There’s an episode of How I Met Your Mother where the guys are looking back at the 3 year intervals and saying where they were then and where they thought they’d be 3 years from then, and they did this through about 12 years. I’m going by 5 years, but same idea.
5 years ago today, I moved to Nashville. I’d driven two days cross country with my mom and my small stuff in the car. I was starting law school the next week and had to get my apartment set up before then.
Back then, I was sure I wanted to go into Criminal Law. I was going to be a Prosecutor or an FBI Agent. I thought I’d go to law school, blow them out of the water, and either stay in Nashville or go some place similar and do Criminal Law. I also thought I’d be writing the whole time, keep submitting to publishers and see if anything came of that. I figured I’d date and be social and probably not have found the one by the time I was 28, because I’d be focused on my career, and that I’d be fine with that. I didn’t think I’d ever be brokenhearted over a guy, or at least not be terribly affected by it.
That was what I consider the end of my childhood.
I was 23 but don’t make the mistake of thinking chronological age has anything to do with being an adult. I was a child 5 years ago by pretty much anyone’s definition except that based on age. I’d never lived away from my parents, never had a loan (nope, not even car, I bought beaters with money straight out of my bank account), never had sex, never had signed a lease, and never had to pay any bills besides a phone bill.
I was a baby.
Don’t get me wrong. I was a responsible baby. I had part time jobs I was always on time for and did well, and kicked ass in college, but that’s easy to do when your parents are taking care of the big things.
Within a month of getting to Nashville, I’d done all those things. (Read that list again, and if something doesn’t jump out at you, you’re not paying attention 🙂
And that’s when I got my heart broken and realized I’d never really fallen for a boy. I’d never been an emotional dishrag over a guy before because I’d never fallen. I fell fast, hard, again see above for what happened and go ahead and judge me for my monumental stupidity, and the boy lost interest right after.
I was broken.
If you’d asked me 5 years ago, I’d say that never could have happened. Because I was logical and smart and I’d never let a boy do that to me.
Join me in laughing at my younger, naive self.
So why? Why do we bother looking forward and visualizing where we’ll be in 5 years when stuff happens or we make decisions we could never conceive possible?
Because we need to have a path, goals, a reason for being. You’ve got to have an idea of what you want and where you’re going to be able to get anything out of life besides whatever it decides to throw at you.
Going back to the writing side of things. I never thought I’d just give up on writing because law school would take all my brain power. I did, and it took a year after law school to “get back into it.” And I certainly never thought I’d do Indie Publishing. I didn’t even know that was a thing (though 5 years ago it wasn’t the thing it is now 🙂
Plans change, people change and circumstances change. That doesn’t mean don’t visualize where you’ll be or what you want. Of course do that, but don’t be so set on the path that you can’t feel the winds of change. And don’t be so scared of deviating from that path that you don’t try to follow those winds.
5 years ago, I wasn’t the same person I am today. Neither are you. No matter how set in your ways, adult, ect… that you are, you still change and so do your surroundings.
Be open to the change in life. Don’t be so set you don’t go anywhere new, but don’t lose site of your goals, at least without adopting some new ones.
Be flexible, be open, but don’t be afraid to just be sometimes too 🙂