Sunday, July 29, 2012

"Where do you see yourself in five years?"

And I felt myself searching for answers that typically satisfy. I said something about being either five years further into vertical growth in my current job, or roughly three years closer to a profession it might take me another two years to determine. They seemed satiated.

I thought about this the whole way home, talking out loud to myself and to God the way I do. Where do I see myself in five years?

How about where does God see me in five years? I mean honestly, in five years, I see myself thankful that I've lived for twenty-five years. Isn't the point that I don't see anything? Who am I to project myself that far into the future on my own strength?

I'm not negating hope. I understand goals and ambitions and dreams. I understand the basic, linear curiosity behind the question. And I don't resent the question. I'm quite pleased it was asked of me, considering it spurred this much thought. I would have thought about it less if not for the amount of recent thought I've put into going back to school. My first thought was, wow! Five years from now, I could be two years into exploring any field I choose. Here's the thing, though.

I know I sound like a hippie, an idealist, or perhaps just plain lazy, but I feel like I chose my field when I quit school. I don't want to learn the way university requires me to. I can't afford to get a degree and travel. Even if I could, I'd have to work around my school schedule. I can't work full-time and take classes. I'll cut my speed of progress in half. Yes, I will have done it for the sake of progress in something else... but what?

There's a giant blank there that I haven't filled. The longer I go without filling it, the more readily I grasp that I might not. I mean, I might. There's time. But I might not. Cause there's time. There's only so much time, and it's not much at all, and how will I wish I had spent it?

I have been attempting to master three things.
1) Separate what I can change from what I can't. Change what I can as I want to. Release what I can't.
2) Be a better friend.
3) Stop worrying.
alternate title:
3) Trust God.

I do wonder if/why I lack ambition. I don't think I would wonder this on my own. I think I anticipate that other people might wonder that for me. It doesn't make me feel very good. It makes me feel stagnant and shallow and loser-y. So, ambition. What do I want to do? Where do I see myself in five years?

By the grace of God, I will have come across someone who I live to love and support. I am realizing how often my happiness hides in others' happiness. I just... want everyone to be who they want to be. And I want to help them get there.

My dream is to help people reach their dreams. I don't care in what capacity. I would set aside every dream I have if it meant I could take some part in encouraging/praying/funding/moving/hard laboring/baking/brewing/writing/laughing people I love into the places they see themselves.

Where do I see myself in five years? Where do YOU see yourself in five years? How can I help you get there?

That's how I feel. That's the furthest I've gotten. And you know what, time and money are finite. God hasn't established a degree as the most worthy recipient of mine. That will always be all the peace I need about forgoing one.

The person who asked me this question concluded our discussion by telling me, "You know, I'll always watch out for you, but I'll never worry about you. You are going to be more than fine."

I could have cried. That sentiment is the most I could ever ask of anybody. I am the most content I've ever been. I am in the most awe of God's love and faithfulness to me than I've ever been. My heart is the most geographically settled it's ever been. Concern for me is laughable.

Where do I see myself in five years?

Still happy. Still prayerful. Near my family. In possession of long-awaited travel memories. In literary magazines? In love? Grateful.

Here's the truth.

I'm just not worried about it.

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