On New Years Eve at Midnight, while other people were getting shitfaced and making out with their closest neighbors, I was taking the lid off of a poorly wrapped shoebox. The kitten wrapping paper was nearly all ripped off, and the box itself looked as if someone had stepped on it more than once. There was a random pink birthday bow on the outside and a note that said DO NOT OPEN UNTIL 2014. Well, it was 2014. It had been 10years since I had filled that box with reminders of my 8th grade school year. 10 LONG years since I'd laid eyes on the contents placed there by the 14 year-old-version of myself. But the time had finally come!
Among the items inside I found a sticker advertising the Michigan State Fair (which no longer exists), a movie ticket stub for "Harry Potter & the Prince of Azkaban", a birthday card from one of my friends at the time, and a faux check for a million dollars from the "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" computer game. There was also a piece of paper that I had sprayed with my favorite perfume and placed inside a zip-lock bag. Much to my disappointment, the paper no longer smelled like my perfume (which I still have by the way). Then as my boyfriend so cleverly pointed out, I probably would have had to vacuum seal the perfume if I'd wanted it to stay in there for 10years.
There were some other things in my time capsule too - like a collage, a drawing, and one of those "Soul Quizzes" that I'd gotten off the internet. I'll give you a few examples of the questions that I found on there. Question #101 What do you wish you had more control over? My answer: The future. Well, 14year-old-me, there really wasn't much you could've done. You got good grades and later went on to college. You had literally no control how other people would act, how the economy would tank, or what you'd end up enjoying in life. Question #107 What is your favorite quote? My answer: "Slow down and enjoy life. It's not only the scenery you miss by going too fast - you also miss the sense of where you are going and why" - Eddie Cantor. OK me (10yrs ago), that's a pretty good quote. I wish you would've listened too it more often. You were in such a hurry to grow up that you missed out on some of the best kid stuff. I know it wasn't easy growing up, and believe me - you end up with a lot of regrets - but just remember that you kept moving forward. Question #129 Would you ever get a permanent tattoo? My answer: No, it'll look weird when I'm old. Plus it'll hurt. HAHA. I'm sorry younger version of me, but by 18 you'll already have gotten two tattoos and be planning for more. And so on and so on, there were like 160 questions total.
We also had to fill out a pamphlet with questions and stuff, it was the actual "assignment" that the teacher later graded. The first couple pages had you list what was going on in your life, in the world, in the school, etc. Not much has changed since then - we still have soldiers fighting overseas, the News still broadcasts depressing stories about people dying, and being fourteen years old still probably sucks. Especially with how cruel other kids can be if you don't look or act a certain way. The only depressing thing that changed is the fact that I no longer am in contact with any of the girls I thought were my "best friends" that year before High School. I guess over time the relationships just faded away. There were a couple of other random pages as part of the assignment and then on the very last page there was a letter from me to me (10 years later). I'll copy it for you here. I will also list my responses to reading this in bold.
Dear (your name),
Hi. I wrote this letter to you 10 years ago. As a growing teen, I'd want you to remember things from my time. Hey "me", I'm not a teenager I'm actually 24 years old now. Firstly, spend a lot of time with your family and pets because life is short. Awh, look how wise I am. Second, don't let money get in the way of finding a career that you love. That's why I didn't become a doctor, kid. Third, continue to eat healthy and exercise, and maybe someday you'll be as small as you want to. That advice was helpful until the Freshman Fifteen came along. Fourth, have fun while you can. Never stop watching cartoons or playing games just because you're older. I never have. Fifth, take care of mom and help pay for the house. Never let the house be sold or bought because with it goes all of your memories. Well, that's a bit depressing but I'll do what I can. Finally, treat everyone with kindness and it will come back to you. Try your best in life and never forget about dad or your childhood. Soon we will meet again.
From (your name)
Date: June 3rd, 2004.
Well, 14 year old me, you had some pretty wise advice. Hopefully I didn't disappoint you.
The last thing that I found in my time capsule was a letter about "How I Think the Future Will Be". So I'll share some bits and pieces with you and I'll also bold my responses of what really went down 10 years later:
In the year 2014, I think I will have a decent job related to something I love to do. Hopefully, I will either be a writer, actress, cosmetologist, or work behind the scenes for a movie - like a hair or makeup artist for a celebrity. If my future jobs I want don't work out, then maybe I will be a photographer, oceanographer, or illustrator. I do know however, that whatever career I end up with I'll be happy. Dear 2004, unfortunately the job market sucks ass right now. You end up working retail and it sucks. You continue to write on the side and you still love photography, but everything else just ends up being a hobby. Hopefully the 2016 version of us will get their shit together. In the year 2014, I think my home life will be very different [...] if job searching takes longer than expected I will still be living at home, taking care of my mom and house payments. Well you were right about one thing. [...] Blah, Blah, Blah some crappy predictions about friends and family that I didn't get right. And then I add this stupid comment: If science develops than cars, skateboards, etc. will hover above the ground. Back to the Future was just a movie sweetheart, in real life people are so fucking terrible at driving that they'll never make any of that stuff hover or fly because of the amount of accidents that already occur.
Well, that basically concludes everything I have to say about my time capsule from 10 years ago. I was thinking I might give it another go and try a shorter time like 5 years instead of ten. I just want to give myself another chance to have a future where I'm not entirely wrong about what I think it will be like. Shit never turns out the way you thought it would when you were fourteen. But now that I'm twenty-four I have a different perspective on life. I just need to set more realistic goals and actually follow through with them. The rest of the world might suck (most of the time) but that doesn't mean I have to let it get me down. And you shouldn't either.