I imagine some of you know FutureMe. It's a website that will let you send e-mails "to the future"; you write them now and they will be delivered on a date specified by you. I suppose most people use this on their birthdays to send an e-mail to their future self with hopes and wishes and the like. So did I. On the night of July 13, 2010, I wrote a letter to Future-Jana but then somehow didn't end up sending it. I re-discovered it today (as in... I opened Word and there it was in my restored documents) and while I would probably make a few changes and additions now, here is what 24-year-old Jana had to tell 2016-Jana:
it’s July 14, 2016 today - happy birthday! 30 years, eh? Pretty impressive, if you ask me (but what would I know, I’m always 5 years behind you. Or ahead of you? Huh.)
5 years ago, your life was… a roller-coaster, I guess. You had “just” moved back to Europe and were in the process of making new friends in the Netherlands and trying to figure things out. Things? Everything. Including yourself.
Let’s see if you’re as unpredictable as you’d like to think you are. You’re in the middle or at the end of your first post-doc. Yes? Cool! I hope that you’re not tired of science and academia and nerdiness yet.
What time zone are you in? Just a couple of days ago, you explained to your office mate (btw, please tell me you guys are still in contact!) how you want to live in a country where you “can communicate with the government in English or German”. Whatever that means. Did you stick to that? Have you settled down yet (I kind of doubt it…), do you feel at home (I really hope so)?
What about traveling? Have you managed to see Australia/New Zealand and/or Nepal yet? If not, why not? Make that happen!
I hope that, wherever you are, you are on good terms with your parents. If not, let me tell you: they rock. Call them right now if you haven’t done so anyway.
I hope you’re not alone today. I hope you’re surrounded by friends. And maybe, with some luck, there’s someone special who makes not just today but every day a little brighter.
Whatever you do, be loving and generous. Smile lots and make people happy. Try every day to make the difference in someone else’s life and the world to a better place.
Yes, I have high expectations for you and for the next 5 years that separate us today - if you manage to fulfill some of them, you won’t have failed.
I hope you’re happy.
I'll keep this here for a week or so and take it down again, so as not to spoil the "surprise". But I figured this letter tells you more about myself and my life right now than a hundred blog entries could, so I wanted to share it. ;)
Me, myself and I
It's just not that simple.
- Dear Future!Me