Saturday, December 29, 2012

What Do You Know Now that Your 20-Year-Old Self Did Not Know?

Over the holidays, a Toronto TV station has been rebroadcasting every game of the 1992 World Series between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Atlanta Braves.
It was so exciting that my husband called me during Game Three to tell me that Candy Maldonado just hit a game-winning single.  "Just hit" as in October 1992, 20 years ago.  I mentioned that, in 1992, Joe Carter didn't know that he will win the 1993 World Series with a three-run homer at the bottom of the ninth.
"In 1992, we hadn't met yet," I said.  "Who did you watch the game with?"
"I was probably alone," he said.
We were imagining our 1992 selves and what we were doing.  Then back we went to our 1982 selves and on back further to our 20-year-old selves.
"What do you know today, that your 20-year-old self didn't know?"
"I know I'm lovable," he said.  "I didn't know that when I was 20."

"I didn't know anything when I was 20.  (I didn't even know that.)  I didn't know that after a year of heartbreak, the lights would come on again in my world.  I didn't know that I'd recover from that heartbreak and many subsequent heartbreaks.  I didn't know then that having a relationship is not the same as having a life, that intensity is not the same as intimacy.  It took me 20 more years to understand that.

When I asked Robin what he knows now (that he didn't know when he was 20), he said this:  "Always have a flashlight.  When I was 20, I was traumatized by an elevator incident.  A flashlight is the one thing you can count on.  It's a primal comfort tool.  As soon as you say, "Don't worry, I have a flashlight," everyone calms down.  Spare batteries also help.

A flashlight would have helped, back when I was 20 and in the dark about so many things.

What do you know now that your 20-year-old self did not know?

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