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The Five-Year-Plan

May 16, 2009

Where do you see yourself in five years?

When you think about it that’s a pretty provocative question – and very personal. But it is also a pretty standard question at job interviews. Of course they mean what work do you see yourself doing in the next five years.

But think about it beyond that. Where do you see yourself in the next five years? What are your goals, your dreams? Are you ambitious? Do you want to settle-down? Move around? Is there something you want to accomplish? Or someone you’d like to meet?

Did you have a five-year-plan five years ago? I kind of did.

I wanted to graduate from college…check. I wanted to move out of Brookings…check. I wanted a good job at a mid-size paper…sort of check. I also had something on the list that has been on my five-year-plan since I was 16: meet, fall in love with and marry a good man; build a life with him somewhere, and in general prosper together.

Of course the final thing on the list isn’t something I share too readily. Depending who a young woman tells that too it can come off as desperate (of course if a man said he was looking for the right woman to settle-down with he’d be met with kinder responses – love those double-standards).

About two years ago I was still hoping for the right guy to come along, but I knew I wasn’t ready. I mean I wanted it – you guys probably remember that I wanted it BAD! Heck, you can go back and look through my various blogs from that time to see how I felt about it. But I don’t think I could have handled it. And I certainly couldn’t have done it with any of the men I knew then.

But now I’m ready and it is even more annoying.

It’s such a frustrating goal because there isn’t a sure-fire way to go about it nowadays. Too many options, too many lifestyles…heck too many choices all around – and none of them all that desirable from my current stand-point.

Most of those other things you can formulate a plan for; I want to graduate from college – I should go to college. I want a good job in a certain field – I should study that while I’m at school. I want to move out of the town I live in – I will get a job in a different town. But what do you do if you want to fall in love?

Pray, right? Wait? Work on yourself and eventually the right guy will come along. As a woman, it seems there is no way to be pro-active about finding a relationship without appearing desperate – therefore ensuring you won’t find love. (I do realize that if I lose 50 pounds I might be more likely to turn a man’s head. Maybe I should do that. That will be easy, right?)

Okay, so, my new five-year plan. Well, right now I don’t have one.
I want a good job that I enjoy, that pays a wage I can live on. I have abandoned a lot of high career ambitions. I just want to work and honest day for an honest wage and not hate it when I leave. And I still want to get married. I want to build a life with someone. I want a partner, a best friend ’til-death-do-us-part. I want to create something and make it grow. And I am so ready.

Oh, I also kind of want to write a book.

So, how about you guys? What do you have in your five-year plan? Think about it and get back to me.

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