Thank You, Me

I just started reading this book called Stumbling on Happiness.  Despite what its title might hint Daniel Gilbert's work is NOT a self help book.  Gilbert himself sums up the premise of his book by writing, "Instead, this is a book that describes what science has to tell us about how and how well the human brain can imagine its own future, and about how and how well it can predict which of those futures it will most enjoy." I'm crossing my fingers it isn't a lot of nerdy, scientific, brainiac blathering. But, we will soon see.

Really, all that has very little to do with the post I'm about to write.  The only reason I told you, is that the inspiration for the post that I'm about to write comes from an idea Gilbert discussed in his incredibly witty Forward. While speaking of our "future selves," Gilbert writes, "We toil and sweat to give them just what we think they will like, and they quit their jobs, grow their hair, move to or from San Francisco, and wonder how we could ever have been stupid enough to think they'd like that." His point being, for much of our lives we make choices and sacrifices to benefit the self of our future. But said choices and sacrifices are seldom recognized or appreciated by our unhappy, whiny, ungrateful future selves. He goes on to explain, "They (our future selves, again) may recognize our good intentions and begrudgingly acknowledge that we did the best we could, but they will inevitably whine to their therapists about how our best just wasn't good enough for them."


That sounds sorta familiar and not all that attractive to me. Now, I'm definitely a "no regrets" kinda gal.  But I definitely often wonder about how or why I made the choices I did. Occasionally I find myself shaking my head at my past self thinking, "Silly girl." But today there will be no head shaking. It's undoubtedly true that I have made some poor, poor choices in my past. But, what about all the good choices I made over the years? What about the good things I purposefully (or accidentally) did that brought me happiness in the future? This post is all about giving some credit where it's due*.  It's a "Thank You" to the Me of the past, if you will.

I guess here is where I start listing those "right choices," right? Right.

- Thank you college me for being fearless enough to change your major 100 bajillion times.  Getting a little taste of so many different disciplines opened my mind to different ways of using my brain. It also cemented in my heart that there isn't only ONE thing/job I am meant to do for my whole life. For me, there is freedom in knowing that I can try new things either as hobbies or careers.

- Thank you drunk me for getting that tattoo. I have never regretted it for one second. I'm serious people, not even one second.

- Thank you past me for keeping in touch with friends.  There is something amazing about friendships that span decades.  New friends are definitely fun and exciting. (and I have every intention of turning my new friends into old friends, Lord willing) But there is something about laughing/crying with a friend who's known you since mall bangs to really put life into perspective. There's something incredibly comforting about not having to explain the back story to today's current drama because your friend lived through the back story. Maintaining relationships isn't simple, in fact it can be messy, but it's worth all the effort.

- Thank you wanderlusting me for taking off and living in NYC for that all too brief a time. Even if we never make it back to the city permanently, I will always have that time to cherish.

- Thank you home sick me for leaving NYC behind to return to St. Louis. Coming back to the Lou introduced me to sobriety, Christ and the handsome hubby.  All three of those are things that I never even knew I needed in my life.

- Thank you newly married me for not running away. Look, if I'm putting all my cards on the table I have to admit that there were times early in my marriage where I considered giving up. It was just. so. difficult. I was/am so broken and I brought all that yuck into my marriage. But, if I had run I never would have experienced the marriage that we have now. Though it is far from perfect, it is ours and it has been fought for hard.

- Thank you party girl me for living the life that I will never have to wonder about. Never will I look back at my life and say, "I should have taken more risks." Never will I look back and think, "I wonder how much fun it might have been if I'd just cut loose a little?"

For what do you owe your past Me a Thank You?

*"Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all."
1 Chronicles 29:10-12

"I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service..."
1 Timothy 1:11-13

In case you're wondering, it's just a blog post, people. This is not a statement of faith. 
I know where ALL the credit is rightfully due.