Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


A Visit From My Past Self

Filed under: Personal History — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am


“You’ll never guess what I found when I was moving.”

“What?” Dawni had called me in the middle of the day. I was at work and uncomfortable about having a conversation.

“It’s one of the tapes you sent me when I was a nanny in Chicago. You talk about Mike on it.”


“Yeah, your husband.”

“Were we married then?”

“No. You were in love with some guy from K-Mart called Doug Monson.”

“Oh yeah, Doug… I really liked him…”

“You taped some music off the radio, which isn’t good, but when you talk, it’s really funny! I’ll let you borrow the tape when we meet for lunch. It’s hilarious!”


With a quick phone call, Dawni sent me into a worry. I was offered a visit from my past self and I wasn’t entirely excited about letting her stay. Would she soil the furniture?

“That tape is so funny. You were so much happier then.”

I knew for a fact that I wasn’t. “I actually feel much happier now.”

“Well, you were more hyperactive then!”

I held my tongue. If I had spoken, I would have said, “I’ve worked really hard to get some peace in my life. That hyperactivity was actually mania and the depression that it hid hasn’t hit me for a long time. I wouldn’t go back to that time for a million dollars.”

Even after Dawni loaned the tape to me, I was filled with trepidation. I tried to joke about it with her, “Dynatone. I really splurged on you, Dawni.” We laughed, but I looked at what I had written: 10-8-87 from Laura.

The tape was full of nearly forgotten crushes and old gossip. After finishing the first side, I wanted to shake that girl from eighteen years ago. I bragged about how easy college was, unaware of the hell that student teaching was going to be. I was blindly following the convoluted path that I had made for myself. The plan was: I want to be a writer, but I can’t make money as a writer, so I’ll get my teaching degree. Then I’ll have all summer long to write.

I felt like shaking her and saying, “If you want to be a writer, be a writer! Don’t try to cram your dreams into a little box of practicality!” I was sitting in my car thinking about that girl from eighteen years ago. She was exactly like I am now. I am cramming my full-time writing into my life with a full time job. There isn’t quite enough time for both, but I am STILL acting as if I can’t make money as a writer.

That girl from eighteen years ago is lost. I can’t go back in time and force her to major in Journalism instead of Mathematics. I cannot change the decisions that she made back in the Eighties. All I can do is make sure I don’t make the same mistakes right now.



  1. I don’t know if you can balance a chequebook with your Maths education, but you can clearly write well. I enjoy reading your entries, and this was one of the more fascinating.

    Comment by David — 9/10/2005 @ 3:05 pm

  2. Just Do It! You ARE a writer. All you need to do is find someone to pay you for what you already love and already do. My mom says, “Do what you love, and the money will follow.” I think she got it from a book.

    Comment by Danielle — 9/11/2005 @ 8:29 pm

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