Lately, I’ve been thinking what I want in life because everyone else seems to want to know that.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
When do you think you’ll get married?
Where do you want to start your family?
What’s your endgame?
As a person who has to consult Google Maps to know where to park when going to a new restaurant in the city, you might assume I know these answers. We are all conditioned to think to the future in terms of relationships, of goals and of dreams. It would be insane to take life day by day without an end in sight.
At some point though, I realized I wasn’t sure about any of these questions. It was an anxiety filled riddle I kept trying to fit answers into.
“Maybe I will have my own business.” Old answer, still seems impressive.
“Probably in ten years.” How weird is it that we put a timeline on when we are supposed to fall in love?
“Haven’t really thought about it, but I would love to move North.” First half true, second half completely unlikely.
Then I thought, if I did have these answers, would I be happier? If I said that I wanted to own my own business in five years, would I suddenly work a lot harder to get there or would I just be exponentially more stressed about everything? If I buy this $3 bag of chips, I probably won’t afford to get a rental space for my business. Why does someone want that added pressure about something that is supposed to “make our lives worth living”?
I get having goals to try to make something of yourself and your life, but these questions make it seem like there is some magical endgame that will suddenly make everything better. Once I find my soul mate in the next five years, I can finally be happy. Once I settle down with a family in one of the Carolinas, my life will finally start. We are all waiting for our lives to change or to meet these goals we made for ourselves when we didn’t actually know what life was going to be like for us.
I don’t know what I will want next year. If I won a million dollars tomorrow, I’m sure my goals would change. Why can’t I just do the things that make sense to me today and make me happy, and go from there? Why does every decision we make in life need an endgame?
Why are we making life out to be a game with perfectly planned out check points built into the road map in the first place?
The more I look around and see those people who are happy, I realize the didn’t plan things out. Someone didn’t plan on finding her future husband when she got a job in her college town. Another didn’t plan on forgetting about what she got her degree in and deciding she was going to go after her dream of writing for a living.
Seems like the ones enjoying life the most are the ones who didn’t stick to a plan.