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Thursday, January 3, 2013

End of History Illusion Study

Bull & Finch Pub, Boston

This study (detailed here) really caught my attention. It’s basically about how people aren't good at predicting their future personality changes or cultural preferences. It caught my eye because I recall being in my twenties and seeing myself in my fifties…and the image-- and sense of who I was--was chillingly accurate.

It was sometime in the early 80’s and I was walking on Beacon Street, about a block from the Bull & Finch Pub in Boston. I had a vision flash before me of being on the same street some 30 odd years into the future. I got the sense that I was there because my child was now in college. 

I could see my aged self across the street wearing an expression of bemusement…however, I looked exactly like I do now: bespeckled, short graying hair, in fairly good shape, dressed in a very English style tweedy jacket. Compared to what I looked like in my 20's...long, dark hair, contacts, wearing something fun and/or funky from the Salvation Army, it was a bit of a leap.
Our son is five years from attending college, but I predict that in five years I will likely look fairly similar (I imagine my hair will be more salt than pepper). I’m growing my hair out now, but who knows…by then I may decide to cut it again. I don’t have a tweedy jacket but it’s not unfeasible for me to get one, especially to wear to Boston in the fall.

I predict my personality will get more subdued…as a young woman I was a lot less restrained. I do find myself less outraged and more bemused than I used to be. I also predict that I will be further along in my metaphysical studies and perhaps be able to project myself through time and space!

Why not? When our son goes away to college, I’ll happily look out for the young woman I once was, staring at me like an old friend from across the street, and let her know things will work out all for the best as the years go by. I'll tell her to continue being curious and open to all sorts of messages. I'll tell her to keep looking out for great finds at Goodwill (perhaps that's where she'll locate that spiffy tweed jacket on a future visit to England...?).

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