This year is thirty years since I graduated from high school. Thirty years was the time jump that Marty Mcfly made in the Delorean in the "Back to the Future" movie. So I am thinking maybe there is significance in the thirty years. I know this blog is all about fifty, but let me journey away from fifty for this post and go back in time thirty years ago (give or take a year or two).
I found two pictures of me taken during my high school years and decided yesterday to recreate the moments at Fort Edmonton Park. The first picture was taken at a fort in Saskatchewan on one of our class trips. It could have been Carleton or Batoche. I am not sure which one it was. But I have this picture of me on this old cart.
So yesterday, at Fort Edmonton Park, I went looking for a cart to pose in front of. I didn't really climb in the cart, because there were too many staffers walking around. I didn't want to attract any attention, so I took out my selfie stick and posed in front of it. This cart was in the actual Fort itself... so good re-creating.
The next thirty year old picture came from Disneyworld... so it is actually thirty-one, because that trip was in 1986. One of my family members took a picture of me on a carousel horse.
But I made it and have the photographic memory of the day to compare. I am thinking I haven't changed much. My hair is a little greyer, but you can't tell that because I was wearing a hat. I think it's the same girl... just thirty years apart. (a bit of irony... my horse's name was Memory)
Yesterday, I spent a few hours just walking around trying to feel like I was in a time period that my Grandparents knew.
I longed to be in a simpler time when people weren't hanging out with their iPhones, they were hanging out with each other. But in reality I was there, hanging out with my iPhone.
It is a beautiful place, these parks designed to bring us back in time. It is a reprieve from the crazy world we find ourself in in 2017. I was wondering if, in 100 years from now, there will be a park that will have iPhones on display as antiques.
Back to the carousel, I was on that horse thinking, I could check off something from my "Things to do before I turn 50" list. And then another idea came to mind. So last night at my computer I started a letter. I started a letter to the Ruby of 1987. Thirty years ago... that was me. Just graduated from high school and starting bible school in Camrose. So I wrote to her... here is a segment of the letter.
"I am going to tell you something that you may not want to admit right now. You are naive. You grew up sheltered from the world, and now exposed to it, it wants to suck you in. I don’t want to scare you, I just want to prepare you for the road ahead. Mom and Dad love you. They just wanted to protect you. What parent wants to expose their child to the dangers of life at any juncture? So now you are finding your way into a world that you aren’t prepared for. If I could travel back in time to 1987, I am sure I would be there with a big stick trying to protect you too.
You have a good heart. You love well and Love will be with you on this journey. You will learn how to love in good times and in hard times. Some of those hard times aren’t that far away, some are down the road aways. I want to tell you, that it is worth it. Love is worth it. "
It is an interesting exercise... something I saw on someone else's "Things to do before 50 list".
This morning I started writing the Ruby of 2047, my 79 year old self, thirty years from now. That is more challenging... here is a segment of that letter to explain why.
So yesterday, I wrote a letter to Ruby of 1987. My 19 year old self. And since I am hot flashing at 2:30 in the morning, I thought it appropriate to write my 79 year old self a letter. Jumping thirty years in the future is a lot more uncertain than going back thirty years. I don’t know who you are. I knew who I was thirty years ago, but I don’t know who you are. I didn’t know the Ruby of 2017 back in 1987, and those two Ruby’s have so much “not in common” but still a lot in common.
Are you hot flashing? Funny that I would ask myself that question. Maybe I hope it is finally over. I would like to sleep without waking up sweating. I don’t like that part about getting older. Am I making you laugh right now... talking about getting older. You are probably wishing you were my age again.
See what I mean, here I am walking towards fifty... and wondering what I will be like at 79. Yikes. Going there seems scary. But maybe writing myself a letter that I will open in thirty years has its blessings. I wonder what kind of letter I would have written to my fifty year old self when I was just starting out on life.
I hope at 79, I will find myself on a carousel with the strength and agility to climb on that horse once again, if only once more for a picture and a ride down memory lane.