You know that voice? The one that itches at your hairline, or tickles your gut, or steals your sleep just before drifting off? The one that tells you something needs to change? Something isn’t quite right anymore? Something inside of you, your relationships, or your life is askew? That says a major change is on the horizon?
I’m all too familiar with this voice. It comes to me when I really need it. It comes to me when I least want it. Often when I’m otherwise feeling melancholy and restless and edgy. Often when I want to stay firmly planted in my habits and routine and bask in the glory of a “well-deserved” pity-party.
It’s the voice that told me it was time to go to grad school, even though I enjoyed partying my twenties away. It’s the voice that told me I needed to change careers, even though I had only been out of grad school a short while. It’s the voice that told me it was time to have a baby, even though I had no idea what to expect.
In all of those situations, it didn’t really feel like the Present Me was making these choices. Because Present Me is almost always far too scared to make any sort of life-altering decisions. But Future Me? Future Me is a badass. Future Me is brave and wise and headstrong. Future Me is what makes me a Gryffindor (like, actually, Pottermore tested and proven).
Future Me whispers back to Present Me every so often, using this voice, to tell me what I should be doing, where I should be going, where to steer myself next. Without her, I would be stuck in my fear, my anxiety, making bad decisions that make other people happy, and refusing to acknowledge my own truth.
Future Me reaches back in time and tells me when, tells me where, and leaves how up to Present Me. The how of it can be the killer. But once I hear this voice, once I feel Future Me’s tug, I am at once stirred. When I falter in the how, I rely time and again on the wisdom of my future self. I felt pulled in this direction for a reason. Somewhere inside of me is a deeper sense, a grounded intuition, that I am going to be okay if I simply follow the pull of this path.
After so much change and upheaval over the past few years, from moving across the country, to having a baby, and changing careers, Future Me has been quiet of late. Not so much as a whisper since I heard her call to actually put my writing out there (the impetus for Brimming).
Whenever this voice does come back to me, I will listen with relief, with trepidation, and with faith that she has never steered me wrong.
If you’re questioning a choice, feeling restless, or deeply dissatisfied in some part of your life, pay attention to the itch, to the tickle, to the sleeplessness.
It could be your future self trying to get your attention. Remember that she is wise. She is invested. She is honest.
Your future self is you at your bravest, your boldest, your most actualized.
Your future self is you, in all forms, unbound and unburdened.
And she has something to say.