When my best friend and I were seniors in high school, we were addicted to scrapbooking and making collage journals of all the drama and fun memories we had being in school together. We poured hours and hours into those scrapbooks that we probably should have spent studying, but both of us still managed to stay honor roll students. Although I remember we had our fair share of cram sessions.
One thing we did on our last scrapbook session together was to write letters to our future selves. We each wrote two letters. The first was to each other – I predicted what she’d be doing in 10 years, and she predicted what I’d be doing. Her letter went in my scrapbook, and mine went in hers.
The second letter we each wrote was a letter to ourselves. I wrote a letter to my future self, predicting what I’d be doing in 10 years, which went in my own scrapbook, and she did the same for herself.
We stayed friends throughout college and into our careers even though we rarely got to see each other. She unfortunately lost track of her set of letters, but I still had mine handy, so when 10 years finally came I read my letters without her.
Ten Years Later
It was funny when I finally read them because there were so many little things I’d totally forgotten about. Boys we liked, teachers we hated, inside jokes we had. And it was also sweet remembering how innocent we were back then and how simple our outlook was on life. There wasn’t anything that surprising or incredibly prophetic in the letters, but it was fun to reminisce.
We each wrote things like we thought we’d be married to the boys we each liked at the time (haha thank goodness that didn’t happen). She predicted I would be a Broadway actress while I anticipated she would be a news anchor (these were our career dreams at the time).
I ended up trying to pursue a career in acting, failed, and thankfully realized quickly that wasn’t a path for me despite her constant insisting I should stick with it. She on the other hand did exactly what she dreamed about and loved it. She went into news broadcasting, first on radio and then later on TV. That’s not an easy thing to do by any means. And not many people have such vision in high school to know exactly what they want to do as a career and actually make it come true! So she deserves major props for that.
Even though I don’t have time to spend hours putting together scrapbooks and collages of my life anymore, I use my writing on Untemplater to keep track of the majority of my hurdles and milestones. It’s been many years since I read my first 10 year letter, and I think I’m due for a new one!
I’ve been meaning to write a new letter to my future self for a long time, and now that I’m on vacation taking a much needed break, I’m finally going to do it. By the time this post is published, I’ll have saved a full copy, and tucked it away for safe keeping. I’m too impatient to write it out by hand old school style, mostly because my handwriting is horrible, and man typing is so much faster!
Anyway, I’ve decided to share a shortened version of my letter here, minus a few personal things. Ok here goes!
May 24, 2014
Gosh it’s weird and a bit scary to think that it will be 2024 when I read this letter again (omg I will be in my mid 40s). But I’m sure my 40s won’t be so bad! I remember thinking that 28 sounded so old when I wrote my first 10 year prediction letter at age 18. Haha, now 28 sounds so young!
Ten years does sound like a long time, but its not. Time has sped up a lot since high school, and the pace will only continue to accelerate. Life is good though I must say. I’d much rather continue getting older than having to relive high school and college all over again.
I’ve come a long way in my career and time since college, and thankfully I really don’t have any regrets. Over the last 10 years I’ve had many different side hustles and jobs, some a lot more successful than others, but I tried. I don’t think I’ll have regrets 10 more years from now, because I see myself not being afraid to fail and try new things.
I think I’ll look back on who I am now and find myself laughing at how little I still knew, even as a working adult in my mid 30s. I hope to be wiser, gentler, even more patient and accepting, and hopefully a lot more efficient.
To keep myself from rambling on too much in this letter, here are 10 predictions for these next 10 years.
1) Finally start a family – About 2.5 years ago, I wrote a post “When Is The Best Time To Have Kids?” I was very emotionally torn and unsure about kids at the time because so many of my friends were getting pregnant, but I’m glad I was in tune with my feelings. A lot has happened since then though and I’ve come almost full circle. Most of my doubts have subsided and I don’t feel so conflicted anymore. So, I think it’s fairly likely that I’ll become a parent in the next 10 years. Who knows if it will be through adoption, surrogacy, or naturally. Regardless of whichever way it happens, I can see myself as a very proud and happy mom. I just better not be a constant worrier or stress case!
2) Get a cat once and for all – I’ve been on and off the fence over the last 3 months about getting a cat. It’s a big decision because of the long-term commitment, costs, and risk of allergies, so I haven’t rushed into it yet. I don’t know if I’ll take the leap this year or not, but I can say with pretty high certainty I’ll have a cat in the next 10 years. ☺ Cats are hilarious, affectionate, clever, and oh so much fun. And although I don’t doubt my cat will have a mischievous side, I’m sure he will be frikin’ awesome.
3) Major travel slowdown – My appetite for travel has really started to dwindle. I was on a roll seeing 2-5 countries a year over the course of the past 10 years, but there’s just no way I can realistically keep up with that pace anymore. There are still a lot of places I want to see, but I see myself taking it a whole slower over the next 10 years. I do hope I make it back to Mexico a couple times, and see a couple countries in South East Asia and South America.
4) Still be a blogger – It’s funny how I forget how long ago I wrote some of my posts on Untemplater. I didn’t even realize I passed my three year blogversary until after it had gone by, and I found out by accident lol. So continuing to be a blogger for 10 more years seems highly probable. I’d like to be able to write more frequently, but knowing myself, that’s easier said than done. I think I’ll be a better writer though and I definitely want to stick with it.
5) Learn how to cook and actually like it– Right now I’m really not into cooking. I find it a pain in the rear, too time consuming, and not the slightest bit fun. But I have a feeling that will start to change over the next 10 years. If I become a parent, I can see cooking turning into something more rewarding and cost effective. And if I get some new kitchen appliances, that will make cooking and cleanup a lot easier too. If I’m able to spend more time at home, I can see that making it easier and more fun too.
6) Grow stronger from failures, loss, and recovery – The older we get, the more obstacles and pitfalls we run into. There’s really no avoiding them. But they make us stronger, and I think I will be even stronger in 10 years than I am today. I’ll probably face a whole new set of fears and challenges that I can’t even imagine right now. But I have faith that I’ll be able to get through and I know I’ll get stronger.
8) Write a book – Last year I made a resolution to create my first ebook and totally failed. I’m not giving up on that goal though, and I think I’ll be able to finally do it once I commit. This is also easier said than done knowing myself, but I think it’s feasible I can do it in the next 10 years. If I can’t, then I didn’t want to write it badly enough.
9) Retire from my day job – A few years ago I envisioned myself walking away from my day job this year or next. It’s funny how quickly time flies and how it’s harder than I thought to visualize myself saying goodbye to a guaranteed paycheck. I don’t see myself at my day job 10 years from now though, so I’m pretty comfortable predicting that I will switch to full time entrepreneurship before I turn 40. I think I will still be working in some capacity by the time I read this letter, but I anticipate my hours will be a lot more manageable. I’m sure it will be scary taking that leap, but gosh that will be nice to only work for myself!
10) Turn into a health nut – I think I’m healthier than I was 10+ years ago. In college I would eat anything I could get my hands on. Having an unlimited meal plan was nice for the flexible hours, but bad for my cholesterol and pant size. I eat a lot less sugar now than in those days, but I still get tempted to eat too many carbs and not enough fruits and vegetables. I think I’m fairly healthy now, but I see myself becoming more and more focused on nutrition and exercise over the next 10 years. Goodness knows I need to exercise more because I am so damn lazy about it most of the time. At least I walk a lot every day.
Well, there you have it. Those are my 10 predictions for the next 10 years. I’m sure there will be things that happen that I least expect too, but that’s what keeps life exciting, right? Whatever happens, I think I’ll be wiser, more understanding, stronger, and even more conscious of time than I am now. Wherever I end up, I hope I had a blast! Here’s to another 10 more years of fun!
Untemplaters, have you ever written a letter to your future self? What predictions have you made for your own life and did any of them come true? Do you laugh at the things you used to think about many years ago?
Pura Vida Nick says
It’s really interesting to write this and then go back and look at them later. Things change so much! …and usually not like we thought it would. It’s like watching a movie from the 70s or 80s that took place in the 2000s. They got it all wrong! I wonder how wrong we will be?
I actually wrote a letter to my future self a few months back. I predict things about my family, finances, and values. I enjoyed doing it! Here it is:
I actually like this idea a lot! I’m going to steal it for an upcoming article hehe.
Good luck with the starting a family!
Nik @ Midlife Finance says
Who says writing a letter to oneself is just for the kiddies? I actually find this interesting and imagining myself reading a letter from me 10 years from now sounds fun. It’s a great way to see how you did in the past years. I enjoyed reading your post and hopefully in the next 10 years, you will still be writing here and I will be able to see an update about that current letter and predictions for yourself.
Setting goals and planning for your future is really important and I wish you luck and may you accomplish them all Sydney.
Bryce @ Save and Conquer says
Nice list of predictions. Obviously, you can make any of them come true if your really want them to. My only prediction for myself is that I will be retired in less than 10 years.
Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter says
I think this is a great idea, Sydney. I haven’t ever written a letter to myself for the future but I’d love to do this. I hadn’t ever thought of it. My goals for the next few years include a major travel turn-up, so we differ in that way, but I too want to start a family within the next 5-10 years.
I think I might do something like this. I always hate getting asked where I see myself in the next however many number of years, but it’s a good exercise that really makes you think about what you want out of life. Reading things that I wrote in high school pretty amusing. Life was so much simpler back then! I love your goals, and I would certainly read your ebook if you decide to write it!
Financial Samurai says
There is a certain melancholy in this post I cannot describe. Can you? Perhaps it’s because when we look into the future to try and see how we are today, we recognize that’s X amount of years LESS we have to live.
This is a great exercise to ensure that we don’t take the things for granted today. None of us will wish we worked more. Many of us will wish we didn’t take more risks.
I wonder what #7 is on your list! 🙂