This is a blog post from The Art of Non-Conformity with my personal notes added.
. This is how you do it. First, sit yourself down wherever you like to sit. Get coffee or your drink of choice. Turn off the distractions and take it seriously. (Wouldn’t you take another interview seriously?)
Then you open the conversation like this:
Dear self, you are x years old. What do you have to show for it? Are you living the dream?
I am 47 years old. I have a lot to show for it, and am very happy with my life so far. I’ve had great experiences, I have a wonderful family, good friends, I’ve written 6 books, I’ve been successful at work, I’m fairly secure financially, and I have a husband, friends, and cats who love me. What more could I ask for?
What is the dream? I have to answer that before I can say if I’m living the dream. The only dream I’ve had for my entire life is to live in a house on the beach. I am not living that dream, and I probably never will. But that’s OK because I have new dreams, dreams that are more important to me.
What are my new dreams? To spend at least six months a year in Europe, perhaps even to live there for a year or two.To spend a lot of time with my friends, relaxing, enjoying each other’s company, and not thinking about work. To spend more time on creative endeavors and less time on drudge work. To honor my creative work and my relationships and consistently make them first priority in my life. To live my dreams now instead of waiting for later.
As you look back on your life, what are you most proud of, what do you regret, and how do you feel about each of those things?
I’m most proud of my books, especially Arctic Lace. And I only have one regret that I’m willing to admit, and I’ve written about that recently, so I won’t harp on it any more.
Here are a few follow-ups:
What’s next, self?
EUROPE! Fiction. Creativity. Relaxation. Less thinking and more feeling.
Why do you do the things you do every day?
Habit. Deadlines. Obsession. I would like to be more thoughtful about how I fill my hours. In the long-term I am quite happy with the way I live, but on a daily basis, I sometimes let fluff fill hours that could be more satisfying if I was living more intentionally.
What do you really believe in? (What do you know to be true?)
Life and love. The here and now. Being present, but having hope for the future. Planning but leaving room for fate. That people are the most important thing in life and should always come before anything else.
Where do you find your security?
In Dom. In my own competence. In knowledge.
What bothers you, and what are you doing about it?
Republicans. What can be done about it? I try to talk to my Republican friends and get them to look deeper into the issues instead of just repeating the talking points they hear on TV or talk radio. I try to promote peaceful, liberal ideas in my writing. That’s all I can do. If I pay too much attention to politics, it gives me a headache or, worse, it turns me into The Hulk.
What worries you?
That life is slipping away too quickly and I will continue to do the same thing I’ve regretted in the past again in the future. That life will be over, and I will not have spent enough time with my friends.
If you had one year left to live, how would you spend it?
In Europe, learning, meeting people, talking talking talking talking with my friends, and creating one beautiful masterpiece to leave behind as a legacy.
That’s it, that’s how I feel today. I hope you may be inspired to interview yourself as well.