Sunday, December 18, 2005

Future Me

Today I discovered the most amazing and simple website:

Simply stated, the website allows you to send an email to yourself in the future, to any date up to 30 years from now.

The site is simplicity itself; there are no bells or whistles. The landing page features a simple email form.

The utter simplicity of the concept and of the website drew me in, but I must say, the actual doing of sending myself a future email to a future version of me wasn’t quite so simple.

These “Future Me” emails are more than just an email – they’re a kind of time capsule, and time capsules are not easily or hastily assembled.

I found myself describing my current address, my current job, and my current feelings about life in general. I found myself describing my dreams, my goals, and my desires. I actually began to ask the Future Me questions – by necessity rhetorical questions that present me will never hear the answers.

Most amazingly I found that the Current Day Me was writing to Future Me as if we were two different people. And, I suppose, we are. Today I share little with the me that existed 20 years ago, so won’t the same be true of the me 20 years in the future?

I found the entire process to be remarkably thought provoking, stimulating, melancholy, and profound. I actually feel transformed by the process.

I’ve never understood the tradition of making “New Years Resolutions”. My rationale has always been “why make promises that you’ll never keep?”

However, has renewed my interest in this concept. I have put hours of work into an email-time-capsule for New Years 2007 (about one year from now) and for New Years 2017 and I have made a commitment to do the same each year about this time. This, I feel, is much better than any resolution.

In ten years, I can look forward to a yearly flow of my thoughts from Sam “from 10 years ago”. He’ll be a distant and loving friend, a gentle angel whose task will be to remind me of dreams that shouldn’t be lost, people who shouldn’t be neglected, and a plethora of memories never to be forgotten.


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