Why I Still Haven’t Planned My Future

Photo by Tristan Colangelo

My least favorite question is “where do you see yourself in five years?”

My second least favorite question is “where do you see yourself in ten years?”

I understand the desire to know what’s coming next. I also understand the important of knowing what it is you want to come next. Here’s the thing, though. I don’t know what I want to do next. And I’m finally starting to be okay with that.

I’ve never been good at predicting what I want. I’m basically the poster child for indecision. I’ve spent the past few days deciding between three Halloween costumes because I couldn’t make up my mind. And that’s for Halloween costumes, which are the quite literally the least important thing I have to stress over.

My method of dealing with indecision is to either muddle through it, or to point my finger and choose an option blindly. That second option, however, can lead to some difficulty when someone then asks your plans for the next few years. After all, I’ve made one decision. Shouldn’t I have made all of them?

I’ve come to accept that that’s just not who I am. I don’t have a ten year plan for my future. Hell, I don’t even have my classes figured out for next semester. And you know what? That’s alright. I’ve made it this far. If you’re equally indecisive, that might not be the ringing endorsement you want. But tell me, how many people do you really know whose plans have all panned out perfectly?

As people, we’re really great at pretending we have our shit together. We also collectively have a bad habit of lying to ourselves and to others. I won’t say I’m done doing that. That would just be extending the habit. But you know what? I’m certainly ready to cut back.

So if you’re not sure yet where you want to be in five years, or one year, or tomorrow? Don’t worry. Take some wisdom from Calvin and Hobbes:

“The truth is, most of us discover where we are heading when we arrive.”

I’m certainly still working to figure out. You’ll figure it out, too. You can count on that.

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