We’ve all been the age when present actions and long and short-term consequences do not seem to have a direct correlation. Try convincing a six-year old that because she’s going to bed without brushing her teeth tonight, in a few years her tooth will break off and she’ll pay a fortune to have it fixed in an emergency. Life doesn’t work that way when you’re a kid.
We’ll all, well many of us, will be the age when our mental playlist is an endless loop of things that should have been, decisions we ought to have made differently, and choices we would have made had we known better… If I had a penny for every time I hear people say “I didn’t know better then,” I’d have paid off that dentist’s bill without feeling a pinch!
And then there’s the difficult bit. The being 30 (ok 30+) and making decisions… the really big ones… knowing that there will be consequences, and knowing that when you’re blaming you past self for your bungled up life tomorrow, you’re very likely to remember that you knew full well what you’re getting into. You could not have seen into the future, but you could have made some very good guesses.
Dear past self: I’m glad you had some fun, and it wouldn’t have hurt to have had a little less of it. But it’s ok, you didn’t know better.
Dear future self: YOU knew better all along. Stop that whining.