Twenty years ago, the premier advice, from givers-of-advice on job searches, was how to prepare for the question, “What do you see yourself doing in five years?” Sometimes the time frame in a very aggressive job search put the number at ten.
I had no idea. Usually I could figure out today and even a week in advance, but five years? What would I be doing in five years? Even pondering the question made me laugh out loud. Not to a recruiter’s face, mind you, but otherwise, yes. Laugh out loud.
I was asked to ponder the question in high school. And after I began college. Again, I had no idea so I took the basics and let it go at that.
Even twenty years ago, living a professional life in Washington D.C., I had no idea. I’d already had several careers. Perhaps I should say “faux-professional.” As a contractor for the Office of Personnel Management, I was, essentially, a part-time teacher.
But today’s Daily Post question asked “As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? How close or far are you from that vision?”
Oddly enough, my future really was in my past. As a kid, I wrote all the time. A diary, mostly, that I hid under my pillow and was always surprised when my mom found it. And outraged, I might add. But I never expected to be a writer. That simply wasn’t on my horizon even though my mother wrote a column for the local paper and my grandmother was a poet. But my grandmother was dead and my mother annoying. Why would I be a writer? But I am.
What I really and truly dreamed about was a home, a husband, kids, and a picket fence around it all. Truly. So in high school, I got tired of the question and left school to marry a soldier. We moved all over the place but no picket fence. No marriage after a while either. But I did have kids. I was part of the way there.
In 2003, Cliff and I bought this 1924 two-story stucco and brick house with a privacy fence around the back yard. Taller than a picket fence, but nonetheless, a fence. In 2004 we married. In 2005 we got a kid. True, oldest kid who came to live with us and go to college, nonetheless, a kid.
And that’s how we’ve lived ever since, home, fence, kid.
Oh. And writer.