I started writing an annual letter to myself several years ago. Truth be told, I wrote an annual letter. Forgot about. Found it two years later. And wrote another annual letter.
It began as an exercise at a retreat. What would you say in a letter addressed to your future self a year from now? I completed the exercise and then squirreled the letter away.
I recently ran across the letter I wrote at the end of 2012 as I was packing to move across the country. I was stunned by the letter addressed to Amy that was meant to be read at the end of 2013. I had words of wisdom for myself. Insights and advice. I read the issues I was faced with and my hopes for the next year. It was encouraging. Inspiring. Many of my hopes had finally materialized this year. It was a bit uncanny.
So as 2013 comes to a close, I find myself thinking about the annual letter, that exercise that started at a retreat several years ago. An exercise that seemed a bit silly but has turned out to give me much. The letters are snapshots into who I was and what I was facing in my life, both good and bad. The letters are also opportunities for me to encourage myself, to befriend myself, to give myself a different perspective from the distance of time.
Who knows me better than myself? Who can encourage me better than myself? Who can understand me? Talk to me? Advise me? Console me? Strengthen me? Celebrate me? Amy of the present talking to Amy of the future. Amy of the future reading words from Amy of the past. Have you ever wished that you could advise your future self? Reflect on mistakes and successes? Guide the future you in terms of future hopes? “Dear Amy of 2014, this is Amy of 2013….”