|Photo by JR Korpa.
I just realized that I am living the life I DREADED as a teen: in my mid-thirties, single, living alone, and I work in an office. (If you didn't read the word "office" with total disdain, go back and read it that way again. That's teen Andrea.)
These conditions were basically the worst things I could imagine.
Obviously, there are also things about my life that are great-great-great to the point that even my teenage self could have been excited for them. (I wrote a book! I have a cat who is almost as co-dependent for me as I am for her! I have lots of friends and we love each other deeply!) (I would also mention my amazing family, but teenage Andrea already had this amazing family, so it's not new.)
Still, the bones of my life are such that 15-year-old Andrea would have wailed in despair and possibly given up on EVERYTHING. (Why yes, I was voted "Drama Queen" in my graduating year, why do you ask?)
Sometimes I have a moment of realizing I'm living my past dreams. Those moments help me appreciate what I've got more. As it turns out, however, I'm also living my past nightmare.
Don't worry, it doesn't make me feel bad. It's kind of funny, I guess? That I catastrophized this totally reasonable existence as something that would mean my life was OVER? When really, it's life, so it's a mixture of great, sad, exciting, boring, meaningful, disappointing, and fine.
So apparently if I could go back and tell my past self anything, it's that my nightmare life is fine.