Monday, July 21, 2008

10 years ago...

Ten years ago, where did you think you'd be now?

One of my new favorite blogs is The Pioneer Woman. One of her recent posts was about how her life now is much different than she imagined it would be 10 years ago. A few days ago she posted here some of the reader comments about where they are versus where they thought they'd be. The comments were both uplifting and downright depressing.

I tend to be a glass-half-full person, but then I haven't had many tragedies in my life, and certainly none as heartwrenching as some of those readers, like having a child who is battling cancer or learning to live life as a quadriplegic.

But it got me thinking. Ten years ago I was 15, so my future plans were, um...slightly less realistic than my plans today for my next 10 years. But here's what I remember thinking I'd be doing at age 25:

-dating someone "super hot," or possibly married to someone super hot (to JB? we'd just started dating when I was 15 and I was crazy about him even then, so who knows? Although at that point, Matt Damon was certainly another great option)
-no kids yet
-living in a big city (preferably in the South, maybe Nashville or Atlanta)
-I'd be slim and stunningly gorgeous
-I'd be in law school on my way to becoming a fabulous lawyer, possibly in family law (saving children), either in a huge firm making six figures or owning my own firm, also making six least...
-Law school would be at Vanderbilt or Harvard or someplace, where I'd be editor of the Law Review and top of my class
-OR I'd be a famous published author and live in a fabulous flat in London with a cabinet full of Pulitzers
-OR I'd be the next great Broadway sensation, and star in all the coolest musicals
-OR I'd be a famous actress, definitely the next Nicole Kidman
-OR I'd be a famous singer, either the next Faith Hill or the next Britney Spears (keep in mind, this was circa Hit Me Baby One More Time)
-OR be a famous concert pianist
-...mostly the idea was to be famous

My life now:
-married (to JB! woo hoo!)
-no kids yet (woo hoo!), but two child-like cats
-working for my local newspaper writing and editing stories for our newspaper-owned magazines
-living in the city next to my suburban hometown
-working on the novel that'll make me famous
-learning to be a runner and dropping my weight
-helping out at my church
-surrounded by people I love

In retrospect, I'm actually none of those things I wanted to be when I was 15, except for being married to a super hot guy. (I lucked out there; my 15-year-old self knew a keeper when she saw one!) I also wanted kids one day, which I still do. One day.

But I'm crazy glad I'm not a lawyer. Although, strangely, the idea of law school is still appealing. Imagine all the stuff you'd learn. I just wouldn't want to actually do anything with the degree when I got it. My job now is actually kind of perfect. I don't love it every minute of every day, but I do love being able to write and edit on a regular basis, and get paid to do it.

The funny thing is, I should have seen my career coming. I actually created my own family newspaper when I was about 10, and wrote articles for it and edited the "submissions" I received from my younger sister and various relatives. I wrote stories ALL the time. English was always my best and favorite subject. But I wanted to be an aerospace engineer when I grew up (please stop laughing). Then I hit high school and wanted to be a lawyer. Go figure.

My conclusion is that life has turned out lovely so far. Besides, what I think will ultimately matter at the end of my life--what will label me a success or failure--is whether I've followed God's plan for it, rather than my own. "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him." (1 Corinthians 2:9) That's all the proof I need that much better things are in store for me than I could dream up on my own.

And unless I drop dead prematurely, I've got a good 60 years to see if the whole "fabulously famous" thing works out.


Chad Aaron Sayban said...

That is a great post! Ten years ago I still thought I wanted to be a corporate CEO. Now I look back and wonder what the #$%* I could have been thinking. My life is about as wonderful as I could have ever hoped for...but I never would have dreamed it out this way.

Becky said...

Pioneer Woman is totally my favorite site right now! I LOVE her posts - she's just downright hilarious sometimes.

As far as the ten year thing... can I have your career in ten years? :) I'm working on my MBA right now and I have no idea what direction to move in when I'm done.

:) Becky