Sunday, June 21, 2009


Where do you see yourself in five years?

This is the question that is inevitably asked of every college student at one point or another. Some are asked as rising freshmen. Some are asked as exiting graduates. Many are even asked again once they interview for that job they've been working so hard to get.

The question is a loaded one. It's a gauge that people use to determine what sort of drive you have. What sort of vision do you have for your life and what's to come?

I remember being asked this question several times throughout my life. And each time I've heard the question, I remember thinking about how unfair it was.

At 18 years of age, as a freshman just taking those first steps into adulthood, how could I have possibly known what the next five years would bring me? My answer was hopeful. I'd be a college graduate. I'd have a job. Back then, I may have even thought I'd be married, or at least on my way. But in reality, I had no idea.

At 23 years of age, as a college graduate, I still had no idea how to answer that question. I certainly didn't see myself as a grad school drop out working part-time at a bank trying desperately to make ends meet. But my answer at the time was probably roughly the same as it had been five years earlier.

And now, at 29 years of age, all I can safely say is that five years from now, I'll be 34.

I don't think about the future a great deal. Don't confuse that with spontaneity. I may not make long term plans, but I really don't fly by the seat of my pants either. The thing I don't like about plans is that they usually don't work out. I'd much rather live today for today and see what it brings, for better or worse.

So what sort of vision do I have for myself and my future? I don't know. I have goals, but they're not lofty. The goals I set for myself are attainable and, for the most part, within reach. My thought is, if you set yourself up with goals that are too far ahead, then something comes up and you can't reach that goal, you've done nothing but set yourself up for disappointment. I'm definitely not a fan of disappointment.

What about you? Where do you see yourself in five years?


  1. I appreciate your honesty in this piece and know exactly what you are saying. However, I differ with you when it comes to disappointment -- it drives me. I have spent my life attempting to attain things well out of my league, from my now wife (who I was once told would never talk to me), to signing up for "races" that I have no business competing in. While I have had my fair share of failure (and have absolutely no clue what is next for me in this life), I love setting myself up for a humiliating crash and working my ass off to make sure it doesn't happen -- for some sick reason it gives me a purpose. With all that being said, it can be a very sad existence at times. Best of luck to you in whatever comes next.

  2. As a teacher I always tell me students how do they visualise themshelves after 5 years?

    That really makes them think and they set a goal and work towarsds it. It doesn't work for everytone but it doesn't fail either.

    Think about it. And work towards what you really want.

    My two penny bit!

    stolen from the air

    Please don't forget to post your creative works at Monday Poetry Train Revisited too!

  3. I think you are wise but I'm not a risk taker. I think there are times for risks and there are times for wisdom. If you set a goal and meet it you can always set another one. I think we all have to work at something that gives us a sense of purpose and a goal can help that. I also agree that stuff can and does happen and some people once derailed, never find their way back to any track. We will all have advice for you but the best I know is that we are all just trying to muddle through the best we can and if you come out the other end with more joy than regret? You've done it right. Luck to you :)

  4. in five years, i plan on being with the person i write for every day. i plan on continuing my contentment in life. i plan on continuing to deny my age.

    and, with luck, i'll have dropped this last 15 lbs i've carried for years.