A letter to 4 year old me (letters pt.2)
Dear little me,
I was surprised to get your letter. I thought you couldn’t form proper words yet. You have yet to form full sentences — but I understood most of the word soup that you sent.
I tell you — that day is not far when you discover the joy of reading.
As for the sketches, you are never going to be good at it. Nor at coloring. You should give up on that!
Let me repeat once again how alien this concept is to me. That I can send you letters and that you can reply. It is a shame that I can only contact you once every 2 or 3 years.
I never really understood time travel. I believe very few people today really do.
I can remember that everyone was fascinated with time travel back in the day. It was a metaphor for freedom, from rules, from causality. Once the technology got here, it became extremely limited access. But what was amazing — once time travel became possible, it stopped being a science fiction staple.
It got boring for the Joe Public. Time travel is dangerous now. Requires a lot of research to understand it without blowing up timestreams.
We will talk more about the future, I assure you. But this is already dangerous information I am not supposed to tell you.
Let us talk about what I remember about being four. I remember a specific day when my sense of self came into being. I think this began with the mirror, yes? You would look into the mirror and look into the eyes that gazed back. Your mirror image would always look into your eyes. You thought it was magic. And then you kept thinking about the idea that you were contained in your body. Your self had a boundary that stopped at your skin.
Once you realized you were a separate entity from your family — you kept asking your parents who they were to you. No surprise that they thought it was a dumb question.
This probably doesn’t interest you. You do not have the notion of what is important yet. I still wonder if this memory is real — or something that my brain kept altering everytime I accessed it, till one day my memory started to reflect what I needed to be there.
I like to think that there is a narrative to our lives. A manifest destiny that we can read if we look hard enough. I also believe that there is no such narrative — no purpose to it all.
Did this confuse you mini me?
Okay. Let me try again. I like the comfort of knowing that there is a narrative going on behind the scenes. That my intense love of books today stems from one afternoon when I was your age — when I discovered that books are adept at being pillows. And I liked pillows. No, no! That did not actually happen. Did it? My memory is far less reliable than most others’.
The point is — it gives me intense pleasure to look back into the past and come up with little, comfortable truths that led me to here. And then those little truths start to define us. It is a comfortable state of mental peace if you can successfully believe that.
But I also know that there can be no such narrative, or purpose or destiny. We choose our own respective narratives. Which can be enormously depressing, or ridiculously freeing.
I am sure you are laughing at me now, mini me. Adults aren’t weak — they just have had more time to comprehend meaninglessness. You know what? Let us end here. I will see you in two more years.