The Once and Future Me (MMX)
I noticed a number of people posting on Twitter today with the tag #10yearsago and it got me thinking of my actions over this past decade. I started asking questions like what was life like for me back in 2000? What's changed in the world, and what's changed in me over the course of these ten years? More than anything, my father's voice keeps coming up, telling me how life moves so fast. "Blink", he says, "and you're ten years older", and he's exactly right.
Ten years ago, I was still living with my parents in Langley. I claimed to be an environmentalist, while driving 33km to and from work every day and was dying to get the hell out of this province and into the world. My understanding of who I was, and what I wanted was still quite fragile, but at least I was beginning to comprehend that knowing these things was important.
Since then, I've run away from this place and seen the world -- admittedly only few pieces of it, but more than many people around here bother to see in a lifetime. I've lived in the biggest city in Canada, embraced volunteerism and politics and furthered my understanding of the answers to those two important questions.
To be honest, it's hard not to look back on the last ten years of my life and not be pleased with my experiences. I've made a good many mistakes (even made the same ones more than once), but on the whole, I think that I've done good for this world and been true to myself and those I care about. I've learnt more about who I am and what I want than I thought possible, and have no doubt that there's still a great deal more to take in. If my next ten years are as rich as the last, I will be a lucky man.
My concern however is rooted in my father's voice. Indeed, this time has passed quite quickly: I remember having lunch with my father days after 9/11 like it was yesterday, and some days it feels like I'd only recently abandoned Vancouver for a bigger, better life in Toronto... How did I do all of that in just ten years? How much time is left?
There is a life that I want out there, a person I want to be -- is there time remaining to become that man, to build the life I want? Is it folly to try to do both at the same time, or even to convince myself that that life can be achieved? And what if the needs of the various parts of that life are in conflict? When 2020 rings in, and I am 40 years old, will I be able to look back on these next ten years as favourably as those that just passed?
It's a hell of a thing to ask so much of a mere passage of time, but this is who I want to be and what I want out of this life. It may not happen. It may all go sideways. But the path will be mine.