An Open Letter to My Future Self

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

 Do any men grow up or do they only come of age?” 
 Stephen King
Dear Future Me

To begin with, I could distinctly imagine you reading this on some sort of a graphic screen visible through thin air, the way they show in futuristic movies. I am certain that after all these years you’ve grown wiser and have begun to understand abstruse and complicated life realities, and yourself better.  And I am also certain of the fact that right now, on receipt of this letter from your younger old self and her alter ego, you're thrilled, skittish and jumpy at the same time.

I could clearly see you sitting peacefully and smiling as you look at me, the younger, moodier, more naïve, and more stubborn you. The current year, that is year 2016, brought with it a number of lessons that you can benefit from for a lifetime. You learned how to honor yourself, your family and your friends. The highlight is - don’t ever settle for the easy way—just don’t settle, period. As we both know, much of your childhood was spent yearning to grow up, anxiously counting the days for the rite of passage that would endow you with veneration and validation that you so desperately sought. At present you are an adult, a happy adult, but as you grow older, you might crave for the lively uncurbed period of fun and play, and lack of responsibility that childhood awarded to you (like you often hear the older adults rant). Life isn’t a sprint; don't be too hard on yourself. It's acceptable to be messy and clumsy at times; don't always pursue perfection. Embrace all of your learning and cherish your experiences because they truly are divinely fated.  

You are following your passions – you recently took up yoga this year, your newly found love. And also picked up your old love for writing and have been trying to catch up with reading (a habit you’d almost lost during the past couple of years). So, hopefully right now, keeping up with it, you've immersed yourself in good books. I also hope by now, you’ve become a better writer. Penned words have always been your escape, your voice. In fact, I really hope you’re a professional writer by now, writing for a magazine or newspaper or something. Even if you’re not, I hope you're still writing and running your blog, which has become your sanctum in the past few months. Hope you didn't let it die like your old ones.  I hope traveling and meeting dynamic and exciting people have helped you have stories to tell. Write about your stories! Give the writer in you a little shake, in case you feel you've lost your mojo. It has happened to you in the past (my present) but you've had a breakthrough.

As I write this, I hope you can remember things you find references to in this letter. People often told you how coffee could make your memory go bad and even though somewhere deep down in your heart you feared it, but you still refused to give up on your addiction.  

You probably work really hard even in the future (my guess!) - Take a vacation in celebration of this letter. Book it today. Anywhere you want. You deserve to travel and explore. And by now, I like to believe you can easily afford to travel extensively. You deserve to step into the unknown worlds and revel in them. I also hope that you’ve been able to visit places you used to Google — Maldives, Rome, Paris, Nepal, Greece and others on your list. I hope by now you’ve seen the Eiffel Tower standing tall and brightly-lit in all its splendor and glory right before your (and my) very own eyes!

Hope you’ve been able to get rid of some of your irksome habits by now - such as spending money unwisely. Living away from home taught you great many things but not yet the art of saving money. And have you gotten your dental treatments done, the ones you’ve been putting off for so long? Do you write down your thoughts like you always wanted to but never actually did; in form of a journal or a diary? 

There might have been goals that you didn’t reach because I might have abandoned them halfway, since they might have lost meaning to me. Know that you will have enough time on your hands to do things that you love. It's never too late to take up projects and gigs you left on your way and couldn't resume due to fear of failure or tight schedule. You never plan life and just wait in silence for things to fall in place. Maybe at some point, you can consider to pause and plan, and not just roll in with the flow; take it in, glean lessons from it, and then carry on. Set goals, both lofty and reasonable. 

There is a lot going on with you at the moment, right? I appreciate that kind of a 'happening' situation. Be careful not to lose track of what is significant and what's worth making time for. I hope by now you've learned the value of spending your time with the right people, doing the right thing. Hope over these years you've stopped being so passive, so lazy. Make plans, talk candidly, become outdoorsy a little - resist the temptation to stay indoors even when your couch is calling. You have spent enough of your share of life indoors. Be more adventurous - camp in the woods, build a fire, enjoy live music, learn to play an instrument, learn an alien language, stay up late, trek, climb a mountain, ice-skate, and go for a sail. If you aren't happy where you are, hopefully you're strong enough to change the charted course.

I reckon that somewhere between you and me, we have been able to figure out. My current life is moment-by-moment web of intricate experiences and events that will create you. I'm constantly working on myself to become a better person and to make you a better person. Today, I could envisage that you're oozing with awareness about yourself and me. You're proud of myself for rolling up my sleeves for the love of learning and improving myself. You know today that the turbulence and stress you were put through was a part of the bigger picture. It has helped me becoming the person I needed to be; the person that you are today. My dear future self, I can’t wait to meet you!!!

Here is to our wiser, stronger future-selves! Cheers!

You Might Also Like


  1. I love this! Every year I write a letter to myself to receive a year in the future. There is this website called "Futureme" or something that sends them to you on a predetermined date. I always love getting them because they make me think of how much things can change in a year. Also it's a great reminder that things that seem so much bigger in the moment but a lot of those stresses don't mean anything in a year.

    1. OMG! This sounds so amazing.. analyzing your growth, the unpredictability of relations, changes in your emotions and life on the whole etc.. Thank you for introducing the idea to me. I look forward to trying it :)

      And thanks so much for the comment!

  2. i haven't tried this letter writing to myself, but if you think harder, it makes sense. you can analyze yourself better,it's like making a journal. change is constant so you learn to adapt easily. thanks for sharing

    1. It sure makes sense - the exercise lets you contemplate on your decisions, choices, and life on the whole. This could help us become wiser, understand ourselves and life better, and learn from our mistakes. Thank you for the comment :)

  3. I do something similar, but it's a letter to my kids. Never know what tomorrow brings, so want to say things before I can't!

    1. That is valuable :) a wonderful way to show your kids how much you care!

  4. This is so sweet !! when you right for yourself !! Hope all your dreams come true !! Stay Happy

    1. Aww than you, Nida :) I wish the same for you.

  5. This was such a treat to read. I also did something like this a while back. Do you think the old you foresaw what current you?

    1. Thank you, Fluky :) I would love to read yours.

      I may have not foreseen it :) You can browse here the one I have written to my younger self hehe you'll find out what I anticipated!


Amna's Goodreads Bookshelf

To Kill a Mockingbird
Animal Farm
Of Mice and Men
The Alchemist
Me Talk Pretty One Day
Romeo and Juliet
Lord of the Flies
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Odyssey
A Tale of Two Cities
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale
Les Misérables
Eat, Pray, Love
The Poisonwood Bible
The Joy Luck Club
The Memory Keeper's Daughter
Under the Tuscan Sun

Amna Tariq Shah's favorite books »