Yesterday, I met a younger version of me.
Doubts and fears, from five years ago.
Questions. Do I do this or that?
Purpose. Will I find what I’m seeking?
Insecurity. Am I okay?
Worth. Will I ever be enough?
Should I be doing something else?
Will I find love? Where?
Is marriage for someone like me?
Will I have kids? When?
Is there something inherently wrong with me?
Will I go back to school? Must I?
Will I find work that I love?
Which city will help me grow?
Do I stay connected to my roots?
Or fly to a land of possibility?
Be creative in a left-brained world?
Find my place, my niche, my tribe?
Is there a place for me here at all?
I smile with perspective and wisdom
that I didn’t know I had
until that very moment.
Put on my reassuring voice, say my two bits;
things have a way of falling into place
your views will evolve, plans will change.
Things do not happen in a pre-defined order;
life isn’t meant to be linear, predictable;
I see your hopes, your wishes, your dreams,
and your worries that they won’t come true.
I don’t promise "Of course they will!";
I want to say "It really won’t matter!"
Mostly, I just joke and smile.
I’m suddenly aware of age
and life’s lessons in five short years.
You complicate life, you youngsters
I recycle laments from old-people speak:
too many choices, the burden of freedom
how grateful am I for a simpler time!
And oh so bewildered by your confused state!
I remember life from five years ago
with a tinge of envy, and a pinch of sorrow.
When did I become so sorted, figured out?
Gave up my rose-tinted glasses;
brushed off the heart on my sleeve,
too jaded for naïve fears,
too tired for wishful dreams!
What if turned into if only.
"I’m not that old", I remind myself.
So much is possible. To do. Undo.
Yes, in theory, that holds true;
but I probably won’t change a thing!
Coz I’m old enough to know:
tomorrow, when I meet
a younger version of me,
she will say
"It really didn’t matter!"
Supriya Rakesh is a social researcher and writer from Mumbai, India. Her writing explores themes of gender, identity, and relationships through narratives or ’storied selves’. Her recent publications of fiction appear in Kitaab, Setu Bilingual, Borderless Journal, and Muse. Her stories and poems can be discovered at www.supriyarakesh.com.