The major crime of my creative career is short-sightedness.
Not in terms of goals necessarily, but it’s nearly impossible for me to think past the space of a year. It’s like driving in the dark—you can see twenty feet ahead of you, but that’s all. I can line up projects to fill up my coming months, but if you ask me “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” it’s shadowy.
This mentality has spilled over into the rest of my life too. When I turned 28 this year I realized I didn’t have a plan for this year or after. I had nothing in my savings account. I had worked a series of jobs that weren’t propelling me forward in my career. The lofty goal of buying a house felt even more inaccessible. I realized I never conceptualized myself as older than I am. I know I’m not alone in this. Millennials are increasingly finding it difficult to save for retirement and even though we joke climate change will destroy the Earth by 2050, the sense of impending doom is real. It feels ridiculous and sometimes impossible to imagine ourselves as seniors living out happy retirements—we’ll either still be working or dead. Those prospects alone make me never want to think about getting older.
FaceApp, though, has forced me to confront my future in an unanticipated way. The app, which has swept through social media, uses AI to digitally age your selfies. Privacy concerns aside, users have been happily sharing their pictures, gushing over how funny it is or how beautifully people have aged. It’s been an unexpected delight to see what my friends might look like in their 80s and 90s. I didn’t get on the bandwagon at first, but after poking through the app I was surprised by how relieved it made me feel.