the future of the past

changefutureit all started rather innocuously with a decision to transfer my extensive photo library over to the cloud in order to free up some precious space on my laptop. the process of transferring thousands upon thousands of photos was rather hands-on, especially if you wanted to keep them sorted and formatted–and anyone who knows me know how i can be just a tad bit obsessive over these types of details. so suffice it to say, i’ve spent an extensive amount of time going through photos of my life from about age 14 onward in the course of a few days.

it’s actually shocking to see a younger looking version of myself–i can hardly identify with the person i was even a few months ago, let alone a few years ago. it’s surprising how much things change–the very things we think are immutable are alarming in their transitory nature. at the core, i still do have a few things that have remained true to my personality and believe over the years of my life, but really very few things fall into that category. i feel more like myself now than i ever have before–perhaps it’s just part of growing up? either way, it is strange to think about this person i was before and the many iterations of her–and moreover, how very seldom things are fixed.

it reminds me of a sign that i’ve had a strong allegiance to over the course of more than 10 years–it’s one i saw originally while traveling abroad and visiting peggy guggenheim’s home turned museum in venice. it reads, in neon nontheless: changing place, changing time, changing thoughts, changing future. ┬áit’s a phrase that’s lived on more than most of myself, or at least, how i think of myself, has lived and is one of the core points i come back to on a regular basis. change is living, breathing, thinking, feeling.

i like to imagine back to that day in venice–where i was in my life journey, my age, what i believed, who i was–it feels like a distant past, like a jamesian novel, rich with memorable detail but decidely not my life. i think back to my imagined future at that time–what i wished for, dreamed of, thought i wanted–and realize how incredibly difficult it is to predict even the smallest of things about our own lives–things that we to some degree control–in the future. my future is so entirely different than i expected or dreamed of during my first trip to venice, but the sign at the guggenheim house remains true to me.