Friday, February 23, 2018

10 Years from Now

Before schlepping up to Spanish Harlem for the dinner party on Sunday, I FaceTimed my 12-year-old friend Elizabeth. We met at Fontana Village as I was finishing my 16-day AT hike two summers ago, because her family is friendly and invited me to join their family reunion as I waited for my shuttle back to society. Well, it wasn't even really her family: It was her mom's new boyfriend's family, so Elizabeth didn't know any of the other kids. So she and I sat together and talked for a couple of hours while the other kids played in the pool. Elizabeth wanted to see all of my stuff and learn about what each piece of equipment was for, and she wanted to hear all about how I'd decided to do the hike and how I'd planned and completed it.

Elizabeth have a lot in common, almost shockingly so. She’s a reader and a writer and also lost a parent at a young age. She wants to be a long-distance backpacker someday. Somehow we seem to see the world the same way. I don't really believe in soul mates romantically, but I do believe in souls that align platonically.

It had been a while since we'd caught up. Elizabeth's middle school basketball season just ended and she’s playing a lead role in a school musical. She’s reading The Secret Life of Bees and trying to figure out how to get her first book — a children’s story called "The Very Magical Christmas" — published. I told her about my move to NYC and my current work and the book I just finished, The Basque History of the World. We talked for a solid 45 minutes, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Recently, I was telling another friend about Elizabeth, and they suggested that she and I write letters to each other to open in 10 years. I floated the idea to Elizabeth, and of course she loved it, so we set out to figure out how that would work logistically.

So I googled "how to set a reminder 10 years from now". 

This is what the Internet gave me:

A lot of these ideas made me laugh. In the end, I signed up for the FutureMe email service and will probably paperclip a reminder into my passport as well. Elizabeth and I agreed to write our letters this weekend, to send them ASAP, and to open them 02/28/2028. I am very happy with the near-symmetry of that date.

I'm not sure yet what I'll write about. Probably about why I'm glad we're friends, and what I like about her. Things I expect — or hope — will be the same 10 years from now. 

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