It’s A Funny Thing, The Future

It is a funny thing, to think about the future. At age five, if you would have asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have surely replied by saying princess. I would have told you that I dreamed of growing a fin and having a voice as beautiful as Ariel’s. I wouldn’t have told you that I couldn’t swim to save my life or that I was afraid of little red crustaceans, but I would have told you that true love is beautiful and so is the ocean.

If you would have asked me at age twelve, I would have said a music teacher. I wouldn’t have told you that I couldn’t skillfully play an instrument, but I would have told you that I loved drawing G-clefs and quarter notes in my folders and that my older cousin taught piano to elementary schoolers, and that was enough for me.

If you would have asked me at age sixteen, I would have said an accountant. Because for a brief day, I enjoyed crunching numbers into debit and credit columns and thought the salary would be enough to make me happy.

If you were to ask me today, what I plan to do now that I have graduated from college and have been released into the big old scary real world… I would stammer over my words before finding the ones that sound appropriate.

What I would really like to say? That I’d like to enjoy my days. That I’d like to wake up every morning and go to my favorite diner. Order an omelette and a cup of coffee and sit in a tattered booth with an old notebook and my thoughts. People watch for an hour or so and write everything down, make up stories in my head. Walk around downtown Manhattan, window shopping and subway hopping. Circling around the Alice in Wonderland statue in Central Park, because it never ceases to bring a smile to my face. Find a free museum and wander through the galleries for the afternoon. Sit on a bench in Washington Square Park with a book on my lap and sunshine on my skin. Handwrite letters and leave them in my cabs, on bookshelves in Barnes & Noble, next to an ATM. Buy a new pair of shoes. Walk home swinging the bag at my side, running all the “do not walk” signs.

But instead, I dress up my answer in a suit jacket and pearls, like it’s going on a job interview, and tell you what field I’d like to work in and what side projects I’m creating.

I currently wake up every morning wondering where I’ll be in a month’s time. Whether I’ll be nestled into a 9 to 5, or scrambling over multiple part time jobs. In my own apartment in New York, or back in my hometown at my parent’s house. I wonder whether I’ll have a closet full of business attire or more time to knit some sweaters. I wonder if I’ll have the opportunity to write for an income, and whether I’ll have time to still continue doing it for pleasure.

“The only thing I know for sure is that I know nothing for sure.”

It is a funny thing, to think about the future. To think about what tomorrow, next week, 6 months, 5 years from now holds. We consume ourselves with the thoughts of pushing forward, of excelling, of succeeding, when in reality, all we want to do is get ourselves to the diner and have a good old conversation with our favorite waiter behind the counter. Sometimes, not knowing for sure is breathtaking. At other times, it is frightening. The only thing I know for sure is that I will go wherever my days take me.


4 thoughts on “It’s A Funny Thing, The Future

  1. There is something quietly comforting about this post. Maybe because I have always dreamed, too, of things that don’t seem possible. Or because there’s a comfort in knowing someone who has always been sure, despite adversity, will be sure again. But the hardest thing I’ve learned in the last few months is that you won’t know if you’re on the right path. You’ll be strong because you are and you’ll work hard because you always have, but you’ll have to do what feels right right now. And hope it’s working.

    1. I think that’s the trickiest thing, too. You can be on the road to somewhere, but it might not be right when you get to the end. It’s an adventure, either way- it’ll somehow teach you a lesson. Thanks for reading, Kaleigh.

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