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Dear, Future Self

Over the coming months we will move out of quarantine, and back into some semblance of the ‘normal’ life that we left behind, before the Coronavirus took a stranglehold over American society. ‘Normal’ may not wind-up being what we remember it to be, and the hottest fashion statement of the decade, a facial mask, may hang around longer than we’d like, but nonetheless, our society will be restarting. This means that life speeds up again, and we may lose sight of all of the amazing thoughts, connections, and dreams that we created over the course of our extended stay in our homes. 

But what if it didn’t? What if we could continue to feed our relationships, by just devoting a small amount of the care and consideration that we afforded them over the past few months? What if a phone-call to a loved one was never just a phone-call again, but rather that it continued to be the highlight of your day, simply due to the fact that you connected at such a quality level? And what if we never lost sight of our dreams, and that we lived everyday in a mental-state that allowed our personal vision to prosper? Sure, we will always need to work through the challenges that daily life provides, but we can do so with a more clear-eye view of what our true-selves aim to be.  

Speaking on a personal level, we are exiting (albeit gradually) from a time of such clarity, and this vision should not be clouded by the external stress that we cannot, and will never be able to control. We need to remember this version of ourselves. The version that loved deeply, and dreamed fearlessly… and created the sickest of morning routines (don’t let that morning routine die)!

So I will ask that you do the following, to help you remember this version of yourself: write your future-self a letter. Me and my team’s final project for our 6th grade students was to have them write a letter to their future-selves, and to consider 3 items that they would place into a time-capsule. The creations were amazing to see, and I was continually impressed by the advice and encouragement that these eleven and twelve-year olds were able to provide to a future version of themselves. They said things like, ‘believe in yourself’, ‘laugh’, ‘have fun’... and what if we did? What if self-belief, laughter, and true, authentic fun wasn’t just reserved for kids? Everyone deserves a life of such quality. 

So stop reading, and begin writing. Write it down in a notebook, or on a piece of paper that you can store in a safe place. Maybe even write it on your computer, because Google Drive is the best invention since sliced bread; it doesn’t really matter, so long as you write something. Consider your current fears, and hardships. Discuss the state of some of your relationships, and how these connections make you feel. Jot down a vision of the ‘you’ that you’d like to be, and how you plan to progress into that person. Be open and honest with yourself, and hold nothing back, and maybe, one day you will thank yourself for it. 

- Austin

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