my tomorrow self

March 30, 2012

I’ve noticed that more and more that’s who I’ve been turning to when I’m not feeling very psyched about how my day’s going or when I’m feeling down on myself. Whatever bullshit my today self is doing, like watching TV and eating junk food and ignoring cleaning up my errors on my credit score, I can take comfort in knowing that my tomorrow self is going to work out and write and clean the fridge and generally be a better person who gets shit down. Too look at it kindly, I could say that my tomorrow self is aspirational.  That it’s both a benchmark and a source of hope. But realistically, I think my tomorrow self is fantastical, even a  little delusional, which I don’t mean pathologically. I mean my tomorrow self is getting in way of my today self and I’m living in a fantasy of who I am based on who I dream of being. I’ve got nothing against dreams. It’s just I feel I use them to get me off the hook of doing the hard work to actually achieve them, or at least to try to. I have a sneaking suspicion that my tomorrow self is becoming an escape and a much more embarrassingly elaborate escape than I described above because secretly I imagine my tomorrow self is wildy successful at something, as well as being in much better shape than I am today.

I probably sound much harsher than I actually feel because I think this whole tomorrow self thing is very human. We plan and we dream and we otherwise consider the future. There are a ton of songs and sayings about tomorrow being a new day and I think they speak to our desire for the chance to start over, or event re-invent ourselves, especially when things are crappy and fucked up or just terribly disappointing. That’s powerful stuff, especially if it can be dialed in to the moment. If every moment is the chance to start over.

I’ve got no conclusions except soon my tomorrow self is going to be older than I’d like. Soon being relative to a decade or two, probably. I’ve got no big declarations either. Except all the sudden I’m thinking of David Foster Wallace  and “This is water.”

By the way, one of my new favorite essayists, John Jeremiah Sullivan, wrote a review of DFW’s The Pale King. Great writing about great writing.

My mind is twisted up like a wet towel wrung tight and I should probably go to bed. Untwist the bugger if I can.

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