ESSAY: Dear Future Me
Story | Nick Glavan
Dear Future Me,
It’s Past Nick writing to you from Aug. 14, 2020. You are suffering from a temple-splitting headache but you’ve foolishly procrastinated writing this letter, so you are stuck. Things not making it easier include; the two giant iced coffees you drank that knowingly upset your tummy, the thumping and creaking pipes your third-floor apartment makes whenever the apartments below you use hot water and the fact that you are between binge-worthy television but watching any more food-based competition episodes would sink you into a
deeper depression. (Looking at you, Chopped.)
In spite of those grievances, you are navigating these times very well. You’ve been able to work from home, converting all your entrepreneurship educational services into virtual capacities, though with less than the amount of appreciation you’d prefer from coworkers and clients. But you still have a job and they pay you enough, so be grateful. Heck, you sometimes even enjoy work, especially when it gets all competitive and you get to be like, “Oh, that startup just won their pitch contest and got money? Yeah, I taught them some sh-t.”
You’ve been leveling up the space recently. You fixed the feng shui of the living room. You planted a few herbs and a hanging tomato plant. Now, little green tomatoes are making your balcony the envy of the whole complex. You bought that stationary bike that permits you to sweat privately in your own abode. Your ability to perspire would be given an “exceeds expectations” on it’s report card. You prefer to do that without an audience at a gym or passersby on a Metroparks path. A lot of this is thanks to quarantine adjusting your budget for major gasoline and dining out savings, so there’s further proof it is not all bad.
I’m hoping by the time you are opening this email, the world has made progress in ending everyone’s virus plight. When you read this letter, 5 months from now, I hope you’ve made progress, too. Not long ago, you were given advice from a friend and role model. Now that you are a “grown up”, you have to lead yourself toward your goals. No longer is there the familiar sequence of high school, college and grad school. You have to sit and really think about what would make you happy. After you’ve identified it, you have to do something small every day to get closer to it. Otherwise, you sink into the complacency that makes a routine dreadful to exist through. So keep taking steps, no matter how tiny.
Though you can’t reply, fifth-grade teacher Mrs. Sosoka taught you to include questions when you wrote letters for the ubiquitous assignment of sending mail to a pen pal. Did you renew your lease? I’m betting you hate moving enough that you are sticking it out here, but it isn’t so bad. I don’t mean to brag, but yes I do; the in-unit laundry is sublime. How was your birthday? 27 feels like a gut-punch of an age. You’ve been struggling to respond “26” whenever asked how old you are for the past several months so maybe adding one will be easier? Are things going well in your relationship? You’ve been bringing him up casually in conversations with your parents. He met and hung out with your brother, which was a really big milestone. I hope you are being kind to yourself. But don’t use self-care and “treat yo’ self” as excuses to delay life responsibilities either.
Finally, take this as the reminder to write another letter. You love the nostalgia and catharsis of reading these messages from the past.
Bye B*tch, Past Nick