Unexpected emails continue…

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:

Dear FutureMe,
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:

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

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

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.

Big Love…

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.


About Amanda

I am repatriating expatriate trying to work it all out. Well, to work some of it out anyhow. I am writing here for sanity, focus and general over-sharing.
This entry was posted in Chasing the Life I was Supposed to Want, Life, Silliness, The Future, Things I Wish I Would Have Thought Of, true stories, Work, Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Unexpected emails continue…

  1. Pingback: 49 years, 11 months, 31 days and counting.. « The London Leprechaun

  2. mrlui says:

    hi Amanda
    Quite like your posts – and for this one, I shared similar views of writing letters to myself as well. Found this ‘Future Me’ link accidentally, and wrote some future letters in rather short time frame than yours. What I found out (without remembering doing this actually) the perspective I had when I wrote those letters actually reflective and encouraging. So, when I received those letters in emails, it was kind of shocking (if not too exaggerated). What I like your sharing in this post is that I have never done any goal setting like yours. Perhaps the more we are clear with what we want, like / dislike, aspire, the more likely our subconscious mind would direct ourselves doing someting for that. Simple theory and been bluffed with this sort of ‘buzz’ words for years in the business worlds, but always failed to translate that into personal plan.

    Thanks for the sharing, and wish you the year of Rabbit a smooth and bounty.


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