A while back, I got an email from my 36-year old self.
(Years ago, I sent a message to my future self using a time-capsule email service.)
Dear Future Version of Me,
I hope you are in good health and good spirits when you read this. I hope you are in love, in shape, and on-track financially. Did you get to [name of countries X & Y]? Give the man in your life a big kiss for me. And happy 40th birthday! I love you.
Tears welled up in my eyes. I wrote that note at one of the lowest points of my life. I was at my first job out of grad school during the tail end of the Great Recession. I was grossly underpaid, underemployed, and over my head in debt.
I was alone. I was so depressed that I was physically ill, and seriously contemplated more times than I care to admit, why I should keep living. I had no health insurance, so when I did get sick I just suffered through it. I wrote that letter on an old, dirty, squeaky twin bed in a room I was renting in a house with 7 other people. I was so full of hope for the future.
All I wanted was to find someone and to not be single anymore. I wanted to travel. I wanted to be in stable financial situation. Back then, I had the last vestiges of my youth. Now the eye bags, dark circles, fine lines and rounded belly are here to stay.
I am now 40 years old.
If I could write back to her today, what would I say? What could I say?
- Am I seeing someone? No, I’m not.
- Am I traveling? I haven’t, but I am going to make it happen this year.
- Am I better off financially? Somewhat. I’m still in a TON of debt, but now with a relatively stable and only moderately underpaid job. I still don’t have my own place or a car, but I now only have three roommates instead of 7. I have my down moments, but am trying to see the brighter side of things when I can.
- Am I healthy and in good shape? No, not at all. And in no small part because of the massive stress inducing debt that I’ve been carrying. But I have healthy dreams and aspirations and that’s a starting point.
I think that I’m making some good progress, however small. Even though some hopes haven’t panned out for me in these recent years, I can take solace in knowing that I’m better, both financially and emotionally, than I was when I wrote that message years ago.
I’m considering writing another time capsule message to my 45 year old future self. I’m not yet sure what I’ll say, but I have a feeling that the 45 year old me will be doing better still.
“Debtor’s prison is real, and opportunity cost is a bitch.” (DDSW) [All posts on one page]