When high school counselors want to make an effort to guide students towards a productive future, they often start by asking “Where do you see yourself in five years?” As a teenager, this is a fun question to answer. It’s a chance to imagine the perfect future where everything you want is laid out on the table for you, all nice and pretty.
Then you hit your early twenties and you realize, life doesn’t work that way. And still the question persists: Where do you see yourself in five years?
As a writer, I’ve heard recently that I should have a six year plan. This freaks me out because the five year question freaks me out. Three months ago, I had no idea where my life was going to go. Now, I’m just barely getting a faint idea but I still have no idea where my writing is going. I have hopes, but you can’t live on that. Especially in light of recent events, I’m learning now more than ever how life can throw iron spikes under your tires, only to watch you spin and scream while it hides in the bushes, cackling quietly to itself.
Yes, life is a sentient being in that analogy. Evil little imp.
All I know at this point is I want to make a living from writing. I want to be living in my own place with Bear. I want a family at some point. How that fits into a five or six year plan, I don’t have the first clue. I figure I will stay at my current job at least two years before I try to move on to something better. Will that be writing full time? You’re asking me? Ha! I don’t know. I couldn’t have begun to predict the freelance opportunity that came my way this year.
Maybe I am feeling a little at fate’s mercy. I know I did when I graduated from college. A friend who graduated at the same time, let’s call her Scottish Cowgirl, was feeling the same way.
“What are you going to do next?”
Not the first clue. Since then, she’s gone to Scotland to do her Master’s. I’m marching towards true independence and responsibility, the kind that makes a mockery of what we had in college. Oh lordy, we thought we were hot stuff. But maybe we are making progress away from that “I dunno” feeling towards life.
What it comes down to is what we’re all left with at the end of the day anyway. The general feeling that hey, it’s all going to be okay.