I don’t understand the present enough to have a clear vision about the future

I have this very clear memory from elementary school. I was around 9 years old, so probably in third grade. One day at the art class we got this task to paint how the world going to be like in the future, like 15-20 years later. It was around 2000 more and less. I had no idea what to put on the paper since it was such an uncertain thing to do. The Fifth Element (the movie) was a big thing back then as far as I remember… So a lot of classmates were painting flying cars and stuff, it was something we were pretty sure will happen by 2020. I didn’t want to paint something like that, and not something super obvious. I hated these kinds of tasks, not like I had or have a problem with my imagination but it gave me too much pressure. Express myself about something I have no idea. Days ago I read an article where I found this sentence “I write nonfiction because I don’t understand life well enough to make things up”. I couldn’t agree more. So back to my 9-year-old self at the art class, I painted something on that blank paper. Something abstract, I had no idea what exactly is that but I gave my best at that moment. I probably said something like this to the teacher ” I don’t know what is this, but that was in my mind”. I remember she said, “No worry, it’s fine”. In the end, I got my grade: 3. The grading was from 1 (the worst) to 5 (best). So it meant my work isn’t super shitty but isn’t good either. I was pretty disappointed, and maybe a bit upset. I don’t blame the teacher now I understand that it may have been shown lack of imagination or laziness. But I couldn’t understand back then how this could be not good enough? My art was something not recognizable, something unclear, just like the future.

Now I’m wondering: What could have happened if I would have been painted people watching Netflix on their couch. Wait, it was around 2000 so let’s say TV. Or planes on the ground at an empty airport. Here you go it’s 2020 and not even the planes are flying.

I’m almost 20 years old older now but if someone would ask me how 2040 will look like and put my imagination onto a blank paper I’d do the same thing. Or maybe I would put a question mark only.

Apparently, I don’t understand the present enough to have a clear vision about the future.


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