I don’t have my future planned out in every detail for the coming years. Yet, I do have an image in my head of what my life looks like when I’m around 40 years old. I have a lot of goals in my life which I’m actively working towards and enjoy at the same time. This gives me strength in a funny way. Maybe it’s about knowing everything is going to be fine and that my life has a purpose. I suppose it is. Today I want to capture this image I have in my head and write it all down. As a letter to my future self. And then, when I’m 40, I can read it and see whether I was right (or not, which is probably okay too). In all honesty and maybe a little bit of craziness (dream big they say, right?) too. Here’s a letter to future self.
Letter to my Future Self in 2038.
I hope you’re as sincerely happy as I am today, at 22 years old. It must be weird reading this since my life and views change a lot. I hope they’re still focussed on compassion, like they are today. There’re a few of my characteristics that I hope you still have. I hope you are still learning in every single way. Reading books, watching documentaries, listening to peoples stories and hoping to change the world. I hope you still are optimistic about the human race and I mostly hope you’re still an activist in any type of way, if necessary. Fighting for positive changes, to make life on earth better. I also hope you’re still maintaining your personal growth. Keep learning and be humble.
By now, at age 40, I figured this is what your life looks like. You still maintained an eco-positive lifestyle. Living within the earths boundaries, this is your basis. You live in a small house. Not a tiny house, but a small house around 40 to 60 m2. Just as much space as I needed when I was a student living together with Casper in that apartment in Groningen. About Casper, I hope you’re still together, after about 23 years. But only if you’re both still happy. Anyhow, about that house. The house is small, entirely built out of repurposed materials and climate neutral. You even produce more energy, climate positive so to say! The house is small, but the land around it is huge. So big that you can’t see any neighbors. That’s because you own an animal sanctuary. You save animals regularly (from slaughter, euthanasia or if they were abandoned), so that they can have a good, long and happy life in the sanctuary. Meanwhile, you also foster some animals (mostly cats and dogs). To give them a good stay until they’ve found a happy home somewhere else. You also use the land to strengthen biodiversity, with many flowers, vegetables, insects and more. It will be a heaven on earth for biodiversity, but also a food forest for you to harvest food to feed your family. It won’t be too far away from a big city, so that everything is still accessible (probably by public transportation or maybe an electrical car).
What this family looks like is still uncertain for me at the age of 22. I think I want a big family and so maybe the house has the get a few extra layers on top (or some extra small houses on the land we own). A big household seems amazing right now, but who knows. 6 persons, 8 persons? That does not mean Casper and I and many kids for sure. I really hope that when my parents are old and can’t take care of theirselves any longer, they’ll live with us. This probably won’t happen at age 40, but maybe at 50 or 60! Right now, I would like for you to be a foster parent too. Helping kids stabilize by giving them a loving home is something I see myself doing. Same goes with adopting children (I realize that this is not easy and it comes with many difficulties. There are scandals of children being takes away from their parents illegally and if the adoption parents have very differently ethnicity than the kids, their identity can be disrupted). I hope that we can figure out a way to adopt in a healthy way, maybe Dutch kids. I hope that your family life is good. Not much tv and social media. But more focussed on personal growth, joy and the animals in the sanctuary as well. Making time for each other is most important.
I hope to pursue a job besides the animal sanctuary still (as I would have done so far). Part time. For now there are two things I hope you have: a career in politics or in governance for a big corporation with a beautiful purpose. Even though I know there is not much time in one week, I hope you also play an instrument, posts blogposts and videos and volunteer if possible.
About that volunteering. I hope you are changing things for the better in The Netherlands by your career and the sanctuary. But if that isn’t working out or isn’t where it should be, I hope you’re still an activist. I wish for the world in 2038 to be 100% equal, just and at peace. But I realize that this is unfortunately not realistic. This means you still are an activist. On a public level, marching the streets and raising awareness. About intersectional feminism, human rights, animal rights or any type or injustice. But also on a personal level. Giving shelter to homeless people in those extra houses on your property. Or organizing big vegan dinners for people in need. You are also donating a chunk of your income to charities like I am doing today.
In previous years I would have traveled the world with Casper (who I hope to be the love of my life). In a sustainable way, preferably in an electric van or by train. And if it’s possible, I hope you have lived in different countries for about a year each. A year in New Sealand, a year in The United States or a year in Peru. Right now, I don’t have specific countries in mind. I hope to go wherever life will take me. Also, I hope you have never stopped learning meanwhile. I hope you have several master degrees. Having them done full-time or while you already had a job. I just love studying so much right now, I hope you still do. I also hope you are almost financially independent (FIRE), preferably by age 50. As I said before, that doesn’t mean you would stop working. It would be ideal if you have enough time to go out regularly still. On road trips with your friends (I hope to still have the friends I have now, or maybe more!) or Casper or both. I hope to attend festivals and concerts and go out for dinner or lunch sometimes still.
I know this all sounds crazy and surrealistic (well, there’re only so many hours in one week). But these were my dreams back in 2020 and I’m curious to see which parts have come true.
Romee (in 2020)