I keep having this weird…

I keep having this weird moment as I think about the protagonist for my new book (who is, admittedly, maybe a tiny bit based on myself, as they all are, in one way or another), where I forget how old she is. I'll be thinking about the scene, happily writing dialogue in my head, etc., and then I suddenly remember, oh wait, she isn't 43 (like me), she's 23. I didn't think this way at 23. How did I think at 23??

It's surprisingly hard to remember that, to remember exactly what my flaws were back then. They were different, I think -- I have new and exciting flaws now. It might be easiest to e-mail my exes from that era and ask them what they found most irritating about me. But I'm not sure my ego could take it. I'll just have to try harder to remember.

I'm pretty sure I wasn't nearly as empathic then -- at 23, I was much more self-centered -- towards my parents, the people I was dating, the world in general. News reports about children in danger didn't bring me to tears. At 23, the brain is still maturing, the psyche still focused inwards. Although also less introspective overall, more impulsive. I'm generalizing, I know. There are thoughtful and incredibly empathetic 23-year-olds. But generally speaking

2 thoughts on “I keep having this weird…”

  1. 23 is a bit young…but the way you thought at 25 is unusually well-documented, thanks to this journal. I just looked and what jumps out is a different lifestyle (single and no kids in an apartment) and a different internet (no Google, an insignificant Amazon, and no machine translation). Perhaps you can read between the lines of what you wrote to figure out how you thought back then?

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