Many Years From Now

20 Jan

Plinky prompt of the day: Write a note to a relative living 100 years in the future.

Dear Future Family,

It’s the year 2111, which you know, of course. 2111 is a pretty cool number, but I’m writing to you from 2011. You might not have any idea who I am, and I’m sure we’ll never meet. In case we don’t, here’s a little bit you might want to know about me. My name is Laura, and currently I’m 24, meaning I was born all the way back in 1986. I was lucky enough to be alive at the turn of a year, a decade, a century, and a millenium, all at the same time. Trust me, it wasn’t that glamorous. In fact, not much about my life is that glamorous, although I wish it was.

I’m sure life has gotten easier in the century since this letter was written. You’re probably apparating and time-traveling by now, which must be way faster than using your jet-powered car. I’m sure that allows you to see much more of the world than I ever did. I’m jealous of that, and I don’t even know if it’s true.

I’ve spent most of my life living in Tennessee, with the occasional move somewhere different. I went to a small women’s college in South Carolina. If you’re a girl and you’re looking for colleges, and women’s colleges still exist, I’d highly recommend them. There’s a great supportive atmosphere at a women’s college that you won’t find anywhere else. Plus, you don’t have to deal with immature boys that haven’t figured out how to impress real women yet. I’ve had some incredible opportunities for traveling, which I think is the most worthwhile investment you can make (other than education, of course). Traveling gives you an entirely new perspective on life and the world around you, and opens your eyes to things you’ve only dreamed about. If you get the chance, make sure you see Sagrada Familia in Barcelona – it will change your life.

If you’ve made world peace by now, I’m highly impressed. It doesn’t seem at all likely where I am. People here are fighting over the usual things – politics, religion, money. I guess it never ends. Keep in mind that some things are worth fighting for, while others only seem that way. Figure out what things you really care about, and work toward making them better. Don’t forget to give back to the community, and to those less fortunate than you. Someone is always worse off than you, no matter what you think your life is like.

I hope you take time to unwind from your life and remember those who came before you. You’re probably going to live to be 120 years old, in a huge urban city, surrounded by TV and computer screens (if they’re not already implanted in your brain at birth), eating food filled with chemicals and hormones because we’ve used up all the good farmland. I just want you to know that I’m living in a time of fast growth and constant debate over the healthiest way to live. If you can, go outside and enjoy nature as often as possible. We’ve already lost so much of it, you don’t want to miss out on it while you still have a chance.

Some things to remember, that are timeless:

Living on Earth is expensive – and probably more so with a century of inflation – but it does include a free trip around the sun. I didn’t make that up.

The Beatles are the greatest rock and roll band to ever live. I actually saw Paul McCartney in concert once, and it was the most amazing experience of my life. Don’t ever pass up the chance to see your idols – you won’t regret it. They’ve probably invented something way better than iTunes, but I’ll leave you my entire collection of their music – you’ll need it for all those crucial moments in life.

Growing up sucks sometimes, but you get to do some pretty awesome things as an adult.

See as much art and architecture as you can. I know not everyone appreciates it as much as I do, but you still have to respect the fact that there are such old things that still exist. I hope they still exist where you are. The Mona Lisa is a little overrated, so you can skip that one, if you want. But I would highly suggest European cathedrals, the pyramids in Egypt, and pretty much anything in Rome.

Find out who you are and what you like. Don’t apologize for the things that make you you. The people who are really important in your life will love you because of and in spite of those things.

The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return. I also did not make that up.

So, anyway, I hope you enjoyed getting a little blast from the past. Take care. And by the way, if you really want to freak me out, jump in your time machine and meet me on October 27, 2026 with this letter. It will be my 40th birthday, and it will probably scare the pants off me. It should be fun. See you then!

Love, Laura

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