Has anyone seen the film ‘Looper’? I won’t try to explain the whole plot as it does get quite complicated but there is one key element I would like to talk about as it has got me thinking. In the film, two actors – Joseph-Gordon Levitt and Bruce Willis – play the same character at different points in his life. Bruce Willis gets sent back in time and tries to change the future for the Joseph-Gordon Levitt version of himself. They are the same man but they are very different, time has mellowed Bruce and his experiences have left him a changed man.
Now I’m not one for giving out advice to other people but what if I could go back and talk to myself? What if I could back exactly one year to the day before my son was born? What would I say? If I could go back, I imagine the conversation would go something like this.
For the purposes of this blog post I will be played by Bruce Willis and me from a year ago will be played by Joseph-Gordon Levitt.
Bruce Willis (BW): Hi Andy, I’m you but from the future.
Joseph-Gordon Levitt (JGL): Really? You look like Bruce Willis.
BW: Yeah I know. I would have cast someone else but what can you do? Anyway, I’m sure you’ve guessed by now it is all about to kick off.
JGL: I’m really nervous, I could do with some advice. Have I done enough to prepare for childbirth? Will I be able to help?
BW: Well kind of. Nothing you’ve done will be any use but . . . um .
JGL: But it’s going to alright isn’t it?
BW: Not really. It’s going to be awful. None of that ‘best day of your life’ crap. You’ll get through but that’s the best I can say about it.
JGL: But once the baby is born, then it will be alright?
BW: Sorry mate, not really. It is going to be hard especially in that first week. I don’t want to say too much as you have got to find out for yourself. It will get better but not for a while.
BW: Anyway, this isn’t why I came back to talk to you. I came to warn you that things are going to change, you’re going to change.
JGL: Change how?
BW: It’s difficult to explain. Everything you feel, everything you see, everything you do will be different. You won’t be able to separate the different strands of your life, everything will come back to the little life you helped bring into the world. Things that used feel important won’t anymore. Clearing your head will become one of the hardest things you do. Don’t underestimate the emotional impact this will have on you, there is no going back.
JGL: I don’t understand. How do I prepare?
BW: You can’t, you just need to know it is going to happen. Changing a nappy is easy and you will get used to waking up in the middle of the night but no one tells you about the emotional changes, even though it is the hardest part. The highs will take your breath away, you will not believe me if I tell you how many happy tears you will shed in the next year. The smallest gesture, smile or noise will make your heart swell with unconditional love. All these feelings come wrapped up in one and you have no control over any of it.
JGL: I’m still not sure I understand.
BW: Let me think of an analogy. Have you seen the film ‘Looper’?
JGL: If you are really me from the future you know that I haven’t.
BW: Oh yeah, never thought of that. That’s a shame, I had a really good idea where you could be played by Joseph-Gordon Levitt.
JGL: Oh I like him. Look I’d better go. Have you got any advice for the next 24 hours?
BW: One thing. If you get asked to wear some shoes that pinch a little, don’t make a big deal about it. There is going to be someone else in the room in much more pain and you may come across as a bit of a princess.
JGL: Thanks mate.
BW: Good luck. I know you are going to be OK.
This post might make more sense if you read my original post about the day George was born.