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trickface's avatar

If you met your present self 5 years ago, would you want to be in their position?

Asked by trickface (2326 points ) April 14th, 2011

The scenario is simply this: you meet yourself (at a party, a bar, at work, wherever) however this is all set 5 years ago and the person you are meeting is yourself in the present day.

How would you feel about the person you are talking to?
Would you be happy at what you had become?
Would you want to be in their shoes?
Would you admire them or maybe despise them?
What questions would you ask (if any)?

Feel free to adjust the timeframe of 5 years to what ever you want.

I understand this is rather a surreal idea and may not be for everyone, but I think it’s a curious thought. This is not a study question, I was daydreaming whilst trying to fall asleep and this idea popped into my head.

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22 Answers

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ddude1116's avatar

hell, yes, simpler times…

KateTheGreat's avatar

Indeed. It was very hard for me 5 years ago.

trickface's avatar

@KatetheGreat so the answer is Yes you would like to be your current self over your past self :) sounds like you would want to be anyone else other than the you of 5 years ago!

laureth's avatar

I’m now happily married to the guy I’d only been dating about a year back then. I think I’d be mighty pleased for myself.

KateTheGreat's avatar

@trickface Thanks. I edited it.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

My present self is very happy not be where I was 5 years ago. I much prefer my present self and my present circumstances.

Mariah's avatar

I was just about to turn 14… me was angry young woman back then. XD
I think I’d be very surprised about how things have gone down since then. I don’t think I’d be happy about it, though. But I was also pretty stupid back then, so I don’t think it’s a good measuring stick of my current success.
I’ve failed at becoming the person I wanted to be when I was 13… I can think of much worse things to fail at. XD

Haleth's avatar

So the premise is, my 18-year-old self is hanging out at a party in 2006, and my 23-year-old self strikes up a conversation? I’m having trouble figuring out the wording of this question. :(

Myself at 18 would be disappointed that I haven’t gotten any tattoos, because she really wanted to get a couple but couldn’t decide. She’d give me a thumbs up for managing cafes for a living but she’d think it’s lame that I’m living in DC and not somewhere more laid back and alternative.

I don’t know. At age 18 I was still in art school but on the precipice of dropping out and making this string of really bad decisions that lasted for the next 3 years. Getting my shit together has been an uphill battle, but I’m definitely doing better. So I’d mostly sit my 18-year-old self down and give all this advice, like “These people are your good friends, not these people!” and “don’t live there, your crackhead roommates will steal all your stuff!” On the other hand, I’ve had some really cool life experiences since then and definitely mellowed out a whole lot. I was pretty wild back then, not in a good way.

Garebo's avatar

I’d be saying five years ago-bro, give me some of that magic back, now!
It’s funny how over a certain period of time a certain persona persists where everything is wonderful, but eventually the candle fades. If I could reignite that time period again I certainly would.

Coloma's avatar

I’d be pleased with the progress I’ve made the last decade, but, I’m older, so, in terms of measurement, it would be from 40–50. A very productive and enlightening decade.

Wisdom awaits…:-)

filmfann's avatar

Sell The House!!!! Sell it!!! Don’t Remodel!!! Save Your Inheritance And Don’t Fix Up The Bathrooms!!!

DominicX's avatar

Oh, I liked 14-year-old me, but I wouldn’t want to be in his position. First of all, he was just a little over 5 feet tall and his voice sounded like a little girl’s. He was accepting the fact that he was gay but was totally at a loss of what to do about it (and was considering living a lie for the rest of his life), he was about to discover Q&A sites (no…they will take over your life!!!), but in the end it was an alright time. Now is much better though :)

Bellatrix's avatar

I have finished some huge projects that were still hanging over my head five years ago. I was not sure I would ever get them finished. So, I am happy to be where I am. My marriage, which only happened just over five years ago, is going from strength to strength. My children are all okay and finished school which is great for them and gives me a great deal more freedom now. My house renovations are almost finished too. I wasn’t unhappy five years ago, but I feel I am on the cusp of lots of great changes now and am very happy with where I am today.

Jeruba's avatar

My five-years-ago self would be envious of this person who’d managed to retire so young (relatively speaking) and wonder how she’d ever managed it, knowing that I didn’t have a chance of doing likewise. I felt permanently trapped then, not knowing what was going to fall into my lap in three years’ time.

So I’d probably say to myself: she seems so laid back and free and relaxed. I’d feel that way too if I could get out from under this well-paying misery. Some people have all the luck.

I’d probably also tell myself something to make myself feel a little better about the contrast; for example, she doesn’t seem to be doing very much with all her free time. If I had that much discretionary time, why, I could write a novel, do volunteer work, fix up the garden, go back to sewing, visit with friends more often, learn another language, read more books . . .

downtide's avatar

I’m not certain I understand the question but… the me I am now would not want to be the me I was 5 years ago. The 5-years-ago me would definitely want to be the me I am now. A lot has changed for me in the last 5 years and it’s all change for the better.

Cruiser's avatar

Yes. I knew then how this all would play out as I had to make a huge decision back then to make where I am at today a reality.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I’d be fantastically relieved that the crushing family misery I was going through at that time would be alleviated.

Jeruba's avatar

@trickface, we seem to be giving different interpretations to your question. I thought you were asking me to imagine that I (as I was 5 years ago) met “Jeruba + 5 years” (i.e., myself as I am now) as a stranger at a party and just give my impression of the person. Some of us are answering how they’d have liked (back then) to see 5 years into their present future, which is very different. And some are looking back from now onto themselves of 5 years ago and making comparisons. Could you please clarify your question for us?

trickface's avatar

@Jeruba @downtide and anyone else who is a little mystified. I’m known amongst all who know me for not making the clearest points so I’ll try again for what it’s worth.

You (your mind and actions) are inside the body of yourself 5 years ago, wherever you were and whoever you were with. You stumble into someone you recognise, the encounter is friendly and comes with no anger or unease. You quickly realise you have met yourself, and this person is from the future. You’re having a free-flowing conversation with them but you do not control what the future self is saying. You are effectively talking to a mirror of yourself who remembers exactly their history and experiences however you are not in control of what they say, you can only assume what they would say as in any conversation. Your mind is in the past-you, your reckoning of yourself is in the future(present really)-you.

How do I come up with this stuff? Thank you all for your wonderful answers, maybe it doesn’t matter so much the phrasing of the question but instead in hearing peoples memories, nostalgia and stories. That’s my enjoyment anyway.

augustlan's avatar

Really interesting question. Wish I’d seen it when you first asked it!

My 5 years ago self would be pretty happy with the me I am now. Back then, I was a stay-at-home mom with fibromyalgia, with no idea what kind of job I might have (or be able to tolerate, pain-wise) in the future. I have the best job, ever, now. Absolutely perfect for me, and it’s a job I didn’t even know existed back then. I was newly married for the second time, and would be pleased to see that almost 6 years in it’s still going strong. All three of my daughters will be in high school this fall, in school together one last time. One of them has changed a lot, and is much happier now than she was five years ago. We’re all very close, despite the treacherous teen-age years, and that’s wonderful. They’re all doing well, so I’d be happy about that, too.

I’d wish, as I always have, that I had more motivation to follow through on the ideas in my head, and maybe that I’d lost a little weight. Other than that, I think I’d be pleased with the future me and the life I’m living.

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

Yes, because I’m better now than 5 years ago. Five years ago, I was busy with our second child——just born——so I was always drained of energy from lack of sleep! Lol. I was also less settled financially, and health-wise, I didn’t have the time to swim and exercise (do weights), so I was less fit too. If I saw myself as I am now, I’d be thinking “Geezus, I can’t wait to be you. I mean me.” Lol.

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