Where I See Myself in 10 Years

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If you’re anything like me, you likely find it impossible to talk about the future without referencing vision boards, dream sheets, or goal posts. While I have an idea of where I’d like to see myself in 10 years, I struggle with verbalizing goals. Mostly due to fear of failure (I can’t fail if it wasn’t really a goal, right?) and a little bit because it’s easy to throw my hands up and say, “It doesn’t really matter because the Army is probably going to derail it somehow.” So when Kait over at Communikait offered this concept as a prompt, I knew it’d be a good time to channel my inner-politician by pushing up my sleeves and have an honest discussion about where I see myself in 10 years.

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Right now, I am a botox-free 35-year-old with a few gray hairs that are camouflaged by highlights that I’ve paid good money for over the years. I’ve been married for almost 14 years to my college sweetheart. We have an 8-year-old son and a 5-year-old daughter. Our beloved chocolate lab, Lucy, whom we adopted as a puppy, is 13-years-old. I’m currently in a bit of a professional lull as I figure out how I want my career to look moving forward with school-aged children and a husband with a thriving Army career. As soon as I have an idea – I manage to talk myself out of pursing it by labeling the goal as either as too unattainable or outside of my scope/ability. I also tend to use the Army as an excuse, despite the most likely reason for my career-paralysis being my inner-voice, which manages to hold my confidence in it’s hand like a fragile bird – squeezing tighter and tighter.

Okay – that was a bit dramatic.

When thinking about my future, I try to prepare a vision board in my head. I see my family – we’re older but still laughing and enjoying each others company. I see mountains in Colorado. I see a townhome in Old Town Alexandria. I see a MacBook. I see a passport. I see fitted jeans and a black blazer – probably to symbolize a work environment that is casual but yet professional. But what I am unable to visualize is the actual work. Am I a teacher? A writer? Do I work in the non-profit sector? Did I earn another graduate degree but this time in social work?

Speaking of vision boards, I love this SNL sketch with Melissa McCarthy.

While my vision board may lack actual career details, at least it doesn’t have a severed head on it. Or yogurt.

So where do I see myself in 10 years? Well – for starters, hopefully alive. Still married. Still a mother. In 10 years, our son will be freshman in college (!) and our daughter will be a sophomore in high school. I will be 45 (and fabulous!) and married to my still-amazingly cute husband for almost 24 years. Lucy will be around only in pictures and it’s difficult to say whether or not Clay will still be wearing a uniform to work. I hope that body parts won’t have traveled too far south and that I’ve maintained my athletic curves (I freely admit that I can be a bit vain).

In 10 years, I hope that I am making a difference somehow. I want to fall even more in love with my husband. I want my children to be brave, confident, and unstoppable. I don’t want to be a slave to money nor a slave to time. I want to use what I need and nothing more. I want to continue to experience new things. I want to have a tiny stud in my nose. I want to finally experience a runner’s high. I want to be more confident. I want to be more self-assured. I want to be more kind. I want to be more empathetic. I want to do all the things I wanted to do but talked myself out of doing. I want to not care so much about what others think of me. I want to see value in everyday.

And in 10 years, I want to live with purpose and passion.

Other Year of Intention posts…

8 comments on “Where I See Myself in 10 Years”

  1. I loved this so, so much and felt myself nodding my head more than once! I broke a little on the inside with the bit about Lucy, because dogs have all the best qualities of humans and none of the bad ones. Do you think you’ll get another pup? I can sort of relate to the career bit, because I never, ever thought I’d be where I am, so I question if I’ll still be doing it in 10 years! I hope you guys have a great weekend 🙂

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    1. It is tough to imagine our lives without Lucy but we know it will be a reality soon. She is doing surprisingly well so the end doesn’t seem too near but with an elderly dog, you really do need to take it day by day. We will probably not get a new dog for a little while. We want time to grieve and it will be impossible not to compare a new puppy to the world’s best dog. Seriously – Lucy is amazing. She listens, doesn’t run off, she isn’t destructive, she loves everybody, she’s great with kids, and she just grabs life by the horns. We are also in a season of our lives where a dog wouldn’t necessarily receive the attention it deserves because we are gone so much during the day and evening. I see us getting another dog once the kids are more independent…perhaps when they are in middle school and high school. Right now, we’re just focused on enjoying Lucy and making the rest of her life as wonderful as possible (lots of bacon and ice cream!).

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  2. Karen, I’ll pay for your airfare out here to CO!! I KNOW we could talk for hours on end. Every personal post of yours speaks right to me. I’m in the paralyzing state right now. Heck, I took a practice GRE last night (obvious I’ve been out of school for 13 years!) because I found a really cool Graduate program from William and Mary. I spent the entire day so excited about possibly finding my place, my role. Even Nick could tell in my voice how excited i was. Then, gradually, I talked myself out of it. Too expensive. I wouldn’t make better money than if I went back into genetics. What if I don’t pass the GRE? Or my classes? What if I go through two years of school and HATE my new job? So. Here I am. Sitting on the couch, searching the net and trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I have no idea. I’ve thought about Social Work as well and have talked to a few colleges who offer online degrees. But I can’t take the plunge. I don’t know why. Everyone is pushing me to move forward, do it, do it, do it! I need more internal cheerleaders. I for one, think you have a lot of potential and knowledge and ambition and something amazing will soon fall into your lap. You’ve got a big chunk of life ahead of you and SO much you can do with that. I’m excited to see what your next chapter looks like.

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    1. Laura – I am kicking myself that we weren’t able to get together during our brief time being stationed in relatively the same area. Why does 20 miles in the Washington DC area feel like 200? I feel like we are totally experiencing/going through the same thing right now and I’d love to be able to bounce ideas off of each other face-to-face. Maybe I should start a FB group for military spouses in their 30s at a crossroads? Ha.

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  3. This is a wonderful and honest reflection. It’s super important to write out your plan and vision like this and you are inspiring others to do the same. Best wishes to a continual bright, purposeful, and happy future.

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  4. I am right there with you!! I can see little details for my goals/future, but I struggle to visualize them in great detail. I see a womans conference, but am I the main speaker or behind the scenes? I see encouraging and empowering women, but through a book, a blog, a course? Heck – i have no idea… and even writing it down in the comment was slightly nerve wrecking!

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  5. Oh my goodness, I love this whole post so much! I usually find myself struggling to figure out what I want to be ‘when I grow up’. Love that you focused less on what you want to be doing specifically and more on how you want to be doing!

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