yellow letter tiles

Source: Photo by Ann H from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/yellow-letter-tiles-1888023/

That’s it. Me and the future? We’re done. No more. Kaput. Done-zo. Finished. Fuh-geddaboutit! Over and most definitely out. We had some times together but we need to go our separate ways. Please leave now. Don’t let the door hit you where the good lord split you. You don’t have to go home but you have to get the hell out of here.

And you know what? For once, it isn’t me. It’s you.

I’ve spent most of my life chasing the future. Think about it: you’re a child and it’s December 18th. You just want it to be the future! Or more specifically, December 25th. That’s when all the presents would arrive! Perhaps you’re stuck in a French GCSE class and you just want it to be the future – or, you know, the end of the class. When the future is minutes or days away and often means the end of something tedious or the beginning of something joyous, then that’s cool. That’s where the future thrives.

But where it doesn’t thrive is the whole, you know, being the future thing.

As Motion City Soundtrack once sang, “The Future Freaks Me Out”. I mean, why wouldn’t it? If you think about the future and what that entails…why wouldn’t you start hyperventilating and breathing into a paper bag to try and calm yourself down? I should note at this point, if you’re the type of carefree spirit who just rolls through life without a worry, then this article is not for you. Not that you’re reading this, anyway. You’re probably sat under a tree, having a conversation with a squirrel.

The future is what you make it!

I do a degree where I have to write creatively. But you put an empty page in front of me and just say “Write!” then I am going to freeze up instantly. My mind will instantly go from “ho hum what a wonderful day, I wonder what we shall do–OMG I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO WRITE OR SAY WHAT WILL THEY THINK OF ME I BET THEY HATE ME” et cetera. And that’s what the future is. This blank empty page. One that is staring right back at me, almost taunting me to just blurt out the first thing that comes to my mind. But you’ve only got a fountain pen and no tippex – so everything you say is committed to paper.

So, you’re saying that you’re scared to make a mistake?

Who says you need to spend £180 a month of therapy when you can write articles and talk to yourself. Yes, mistakes. Those things that we have to make to grow not only as individuals but also as a species. But I think we can all agree that they suck to experience. And the consequences! Oh god, who wants to deal with the consequences of failures? It’s alright when it’s Pfizer and their heart medication has unintended side effects, but it doesn’t always work out that way.

The future is like Netflix. There’s a lot of choice. Perhaps even too much choice.

Ever just been scrolling through Netflix, trying to find a new TV show or a film to watch? You just scroll and scroll and scroll and suddenly it’s been half an hour, you’ve not watched anything and you decide to just watch something that you’ve seen a thousand times before? That’s life. That’s the personification of everything I’m talking about right there. Some people might be freed by having so much choice! I am not those people.

Oh, also, at some point in the future, you’ll die.

Yeah, but we don’t know when, do we? Sometimes a doctor will give you a ‘guesstimate’ but they can’t be precise. For a bunch of well adjusted human beings, they will accept this fact and pay no mind to it. That’s fine. But then I’ll hear about Jonathan Larsson, the creator of Rent, dying the night before Rent opened on off-Broadway. Sudden and tragic, through no fault of his own. But hey, at least he didn’t have Alzheimer’s, right?

Hey, have you met the present? I like that guy.

I never gave the present the time of day. You know the meme of the guy that is looking behind him at a girl, while walking next to his presumably girlfriend? I’m the guy, the hot girl is the future and the annoyed girlfriend is the present. And the present never deserved that! It has moments of quiet magic. Birdsong, nature, the release of serotonin from hugs, a get together with friends where it’s just focussed on hanging out and being happy. But if you’re always focused on the future, you never get to see how cool the present is.

So, the future, it’s over. I’m going to hang out with the present.

Published by AJ Toothill

Creative Writing and Music student with the Open University. Fond of writing in a comedic tone known as 'Absolute lunacy'.

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