Starting on my 14th birthday, I have written myself a letter to open the following year. I write about what I hope my life is like the following year. What I hope I am doing. Sometimes I question where I will be living. My first letters were all about starting boarding school and being scared to leave my friends behind. As they continue throughout the years, I start to talk about love, college and eventually marriage. I love having these to look back on. I can look back at the first time I mention Lane, my hopes for college, grad school and the wedding. I am not a great journaler, but I can definitely manage one letter a year. I definitely plan to keep up this tradition throughout the rest of my life.
This year's letter focused on Lane's return from Afghanistan. I don't know how long we will be at Fort Drum, and it's possible that my 26th birthday will be my last here in the North Country. Will I have another birthday before we start thinking about having kids? Will we have another dog by that point? I love looking back at everything I questioned in each letter. My letter last year was all about finding a job. I was new to Fort Drum, and my every thought focused on finding gainful employment. Now that I am happily employed, the intense worry and stress I felt in February of 2012 seems like a distant memory.
Does anyone else have a habit like this? It has been over a decade since I began this habit, and it has been very rewarding. I also plan to write letters to our kids throughout my pregnancies and their lives. This is my easy way to look back at my life (and future kids' lives) through my own experiences, hopes and worries.