I used to dread being asked the question “where do you see yourself in 5 (or 10) years?”
As a teenager, that question was easy. I always wanted to be a wife and mother. I envisioned that would come easily. I was a young wife, the mother part took a few more years than anticipated.
This week, I’ve often thought a lot about my childhood friends. I’ve wondered what’s become of them. I can only remember first names for the ones I’ve recalled this week. The ones I’m curious about. The ones that I don’t have answers for questions that are plaguing me. I heard songs this week that reminded me of stories of my youth. Stories that made me realize I made choices that forever altered my timeline.
I wouldn’t change those choices. But I realize now that I’m older that those choices not only impacted me, but others as well. I wonder if I owe apologies to others for how I handled things years ago. For hearts that were broken along the way.
I never knew all those years ago that there were never right answers to that question, where I’d be in 5 or 10 years. The answer was always a dream imagined. My timeline was ever changing, based on every day decisions.
It’s true still today. I don’t know where I’ll be in 5 or 10 years. I know the answer I would give now is vastly different than what I would have said 5 or 10 years ago.
Today I’m definitely leaving out a dream. Working a job that allows me to have the freedom once a week to do what I what when I want. I spent half the day working, half the day at the spa, then the evening walking with a friend. Every Wednesday I work half a day, the other half a day volunteering, exercising, tending to housework, going to appointments, or seeing friends. I have time in my schedule to exercise every day, I’ve been going to the CryoSpa 2-3 times a week which is helping my chronic health issues, and I’ve started volunteering regularly in several ways. My boys rarely need me for much, other than meals, money, and occasional family nights out.
Dean and I regularly date but have also after 22 years discovered separate interests and don’t always spend all our time together. This is something new for us. We used to do everything together. We’re rediscovering our individual identities. When you marry young, you lose the years you would have spent discovering who you are as an individual. We both lost those years and instead became a “we”. In the last 2 years or so we have worked on becoming individuals who are a couple, which is hard to undo when you’ve been together for 22 years. It’s been a process but I finally feel like I have a voice again.
I’ve been on a transformation journey since 2013. Next year will be 10 years on this journey of discovering who I am and who I want to be. I set out in 2013 to stay healthy enough to hold down a full time job, be a better mother, wife, volunteer and friend. In the process I’ve lost a lot of weight, completely changed how I eat, become more confident, found my voice again, changed many of my core beliefs, and let go of a lot of pain and trauma. I can’t believe it’s been almost 10 years.
I know what I want most is to say in another 10 years that I’ve stayed consistent with my current habits, but also that I’ve gotten stronger. I want to say that I’ve been more invested in relationships with others. I want to spend more time volunteering than I am now, which should be easy to fulfill, given our current pandemic status.
In 5 years, my kids will all be grown and independent. I will still be a mom, but to 3 grown men. I will still be working, but for my own money, not to raise three hungry boys. I look forward to investing in non profits more and traveling. I look forward to 5Ks and weekend hiking trips.
I look forward to aging gracefully.