Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Where Do You See Yourself?

My life is nowhere close to what I thought it would be one year ago, five years ago, or ten years ago. I mean, nowhere.

At no time in my life would I have guessed that I'd ever wear sparkles.

Ten years ago, I was 16. I was in a serious* relationship with my high school sweetheart who, looking back, wasn't really all that sweet to me. My life consisted of cheerleading practice and studying. I knew that I would have to keep up my grades and extra-curriculars to get a scholarship to college. And I did. But also, my mindset at 16 was that by 26, I'd be married with children. Obviously, I was getting married right after high school and then going to college. After college, I'd get a job and we'd have kids. Boy, was I naive. 

*High school relationships are not serious. They may last past high school and you might even marry your high school sweetheart and live happily ever after. But you don't know that yet. You don't really know anything yet. Except maybe the value of Pi. 

My friend here did get married immediately after HS graduation. It did not work out.

Five years ago, I was in a fun but thisisgoingnowhere relationship. So let's jump to four years ago. I had just ended that relationship, was about to graduate college, and making big plans for my future. I was nervous, but knew that I'd move to a big city. Dallas, Austin, and Boston were my front runners. I tweaked my resume, wrote a million cover letters, and sent follow up emails like it was my job. (Well, I guess if that was my job I wouldn't need to do all that to get a job? Anyway.) When I looked 4 years down the road, to where I am now, I saw myself working for a large corporation in a big city. Maybe dating, maybe not. I'd be living in a loft apartment with exposed brick walls and white furniture and I'd sip 5 o'clock martinis with coworkers every day.

I actually do still want this apartment. 

One year ago, I was painfully single and I kinda hated my job. I wasn't painfully single in the way that I was dying to meet Mr. Right, I was just sick and tired of dealing with all of the Mr. Wrongs. On the job front, I had been given a ton of extra responsibilities with no extra pay or incentives. It was overwhelming and was beginning to look like it wasn't worth sticking around. At this point, I didn't have much hope for the future. I assumed that in one year, I'd be in the same exact boat. Single and stuck in the lulls of dating in a small, college town and settling with a job that was just mediocre. 

Oh, also, I was about 30 pounds heavier.

I'm so thankful that I was wrong each time. I didn't run off and get married right after high school. I didn't move away to a big city and get lost in the corporate world. And I can say that, a year from my last guess for the future, I am not still single and in an unfulfilling job. 

Today, I am in a very happy and healthy relationship (with Mr. Right). In fact, we're moving in together next month. 

I am in the same job, but have since been recognized for my work. A few months ago, I was given a title change and a pretty hefty salary increase. Also, even though I never had the chance to move to a big city…my job gives me the flexibility to travel and take numerous vacations. 

If I were asked to guess where I'll be one year from now, five years from now, or ten years from now…I would simply say, "no thanks". Life isn't about guessing where you'll be in the future. It's about enjoying the now. And boy, I sure am.

Are you?

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