I mentioned the other day that I met up with an old school friend. Well, I did and it was lovely and I ate some (erm, lots of) yummy food. It was great catching up and what I really enjoyed was how much everything just seemed so normal, with no awkwardness or horrid silences, etc despite the fact that it had been a few years. I have to say I was a bit worried beforehand but it just felt like a regular catch up. Awesome.
Later that night when I was in the shower I started to think about my life and what I’d done or not done in the last 10 years or so since I left school. I tried to think of where I thought I’d be now, and what my hopes, expectations, hopes, dreams, etc had been back then. It was hard to remember what I wanted back then, as it was such a long time ago and it’s hard to distinguish what I thought then, as opposed to what I thought then and how that’s evolved over time.
There were a few things that were easier to identify though. Obviously, I wanted to go to uni and get my degree. Tick – did that. And, even when I first went to uni I think I was pretty keen on getting a PhD. I think I saw this as a real benchmark of success and I wanted to be able to show that I’d achieved the highest level of academic achievement. Of course, I had a real passion for the science too but I think that it was something I was strongly determined to achieve and that determination to reach that goal was as much a factor in seeing it through as my love of microbes!
I wanted to have a good job. Back then I didn’t really know about many career possibilities and expected to go work for a big pharma company. I’m not working for big pharma but I think I have a good job; I enjoy it, it can be rewarding and it pays enough that I can pay the bills and afford treats such as piano lessons without worrying about my bank balance too much at the end of the month. So, as far as I’m concerned that’s also a tick.
I didn’t expect to have kids by now but I definitely remember thinking that if I didn’t have a boyfriend when I left uni that I wouldn’t meet anyone anywhere (and that I’d turn into the crazy cat lady from Donnie Darko). Looking back now, this seems a bit daft but that’s how I felt at the time. Maybe that’s a product of going to an all-girls school and not having much interaction with the opposite gender, or maybe it just shows I am a bit crazy. Either way, I did leave uni with a boyfriend and almost 10 years later he’s still here putting up with the crazy. Tick or me, double tick for Mr.J I think!
Other than having a cat (Tick) I can’t think of anything else that I’d have thought of about my future 10 years ago really. I’m sure there were other things (I really hope so anyway) but I think more than anything I’d have been content to be financially independent and happy really.
So, I’ve drawn a few my conclusions from this shower-time pondering; firstly, I pretty much nailed what I wanted to do/where I wanted to be; secondly, next time I’m feeling glum or down, I should remember this and be positive about that and lastly, and most worrying, is that without such a rite of passage as leaving home to go to uni as a driver, I don’t think I’ve given any thought to what I want to do or where I want to be in the next 10, 20, or 30 years.
In the last few years, my biggest focus has been on travelling to my top 5 destinations. I’ve done 2 out of 5 but there were definitely times when I thought I’d never get to any of them so I’m really pleased to have even made a start. New Zealand was number one and Canada number two, leaving Yellowstone, Norway and Hawaii “to-do” at 3,4, and 5. But I’m fairly content about the list as I do have a plan. All being well,Yellowstone (and possibly more) will happen in September this year and Norway will happen in Summer 2013. Hawaii is a little trickier as Mr.J might melt or burn, and out of my top 5 list, Hawaii is the only one that’s not in his top 5 so I may need a new travelling companion for that one.
Other than that I don’t have any goals or aims really. I’d like to be able to say something along the lines of “Well, I’ll just go with the flow and see where life takes me” but, if you know me, or have been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that’s not me. So, maybe it’s time to put my thinking cap on….