Letter writing — and the process of sitting down, capturing thoughts and ideas, and actually communicating — seems to be a lost art in these days of texting and social media.
But a documentary released last fall called “Dear Future Me” shows us how writing letters to our future selves can provide clarity and allow us pause to ponder who we are and what’s really important to us.
The documentary talks about a project that sixth graders in New Jersey do at school year’s end. They write letters to their 18-year-old selves. The letters are sealed and kept safe by their teachers. Six years later, those teachers mail them back to the students.
These letters not only provide a peek at what’s going on in the student’s present day. They also allow the letter writer to ask questions to his/her future self.
And writing the letter is just as revealing as reading it years later. It’s not unlike discovering your childhood diary as an adult and uncovering a long-forgotten version of yourself. Or it’s like unearthing buried treasure — but the treasure is actually yourself.
If you’re intrigued about this concept of intimately connecting with someone you don’t yet know, visit the website futureme.org to write yourself a letter. You can set the time to have that letter emailed back to you.
There are many reasons this concept of writing to your future self is a good idea. Those in early stages of Alzheimer’s might do it to preserve precious memories. Some may do it to put their goals down on paper and ensure they actually work toward achieving them. Others may do it just to self-reflect and get to get to know themselves a little better.
But for whatever reason and by whatever means, why not begin a correspondence with someone who really wants to hear from you?