I’ve always hated the “where do you see yourself in ten years” hypothetical.
I think it should be banned form all questionnaires/interviews/applications, etc. because really, how many people truly have any idea what they’ll be doing in ten years? And if you do have a path neatly mapped out in your head, the chances that your map will lead you exactly where you want to go at the exact pace you’ve planned are infinitesimally small.
Even the map for Candyland has detours and quicksand (a.k.a The Molasses Swamp).
Back when I was an idealistic and naive 17, I was convinced I had the perfect plan. I was going to go to college, get a degree in clinical psychology, have a great job, be married and have two kids and a nice house with a weeping willow in the backyard all by the time I was 25 years old.
Never say I don’t set my sights high.
But all that plan resulted in was a 25th birthday spent locked in my apartment, depressed and grieving over all the things I hadn’t accomplished, all the grandiose scheming that had disintegrated faster than tissue paper in a rainstorm.
So today I’m going to look back at where I was 10 years ago, right before I turned 20.
I was just finishing up my second year in college and had recently broken up with my first serious boyfriend for an older guy who had stayed interested in me for all of a month before no longer returning my calls, pretending that I didn’t exist and claiming I was stalking him if he happened to see me and my friends eating in the same cafeteria when he was. I was wavering over whether or not I really wanted to pursue psychology, and had become crushingly depressed when I tried to reconcile with my ex only to find that he’d recently moved on. I also spent two weeks in Belize for an archeology course on the Maya which would’ve been so much cooler if I could keep any food down or stop crying for longer than a few hours at a time. When I came home from the jungle I found out that I was out of a summer job (the place I’d worked since I was 16 decided they didn’t need me to work that summer) and I ended up making sandwiches and eventually working the counter at a bread/coffee shop. I met a guy who ended up being a complete and total dickface who royally blew me off once the summer was over, despite telling me I was the first girl he’d ever loved.
Yeah, aside from the trip to Belize, I’d have to say that was one of the suckiest summers ever. The only semi-positive thing that came out of it was that I lost about 30 pounds because I was too depressed to eat and spent hours traipsing through the jungle in tropical heat and when I returned home I tried distracting myself from my ex by running on the treadmill for an hour or two every night.
Anyway, here I am, ten years later.
I live in Europe and speak another language (when I’m not being stubborn).
I’m married to a wonderful, intelligent, caring man.
I’m almost 36 weeks pregnant (yes, pictures Tuesday when I’m officially 36 weeks) with our first baby.
We have two great cats, employment, health insurance, a car and a house.
Maybe my life at 25 was nothing like I had hoped when I was 17, but at 30 it’s a damn sight better than it was when I was 20.
Looking back on how good things are now compared to last decade definitely gives me even more reason to look forward to the next decade!