The Fallacy Of Looking Back And Thinking It Was Better When You Were Younger

Photo by William Eggleston

Photo by William Eggleston

"But the most confounding thing about our relationship with the evolution of our own selves is that we tend to romanticize our youth even if we don’t find the versions of ourselves that inhabited it “attractive company” at all.

For all its cluelessness, for all its complicity in the making of our present dissatisfactions, we continue to worship youth — especially our own.

What makes this imaginary exchange especially alluring as a thought experiment is precisely the fact that it’s fictional — fictional not because such a fold in the space-time continuum of personal identity is impossible in real life, but because it unfolds in a microscopic level every second of every minute of every day of our real lives. What makes the encounter fictional is the very idea of a static, all-knowing Older Self at any point in life — we are, indeed, “works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished,” and the dividing line between our past selves and our present ones is a constantly shifting one ..." - Maria Popova via Brainpickings