Nothing to Talk About

Whether or not we’re fans of sci-fi, most of us are enthralled by the thought of time travel because of the opportunity either to zoom forward to see the technologically advanced future or to move backwards to alter our past by meeting a younger version of ourselves. Alas, without the possibility of time travel at the moment, the most easily accessed version of ourselves is in the present, and what fun is that?

Just imagine if you could go back in time and meet the younger, clueless, and more reckless version of yourself. What would you tell him or her? Don’t try chopping that onion! Don’t skip school on October 8, 2001! Don’t become too infatuated with one of them young’uns! In spite of our inability to alter the past and the passage of time as we know it, we still can access a piece of our past-selves in those very diaries and journals that we have left behind.

In fact, as a young adult, one of the things I regret the most for not doing as a kid was keeping a diary or journal. I know what you might be thinking, “Anusha, it’s never too late! You could start one now! In fact, you blog, so that’s basically the same thing, right?” And to this argument, I say yes, yes, yes, but I don’t have the same thoughts from when I was younger and a bit more juvenile.

Looking at a dated entry from several years ago, you think about how strange it is that that day was once the unmistakable present, and now it no longer is. And then you wonder how long it will be until your present too becomes the distant, dusty past. Yes, reflecting on the writings of our childhood and early adolescence is absolutely enthralling. Am I right?

Of course, we may not always be pleased with what we find. Looking back at what we had written as early adolescents, we may cringe at the wild mood swings that had often seized our thoughts and words, at our messy scrawl tumbling off the pages, at our laughable dramatization of the mundane.

But you know, if I ever had the opportunity to meet past-Anusha, I wouldn’t curse her for her folly, carelessness, mood swings, and insecurities. I wouldn’t attempt to dissuade her from any faulty course of action that she would eventually commit. Because if I did, if I ensured that I had led the perfect life, present-Anusha would have nothing to talk about.

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