In school, I had to do an assignment related to the Corona crisis we have been through and are still in. I chose to write a letter about this period to my future self. I saw YouTuber Margot Lee do something similar and it really inspired me. Therefore I figured I would like to share this personal post with you too. I am curious to hear what you think of it and if you are considering to write a letter to your future self too; let me know by leaving a comment or messaging me.
Lots of love,
WARNING FOR MYSELF ONLY: PLEASE DO NOT OPEN/READ THIS LETTER BEFORE YOUR 27TH BIRTHDAY (31-07-2030)!
As you are reading this, you have probably just turned 27. What an age. It is so unreal to think about turning that age ten years from the day I am writing this letter, on the 16th of June 2020. I can only imagine what I will go through and experience in the gap between your age and my current age while writing this. I had to write this letter as part of a school assignment, but I have actually wanted to do something like this for a long time now. Just to project my development and be aware of the changes I have gone through. It is mind blowing to think that I will most likely already have a degree and job by the time you are reading this. I might even be engaged… Right now I can just daydream about the fairytale future I hope to call reality one day. I wholeheartedly hope I am happy and made the right decisions.
This year has been a rollercoaster so far. I have experienced things I never thought (and hoped I never would) have to experience, and so did the rest of the world. I am sure I will remember these past months for many years to come, but by writing this letter to you, I would like to freshen up some of the details I might have forgotten along the way. I also want to remind myself of how far I have come and hopefully give you, my future self, some extra strength, hope and confidence, even though I genuinely hope I will need that less in ten years than I need it now.
The year started on a high note; I went to parties, had a lot of fun with my friends, met many new people and even flew to the other side of the world (all by myself) to visit my friends in Cape Town and see what their lives are like. I came back from this trip of a lifetime and went to school for three days before normal life, as I had known it for the past 15,5 years, collapsed. I remember cycling back home through the forest after school with one of my friends while listening to the press conference held by our prime minister. The extremely contagious Corona virus had hit very close to home, literally. The next day the decision that was going to change the upcoming months (or even years of my life) was made. The school shut down after the weekend and so did everything else, except for the supermarkets and essential working fields. I was forced to stay at home and avoid as much contact as possible.
Before the pandemic, I would get really restless in a heartbeat whenever I had a few days off or was on break. Therefore I could have never imagined that I would be okay (and even enjoy) being inside my own house all the time. I have learned to be more peaceful and lazy sometimes. Though I have also tried enough things to keep myself busy, since I still want to improve and be the best version of myself (and I am guessing this hasn’t changed in 2030). I followed online courses on arts and fashion, met strangers online with whom I had amazing conversations, I started a new job at the supermarket to prove myself that I am capable of doing such work (my insecurities have spiked the last couple of 3 years, but I am constantly challenging myself to get out of my comfort zone and to become more confident and aware of my talents, I hope I have come a far way 10 years from now, I really do), I facetimed my friends, had online school, worked as an editor for a media organization, painted, played some piano, went on countless sunset hikes and even explored the possible housing opportunities in Amsterdam; the city I will be studying in after I graduate from high school (though I am guessing you don’t need this explanation, since you have probably been calling this capital ‘home’ for the past years). Over the course of the past months, I have totally lost track of any sense of time; the days just passed by and life went on. In a different way than what I was used to, yet it just continued and I tried to make the best of it. I have felt so many emotions and I have experienced them on a deeper level than ever before, since I had the chance to fully focus on them. Not that I always wanted to do so, but I didn’t really have a choice; I was locked up in my house and therefore I wasn’t easily distracted. I noticed that it felt freeing to just feel what I feel at a certain moment, instead of ignoring negative emotions and trying to shower myself in artificial happiness. I definitely realized that everything passes, someway somehow. That has never been more true than at the end of this quarantine, that we are slowly but surely reaching.
Of course, as I always do, I have not only been feeling much, I have been thinking a lot too. I have been worrying about my abilities and the uncertain future. I hope I will ever be able to live like we all used to again. I wish to party, to hug, to love and to experience the happiness that I experienced in the first 2,5 months of this year. I am still a happy person now, but I notice that school, in combination with starting a new job (which stresses me out, though I am learning to cope with it) can be all quite consuming. Apart from that, it is easy to overindulge in breaks, scroll through my IPhone endlessly and watch Netflix when there is nothing else you can do. I can’t wait to go on adventures and get outside again. I hope I already collected many more memories to remember at the time you are reading this. Last weekend, I made a campfire in my backyard with my friends. We also stargazed for hours after midnight, I have had daily dance sessions with my brother, I have watched so much inspirational content and definitely pushed my limits in various ways. Therefore, this quarantine has definitely resulted in some good moments to look back on. This period reminded me that happiness really is in the little things. The things that I get the chance to do right now, but also to things that I am missing out on in this period of self-isolation. I know I will never take anything for granted, ever again.
I just went to school again, for the first day in exactly three months. It was strange to walk into a rather empty building that usually is filled with chatting teenagers. I had to follow certain walking routes and disinfected my hands 10 times in three hours, at least. I noticed how excited I was when I ran into my friends in the corridor. I wish I could just give them a hug, after all this time of only seeing them through screens. I only had school for 3 hours today. I will have another day of school before my test week starts. I am not looking forward to all of the studying, but I know the hard work will pay off at the end of the day. I hope you are already noticing the benefits of my extreme work ethic at this point in your life.
Well Sophie, this was a crazy time with many ups and downs. I genuinely hope that when you are reading this, I am more confident, sure of my talents, relaxed, less stressed-out, cheerful and enjoy live even more than I used to and then I am doing right now. I hope I am actually happy and found my spot in a new city, that probably doesn’t feel new anymore after 9 years of living there. I hope I have found a job that I love, friends that care about me, crossed many fantastic and memorable activities off my bucket list and maybe even got to experience real love? That would be so wonderful. I above all hope that I am healthy and that I have all of my close ones near me in a good state of health as well. I hope to have cherished many memories of my teens (and added some new ones to the collection in my last couple of years as a teenager that are currently coming up) and remained grateful for everything in life.
I can’t wait to read this letter and hopefully notice the development I have gone through. Though no matter what, I am proud of you.
I wish you a lot of luck, health and happiness.
I love you, I am saying this as an encouragement, even though I can struggle with self-love sometimes. Deep down I know it is true.
Lots of love,
16, almost 17 year-old Sophie