Five years ago I found a website called Futureme which allows you to send emails on a very long time delay. My interest piqued, I sent one to myself. And five years later – this weekend – it arrived.
To be brutally honest, it’s not that interesting, and I’m not going to reveal all the contents (mainly as it mostly about my friends rather than me and I want to keep their privacy). But here’s a snippet of what the 22-year-old me told myself:
Currently you’re looking forward to starting your Master’s at Edinburgh, your 23rd birthday next month, Arsenal winning the Champions League and not much else. Hope your love life isn’t as shit as it is now, and that you have a good job that isn’t boring software engineering.
It’s charmingly glib and hopeful – definitely a little less wordy than how I write now. But despite the change of style, the main questions I ask are about my job, my love life and how well Arsenal are doing – pretty much the same three things that preoccupy my mind now (though not in that order). And it’s a nicely hopeful email – perhaps more positive in outlook than I am now – and in retrospect 2004 turned out to be a pretty awesome year, so there’s something to be said for positivity.
I’m not the only one to have emailed myself, and it’s funny why we do things like this. Partly out of hope, but also partly out of fear; the letter from the past also acts as a marker in time, to crystallise what we were like in case we ever forget. And it scratches a certain itch – for all the ability of blogs and Facebook to track every day and every minute of our lives, there’s still things we can and should only tell ourselves.
Right, I’m off to write another letter to myself in the future…