Random Blog A Musing Farf

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

LIFECYCLES

When I was eighteen, my high school commencement speaker asked all of the graduating seniors to write letters to their 28-year old selves. In that letter, we were supposed to predict what we would be doing in ten years, and mention any goals we had for ourselves. In the ten years between 18 and 28, I forgot all about that letter.

The letter arrived in my mailbox right around the time of my 10-year high school reunion. Nothing I predicted was accurate and none of the goals I had so carefully considered 10 years prior were even close to anything I had a desire to accomplish. Married? Still single. Kids? At 28 I couldn’t begin to imagine. Television writer? Zero interest.

And my goals! Ha! I wanted to be an amateur Marine Biologist (I think it had not yet occurred to me that marine biology involved more than SCUBA diving in cool locations) and learn to sing. Of course, both of those things involve some level of natural talent – say an affinity for science or the ability to carry a tune – and needless to say, neither goal was seriously pursued.

At twenty-eight, I was happily single (although dating a spectacular guy who I would later marry) and childless by choice. I still loved to SCUBA dive and sing in the shower, but my real goal was to be a Union-side labor lawyer and if asked to predict what I would be doing in 5 years (and trust me, in many a job interview, I was asked to do just that) I would confidently answer, “work as an attorney for a Union and help to make the workplace a better place.” My goals were to be successful in my career and land a great job.

And now, at 32, I have learned to stop predicting where I will be in five years, because the answer is, I have no clue: I want to be a dog trainer. I want to be a teacher. I hate being a lawyer. I can’t live on a teacher or a dog trainer’s salary and in a couple months, I will have a mortgage to think about. And I want to have a baby so I definitely need a job with health insurance and paid maternity leave. So my goals have been reduced to the following: I just hope to have kids, not have the bank foreclose on my new apartment, and not get headaches thinking about my job.

But really, maybe I should reexamine where I was at 18. After all, this shift in priorities may make for a good Lifetime television series.

2 comments:

Tina said...

S -
I remember those letters! In mine, I had hoped to be a movie director in Hollywood. Ha! I don't even like L.A.

Back then I couldn't even fathom an invention like the "Internet", so how could I know I'd spend the better part of my working life devoted to it.

I think you are doing a swell job at living your life to the fullest. Keep it up.
-T

Suzanne said...

I can't think of goals for next week, let alone five years from now.