Dear Future Self,
“How’s it going? You’re living in your first apartment now! How awesome is that? You’re probably covered in German Shepherd hair right now, but don’t worry, soon you can vacuum that off for good because your roommate and her furry companion are moving into their own apartment next year.
Hopefully you’re getting along with your other roommates okay, and that you’re making time to stay in touch with your friends from high school and grade school. I mean, you grew up with those girls; you are basically sisters! Make sure you are devoting time to keeping up with those lovely ladies. But most importantly, I hope that you’re taking time to hang out with your actual, biological sister, Rachel!
What else is new? Have you overcome your inability to swallow pills yet? How about sports? Have you started following any teams? Did you finally fill out a bracket for March Madness this year?”
One year ago, I wrote a letter to myself to open today. Those were just some of many things I wrote about and it was crazy to see how far I’d come and how much has changed in just one year.
Now I challenge you to do the same. Write a letter to your future self. On the envelope, tell yourself to open it one year from now, five years from now, or maybe 30 years from now. Write about what your life is like right now and then talk about where you want to be when you are finally allowed to open it up and read it! It’s so fun to look back and see the kinds of things you were doing and thinking. Maybe you’ll realize you were a total dork. Maybe you were super successful. Maybe you were going through a really tough time. Maybe you listened to some inspirational (or weird) music that helped you get through. No matter what was going on in your life then, you will appreciate that you kept a record of it and you can reminisce about it now.
Then talk about the goals you hope to achieve over the next year (or ten). Maybe try giving yourself some advice to help you achieve them. Last year I guess I thought I would need relationship advice so I wrote things like: “Have you talked to so and so in a while? Give her a call.” I also read an article last year I had really liked called “Date a Man Who Loves You More” and told my future self if I was having any doubts in my relationship to go and read it. If you read it, we probably have different interpretations of who the “man who loves you more” is. You may think he is someone who loves his woman more than she loves him. Or he is the guy that women settle for because they just want some stability. To me, the “man who loves you more” is the man who truly cares about you and loves you unconditionally. Some of my opinions of the article have changed over the last year; however, it reminded me of some of the qualities that are important for the man in my life to have and it helped me believe that I truly have found the perfect man for me: the “man who loves me more.”
Sorry to get so off track with all that deep, sentimental talk. Your advice doesn’t have to be about your relationships, but I think some guidance or recommendations in some category are beneficial to include. I’m sure you will all succeed and none of you will fall short of your dreams, but just in case you don’t meet some of your goals by the time you open your letter, a few nuggets of advice may help remind you why you wanted to do these things in the first place, and how to get you back on track.
Finally, don’t forget to make predictions. What kind of job will you have? Where will you be living? Who will you be living with? Will you be married? Have kids? Will you have accomplished any of your other major (or minor) goals? I think this was the most fun section for me to read because I actually correctly predicted a lot of things that happened to me over the past year, and I don’t even remember having considered some of those things back then! And then of course some of my predictions were totally wrong, but those were fun to read too.
Alright, I’ve said enough about writing letters; now it’s your turn. I am going to write another letter in the coming weeks too, addressed to myself to open after I graduate next year! So I hope you’ll join me. It’s a fun way to track your goals and you just might surprise yourself with the relevance of your advice and the accuracy of your predictions. How well do you know your future self?