A letter to the 80-year-old me

A Letter to the 80-Year-Old Me

Dear Eighty-Year-Old Me,

I hope that this letter reaches you with the strength and vigor that you have always possessed – a trait which always seemed ageless, irrespective of the years piling on. As I pen down my thoughts, emotions, and questions at this relatively young age, I know that it is your wisdom and experience that will provide the answers.

Let’s start with the question that rushes to my mind – Do we have any regrets? A life lived without regrets is rare, so I’m curious and nervous to know if we accomplished this seemingly challenging feat. What were the moments where we felt like the world was against us, only to bounce back stronger than before?

How do our relationships look at the stage of life you’re in? Do we still have people by our side who have shared and witnessed our growth through all of these years? Our children must be men and women now, thriving in their lives. But tell me, do they still ask for our advice or simply humor us as we try to impart wisdom?

I am also eager to learn about how our career unfolded over time. Did we follow our passions and interests without letting fear dictate our decisions? Have we made an impact in other people’s lives through our work or through philanthropy? How did we navigate both external pressures and self-doubt to make those crucial choices?

Thinking about aging in today’s day and age begs another question – how has technology transformed the world we live in? Can you recall when cell phones didn’t even exist, and now do you use something equivalent to a tiny supercomputer daily? Were there any advances in science that improved our quality of life or perhaps even prolong it?

Our generation witnessed so many monumental moments in history – from civil rights movements to significant breakthroughs in science. How did these affect your views on the world today? Are people more accepting and understanding of one another, or do we still struggle against the shackles of -isms and social constructs?

Is our world a safer, healthier, more just place now, or do we still grapple with humanitarian crises? How do our world leaders tackle these issues? Are they collectively working for the betterment of humanity as a whole, or simply prioritizing the interests of their respective countries?

Now for something much more personal – how do you feel about aging? Has age made your body feeble, or did we keep up with those activities that kept us fit and healthy for so long? Is accepting old age as an inevitable reality easy, or does nostalgia often leave a bittersweet taste in your mouth?

Lastly, as you read this letter and reflect upon the questions posed throughout, remember the amazing fact that you’ve reached where you are today by traversing highs and lows that have shaped you into the person you sought to be. Embrace every moment that has brought joy or sorrow, for it has been the tapestry of your life.

If there’s any advice I can offer to myself at your age, it would be to cherish every connection made along the way, because those connections keep us feeling young and alive during all stages of life. Sometimes seeking out new experiences and remaining engaged with the world around you are what we need to continue feeling relevant.