What you know now
There’s a brand of nostalgia that puts your present self and the sum of your experiences back in the shoes of a younger, greener version. “If I only knew then what I know now” and so forth. Youth is wasted on the young, but even at your most naive, you knew more than you thought you did, and you were probably better at living in the present.
What’s changed since then? You can fix a flat tire and roast a chicken, but tomorrow is still as uncertain as it was yesterday, and you can’t relitigate the past no matter how many times you call the jerk store.
So why can’t what you know now serve you well…now? Think about all you know. All the things you could share. The things you could teach a classroom. The theories and the facts and the people and the kindnesses. The lessons you’ve learned and the problems you’ve solved. The things you’re good at. The things you enjoy. The things that other people come to you for. It’s incredible.
There’s a somewhat depressing quote about how the more you learn the more you realize how much you don’t know or won’t ever have a chance to know. And yes, the universe is vast, awesome, and ever-expanding, but most days the secret is knowing how to live in your little corner of it and not taking what you already know for granted.
Don’t you wish you’d known that yesterday?