Where do you see yourself in 10 years? I remember being in my early 20s and someone asked me this in a job interview. I was such an epic shit show back then. I’m still a train wreck, but a much more polished version of my former self. I had so many plans for my life. I honestly believed work ethic and cut-throat desire was all I needed to achieve my goals. No one ever told me I couldn’t do something. I never understood the need for a back-up plan.
When I finally graduated college at the ripe age of 27 (old for a college kid), I just knew I would hook up with the job of my dreams. I was constantly getting criticized over my degree choice and everyone told me I wouldn’t make it. Commercial Recreation and Tourism Management. Sounds good, right? Nothing prepared me for a completely saturated market. While being interviewed for a position with the NBA I was told, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”.
It took me a few more years of mistakes to realize where I had gone wrong. Plans don’t work. Nothing is fool-proof. We can wish, hope and pray till the ends of the earth…but sometimes it’s not in the cards.
My answer at the tender age of 22 was this:
“I’ll be working with my rec degree, married with at least two kids. I’ll be able to pay off my student loans and I’ll have a house. I’m smart. I can make it happen.”
10 years later my reality is this:
I’ve never been married (blessing in disguise). No kids. I made a tough decision to move back home after the death of my mother…living with my father, brother and nephew (dog and cat). I have a car that is falling apart. Can’t afford to buy a house. My student loans hang over my head on a daily basis. I couldn’t get a job using my rec degree so I went back to school. Earned another degree that makes me less money than I was making before. Plans don’t always work out.
Now before you nail me for bitching and moaning, hear me out first. While I have lived through some shit you might see on an after school special, I’m dealing as best I can. I’m taking the hits and learning from them. I’m using the negative as fuel to gain the positive things in life that we’re all seeking out. I’m not always happy about my place on this earth, but incessantly striving for success.
I joke about learning things the hard way. Every lesson I’ve ever learned about life has been a result of some type of heartbreak. Love. Work. School. Every single aspect of my existence has benefited from my poor choices. That’s part of it. While some people prefer to live life quietly in the shadows, I pride myself on living it aloud. It’s too short to be walking on eggshells.
No one prepares you for this. As a high school student, I was told “YES YOU CAN!”. All you have to do is want something bad enough and it’s yours. I’m here to tell you, this isn’t always true. Be prepared to adapt and overcome. Be strong. Find ways to stay positive in the midst of dissapointment. You’re gonna be ok. Plans don’t always work out.