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.
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.