I can distinctly remember imagining myself at 16 when I was 12 years old. I pictured myself driving a red convertible down my suburban street on the edge of Hanford with my sister, who would be turning 13 in the scenario, to the mall near Lacey Avenue. For some reason, whatever job I was going to have at 16 was going to provide enough money for me to buy my own luxury car.
Fast forward four years later to 16 as I imagine myself in college studying architecture and getting ready to graduate with my degree. I picture myself living in a cool New York apartment not too far away from the private University I’m attending. As a 20-year-old English major, I pictured myself entering my late 20’s becoming increasingly well known as a journalist at the LA Times.
I laugh looking back on all of the wildly off speculations into my own future as a 26-year-old marketing specialist living in Orange County. I’m a little shocked to realize how wrong my younger self was at guessing what I would be like now, and I think about how my past self would receive this marathon-training, book writing, vegetarian who likes to write about herself on the Internet.
Jasmine at 12 would wonder why Jasmine at 26 wasn’t speeding through Northern California in an expensive vehicle, and Jasmine at 16 would be really confused as to why the 26-year-old marketing and communications professional wasn’t an architect. However, I believe all the Jasmines of the past would be pretty proud to see the Jasmine of the future happily living life and pursuing everything that she wants to do.
They would be happy to see that Jasmine at 26 is still best friends with Jena, who Jasmine at seven met on an elementary school playground. They would also be glad to know that Jasmine of the future drives beyond the mall with her sister in her own vehicle to different states, and travels together in planes to other countries.
What this Jasmine of today would like to remind the Jasmines of the future is that they should focus on the present and enjoy everything that life has to offer. Even though life often doesn’t go exactly how you plan it, you should still be proud of how far you have come and know that, in going forward, what matters most is making sure that you come to a place where you are happy with your situation.