A Moment in My Life – Monday, February 8, 2021
I was inspired by the “Dear Future Me” segment aired on the Kelly Clarkson Show, where some of the students from Mr. Rich Palmgren’s sixth-grade class read letters they wrote to their future selves to be read on their high school graduation day. Letters reminding them of who they were, where they came from, what their concerns were, with a sneak peek at what their lives were like as their younger selves. They included mementos that were important to them. Their likes and dislikes and what excited them. Dreams and goals that they envisioned for their future selves. Some students read their letters on camera, updating us with who they became compared to who they were when they wrote the letters.
One student, Tommy, moved away without giving Mr. Palmgren his address, landing his letter in the “dead letter” folder where it resided for the last 24 years. Earlier in the year, Tommy reached out to thank Mr. Palmgren for being that special teacher who touched his students’ lives extraordinarily and unforgettably. They reconnected, and Mr. Palmgren said, “Oh, by the way, I have this letter for you,” and hence, reviving the letter into action.
By the airing of this episode, Tommy hadn’t opened his letter yet. He was excited and a bit nervous about what his younger self had to say, and the audience was as just as intrigued as he was. His letter began, “Dear Me: You should be reading this letter in 2003.” Followed by things important to the younger him. It was entertaining, gave us a good chuckle, and pulled on our heartstrings hearing Tommy read his forgotten letter—as he read his letter, which heavily filled with his passion for his ex-girlfriend, Melissa. He learned that he remained true to his younger self’s aspirations, with one exception—Melissa. Kelly asked Tommy if anything surprised him, and he answered that he was surprised how obsessed he was with Melissa. Younger Tommy wrote, “Did you ask Melissa to the prom?” Adult Tommy replied, “No, I did not. We moved away before the prom.” By the end of his letter, there was one question on everybody’s mind—whatever happened to Melissa? And the answer was, drum roll, they are still friends but didn’t end up together. Tommy is happily married with two kids and one on the way.
Hearing some of the things that concerned these kids and seeing how their young lives blossomed over six years enticed me to write myself a letter. I don’t know who originated this great letter writing idea, but it is intriguing to one day find a letter addressed to myself telling me about things that only I knew. Things about who I was, who I want to become, my desires, fears, dreams, and goals that are secretly stashed away in a treasure chest buried deep in the oceans of my inner mind. Often, we have a thought but quickly dismiss it as we get busied with life. It’s those moments that would fascinate me when I read my letter. I decided I’m writing me a letter to read on my birthday in July—that’s in six months, a good stretch but not too long. Let’s see if I’m still the same person I am today or who I will be instead. It will be a good gauge for how well I am living my year by how many goals I’ve accomplished. I will soon have a clearer picture of what’s truly important to me. I think I will follow the original guidelines and write a letter to myself for 2026 as well. It should be enlightening to get a forgotten letter addressed to “Dear Future Me.”