Today’s installment in the unexpected emails comes from… me. A few years ago I came across a website called Future Me. I was using the website, which allows you to send yourself an email at a specified date in the future (obv), with my students. It was kind of cool in terms of a more unusual way to practice writing, and also goal setting in some ways. The premise was simple, set a date to receive your letter, type your letter, send.
So, of course, I did it too.
The first letter I sent was at the onset of the Chinese New Year, January 2008: enter the year of the Rat. I selected a one year reply date. That morning in 2008, I was concerned with getting my savings sorted out, getting #5 sorted out (I had been trying to extricate him inconsistently for about three months at that point) and wanting to write more. I signed the letter:
In general I am hoping to achieve greater peace and calm in the next year along with a lot more money, but I am starting to think that money is the easy part.
[Sometimes, I am really smart.]
One year later, as we looked to welcome in the Ox, where was I? Had I saved all the money I wanted? [No, but I had traveled so much I cared not.] Had I renegotiated my work contract to a more satisfactory situation? [Yes. The money was not what I had initially though ti wanted, but I traded money for time. <– SO smart in hindsight.] Did I start writing more? [Well, those of you who can muck through the blog can see where that led…] Had I resolved the #5 situation? [Yes. By March the decision had been made; by May I finally got him out; by June my step-dad had come for support; by the fall #5 had learned to stay away; by November he was no longer in Asia.] S, when I received that letter in January of 2009, I felt pretty accomplished, though coupled with a little self-deprecation at my 2008 obsession with cash.
And for the year of the Ox I had this to say:
Well, 2008 ended up being a lot of what I expected and a lot of what I did not. I guess in the end that is mostly what we hope for in a the passing of a year.. some old reliables and some surprises.
I am writing to my future self again because I want to see how this finds me in 2010. Twenty-fucking-ten. Outrageous.
I am going to be very pragmatic and to the point about this letter…no waxing poetic and getting sentimental. I am sitting here at my desk at NTK again and I am really still loving my work but not my job, if that makes sense. Though to be fair in the past couple of days I have seen great improvement. Who knows if it is my attitude or actually the job.
Anyhow, as usual I digress. Here we go:
HOPES FOR 2009:
1) That I will travel to Bali for my birthday
2) That I will get to see my dad at some point
3) That President Obama will be able to live up to the lofty hopes of a nation
4) That I will be happy and content but not sated
GOALS FOR 2009:
1) Get a raise
2) US$3k saved every month
3) Publish photo book
4) Continue my yoga practice and incorporate something new, perhaps it is time to run again…
5) Make a major investment (house, gold, etc.)
6) Doing things I want to do rather than always putting them off
PREDICTIONS FOR 2009:
1) Economy will not be recovered
2) More people I know will divorce (3)
3) The A’s will make the playoffs (this should be a hope)
I can’t think of any more, obviously I am not a great prognosticator.
And so.. I send this off to 2010 with good wishes and a hopeful outlook.
So that is funny and kind of quantifiable… I got a few things right, the others, not so much (I am about to finally finish that photo book… sheesh.) As far as what I wanted, I got it all – well, Obama may disagree, but…
And then in 2009, I decided to send a message out two years into the future. Because of the time delay, I totally forgot about it. Until today.
And here is what I had to say to myself in 2009 looking ahead to 2011:
Dear Me in 2011,
I am writing this in February 2009. I am in Hong Kong.
When I get this letter I want to be living in my own place, in California surrounded by friends and family. I want to be in a place where it seems like anything is possible.
I hope I will have traveled to India between returning to the US from my time in Hong Kong. I hope that my parents are happy and healthy. I hope that I have not repeated any of the mistakes that I have repeated so often along my journey.
I want to have learned while I lived and lived while I loved and lasted through all three.
Well, will you look at the big brain on me. I suppose in sending out goals and hopes for the future, as with any sort of prognosticator, being vaguely positive and hopeful lends a certain flavor of accuracy. I think I will probably send another letter out this week and maybe even give it more than a year or two. The perspective is rather interesting. And in light of all the silliness that it is, it is not possible to ignore the reality that I had decided I wanted something in 2009 and I did, in fact, somehow and in some way, manage to make it come to fruition.
That is kick ass.