Who You Were Is Who You Are Is Who You Will Be

Photo by Albert Bridge via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)

People talk about having a weight “set point” that their bodies naturally gravitate to. Can your whole life have a set point? In an essay published at Medium, Megan Daum looks at her life, age 47, and finds it’s remarkably similar to her life, age 27 — and that’s not a bad thing.

And that brings me back to my apartment window, looking down at the river while listening to the same music I listened to in 1997. The big picture for me these days might be a mélange of sadness and puzzlement and oddly exhilarating resignation, but in this fleeting moment, it feels nearly perfect. I have work that feeds my brain at the same time that it pays for that supermarket sushi. I have nearly a half-century’s worth of friends, which is something that is mathematically impossible to have in your twenties. These friends are in practically every time zone on the globe, and even when I haven’t seen them in years, I can count on them to lift me up or crack me up or at the very least impart some kind of gossip that makes me think about human nature in a whole new way. I’m paying more rent than I can afford, but somehow I’m affording it anyway. The surface of my desk is as littered with paper napkins and hair accessories as it was 20 years ago, but I’ve met my deadlines anyway. Except for the ones I’ve missed.

My 1997 self would be satisfied with how things turned out, at least until I told her this was us at 47 and not 37.

“Is this as far as we got?” she might ask.

“Ask me in 10 years,” I might answer.

Except I already know the answer. It’s as far as we got. It’s as far as we were ever supposed to get.

Read the essay