Dear future me,
This letter is inspired by a question asked in today’s personal development workshop: “How do you see yourself in 10 years?” So, I think it will be interesting to write a letter that summaries my current thoughts and predicts what will happen to us in 10 years. In case you remember this letter, you may contrast your situations with what I guess here and reflect on those years that have passed.
For work, you know I’m a workaholic. I work hard and completed a number of successful projects. I have the qualifications, experience, and skills to get the jobs done and make everyone happy. A promotion is promised for next year and the future looks prosperous. So, I guess after 10 years, you will be in senior management and simply oversee the business side and command people to do the work instead of get your hands dirty in developing software.
Although I have no girlfriend now, but I think you will eventually meet the right girl, get married and possibly have kids. As you need to raise your own family, you will move out from your parents’ house and finally escape from that little bedroom. As a family man, you will not have the time to exercise. You will properly gain weight and have a beer belly in middle age.
Like other elder people, mum and dad will enjoy life and travel overseas occasionally. Your nephew and niece will grow up and start the university. Based on my closed relationship with them, they will see you as a mentor and ask for your opinions along the way. Although you won’t play hide and seek with them anymore, I believe you will be very helpful to them.
That’s all I can think of. I hope everything will work out in the next 10 years. Good luck and all the best.
You in 2002.
Dear me in 2002,
By chance I opened your (or my) letter that was written 10 years ago. Well, thanks for reminding me the good old time and I was once a confident and aggressive person. However, I need to tell you that life doesn’t go as planned and we have a problem – may be this is what people call midlife crisis.
Firstly, you won’t get that job promotion. On the contrary, you will lose your current job soon. You will never forget the day when you see your colleagues leaving one by one. Be prepared for the downturn of your career. I’m disappointed to tell you that I am still getting my hands dirty in development work. I still work hard and get a minimum pay rise each year to fulfill my basic needs of life. However, when you experience more, you will be grateful with what you have. For those you haven’t, they are not that important anymore.
Secondly, I’m sorry to tell you that I’m still single and not even dating. In a nutshell, you messed up big time:
When she told you that she had 2 concert tickets but her friend was suddenly not available, you should attend the concert with her and shouldn’t give the ticket to your cousin. When she shared her stories with you when you drove her home, you should show more emotion instead of act like Vin Diesel in “The Fast and The Furious”. By the way, there will be another 4, or possibly 5 “Fast and Furious” movies coming.
When she asked you what you would do on the night of Valentine’s Day, you should be honest and tell her you have nothing planned rather than pretend you had a long list of names to pick from but actually home alone that night. When she suggested celebrating your birthday, you should just celebrate with her and shouldn’t make excuses and act as if you were busy.
When she asked whether you liked girls or not, you should tell her that you like girls and shouldn’t joke around and say you are bisexual. This would attract the interest from someone else who you wouldn’t want to deal with later!
You are not good at things that they didn’t teach you at school, right? In your programming terms, love is an abstract class and it cannot be instantiated to an object for you to analyze. It’s unfair to blame you totally for this as I should also take some responsibilities. At some point of time, you will get used to being single and enjoy the loneliness.
As I didn’t get married, I’m still living with mum and dad in that little bedroom. They are not as good as what you expected. Their health is getting worse and they seldom leave home now. So, just nod when listening to them, no matter how nonsense of what they say. One day, you will regret you did not spend enough time with them.
The relationship between you and your nephew and niece is also slowly falling apart. They are labeled as Generation Z and spend most of their time on internet, computers, mobile phones and gaming consoles. They just do whatever they like and ignore the rest. Your niece already got a boyfriend. Your nephew becomes an introvert and he mostly stays at home and has nothing to do. I tried to advise him to either find a job or apply for further study. But it seems that he feels there is nothing wrong with his life style.
Although things did not work out as you thought, for everything you have missed, you have gained something else. This year, you will be running your 23rd Half Marathon. You are regarded as healthy and fit at your age. Finally, a hint I should give to you: drive safely and be careful, you will have a serious accident on a Saturday night.
So get ready for the challenges ahead, but you will cope with those difficult situations well. Enjoy life and bye for now.
You in 2012
– Originally published in July 2012