Hi, I'm Angi
Welcome to my corner of the internet! My passions include travel, photography, books, music, Japanese language and culture, Italian language and culture, and art.

Here at Abbott Lane you'll find my thoughts on these topics and much more. Thanks for stopping by to visit!

The Future that Never Happened

My (very) superficial understanding of Hauntology - a term I just came across the other night - is that our present is haunted by numerous futures that never came to fruition; it's a yearning for the avenues that were never taken. These "ghosts" of a never realized future can haunt our present in numerous ways, from the way that we perceive our current selves, to how we conceive of future possibilities.

I find this concept utterly fascinating. That our perception of the present is always informed by how we envision(ed) the future can be applied in numerous useful ways. Pop culture is one great example. What ideas have we been fed about the future? Take the Jetsons - why don't we have flying cars? Despite the fact that this trope showed up time and time again in popular science fiction of the 60s, 70s, and 80s, it's a future that hasn't happened, at least not as of yet. More personally, as someone who self-identifies as an Afrofuturist, can see the usefulness of Hauntology as a vehicle through which I can start to deconstruct history and destabilize supremacist narratives about the future.

When I lived in Florence, I tried to find a job and stay here longer term after my school program was completed. The thought of returning to the US, where I had been working in a high-stress situation in NYC, completely lacked any appeal for me. Initially upon returning to Chicago, I was miserable. It was the perfect example of hauntology - I had spent time in Florence imagining myself with a future, at least partially, in Italy and was haunted by the loss of that future. Being back in Florence has had me thinking a lot about these sorts of things, without being able to put a name to it. Having learned a (tiny) bit about Hauntology, I feel like now I have a context for all the things I've been thinking about.

Would I say that I continue to be haunted? What's been interesting about my return here, at least so far, is that I'd have to say no. There's no ache for the non-existent future version of myself where I live and work in Italy. I'm not envious of the numerous foreigners who have somehow managed to stay and find work here for many years. I'm content with having lost that future, and am at peace with my present.