The question of the day over at livejournal was: What do you expect to be doing ten years from today, and where do you hope to be living?
I always find these kinds of questions somewhat odd, especially in terms of expecting specific things. The future is such a wide open field of possibilities that I don’t want to tie it down to one in my mind. To quote Shel Silverstein: “Anything can happen. Anything can be.”
In my mind, expectations are an attempt to define the way you think reality should be. When you expect a specific thing, you place a “should” on reality. “Should”s, in my opinion are rather stupid. Reality is what it is. If it was meant to be anything other than what it is, then it would be. If you don’t like a situation or your current reality, instead of wasting time lamenting the way it should be, you have the right to change your reality. (I know I’m oversimplifying here.)
The point I’m going for here, is that arguing with reality is a waste of time. It’s much more productive to do something about reality as it’s presented to you.
I try not to “expect” anything.
However, I am a firm believer in hope. I think hoping for things is good. I think having goals is good. (It’s even better if you combine hoping and goal making with action.)
Therefore, here are some places that I may be in ten years (possible hopes, as it were):
- I will be living my cottage-style home that I purchase five years before. The laser printer in my office will be pumping out page after page of my latest writing endeavor to be published later that year. Meanwhile,Â I’m on the phone with my sister and we’re jointly planning a surprise trip for the whole family to head off to Costa Rica for the week.
- Year five of my plan to live in a different country every year (having already lived in Dublin, Mumbai, Tokyo, New York, and Paris) finds me in Rome, sitting in a small cafe, drinking wine and taking notes on my impressions of the people passing by.
- I am pleasantly lost in the side streets of a South American town on my long term trip, whose goal is simply to find my way back to the U.S. via car, rail, bike, of feet after landing in Buenos Aires.
- The snow is slowly drifting out the window, as I try to decide to drive into Anchorage that day, or just stay home and enjoy the fire.
There are, oh, so many more possibilities that I would find wonderful. All of them involve me making a living of some sort in the writing world.
Above anything else, though, I hope for happiness in whatever shape or form that is to look like. And I expect that I will find and have happiness in my life, because happiness is something you shape from what’s present and available in the world currently around you.