth. Don’t put your own self worth in the hands on another person. They don’t know better than you.”
“Invest in your education. Invest in yourself. You ARE a good investment. One day your father is going to make you question that; know he is really joking. He is proud of you. He’s just afraid that you’re growing up so fast that he can’t advise you anymore.
“Now this is a hard one: be responsible for your own happiness and well-being BEFORE your think of everyone else. Education will ultimately be your ticket to freedom.
“Be truthful, always. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if things are not clear. Don’t assume. You’re stronger than you think you are. Asking will spare you from unnecessary suffering. The truth will set you free.”
“Have fun, fun, fun!!! Can’t stress this enough. Enjoy your friends as long as you’re together. Life will pull you apart and bring you back together. Live in the present as much as you can and laugh more. You’re way too serious for your age. 😊 Allow yourself to have fun and don’t bear the responsibility of everyone you love on your shoulders.
“Unfortunately, I can’t spare you from the inevitable suffering and neither do I want to. Suffering will make you grow, but don’t suffer alone and don’t suffer in vain. Remember that things shall pass, they always do and I’m always here for you. You can ‘summon’ me anytime.” I say laughing.
She’s at a loss for words. Her gaze is set far in the distance, gazing at the ocean while she lets the information sink in.
“Do you have any regrets?” She finally asks after a long pause. “Is there anything you want me to do differently?”
“No, and nothing” I say, confidently. “I’ve done my best, always, the same way as you have. Or at least whatever I thought the best was at the time. Of course, I’ve made what you’d call mistakes, but every mistake, every decision that I’ve taken have led me to this moment and I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Remember this word “Perseverance”. It means that when things get tough, keep going. You’re a tough one my dear, and I love you more than you know.”
My Young Time Traveler’s Departure
As I hug her, I feel her fade away. A sweet smell lingers in the air. I felt so grateful that she came to visit me as all her questioning and sadness dissolve in thin air. I wanted her to feel one thing above all else; that she’s never alone. That truly none of us ever are alone. All our past and future selves are by our side, forever, standing there as a family, as our true friends, looking after one another, day by day, cheering for ourselves, our well-being, at all times, for eternity.