Shortly after my first day of high school, I started counting down the semesters I had left before I could move on. It’s not because high school was some horribly tragic transitory period for me, but simply because I felt like I was ready to work towards something greater in my life. And that greater something wouldn’t be found memorizing French conjugations in third period.
It’s like being stuck behind someone who’s walking incredibly slow. All you’ve got to look at is the back of their slow, stupid heads, and all you really want is to get to wherever you’re going. At the time, I was literally and figuratively stuck behind the slowest walkers in the city.
I desperately wanted to press fast-forward on my life and get right to graduation so I could move on to university.
Lately, I’ve been aching for that fast-forward button again.
It’s just like before – I’m not experiencing anything truly terrible or difficult (and I’m grateful for that). I just feel like I’m drowning in an overwhelming sense of stuck-ness. It’s a feeling I’ve written about plenty of times before. I always seem to be going on and on about a desire to move up and out of the situation I’m in. A desire for a life that’s more exciting, rich with experiences and moments that take my breath away.
But what does that mean? What do I want? What would I expect to happen if I was to hit that imaginary fast-forward button?
Surprisingly enough, I’ve never fully imagined my big, grand future in all its entirety. I usually know bits and pieces, but if I was to project myself five years in the future, where would I be?
So I decided to let my imagination take over…
If I magically landed into my life five years in the future, I would want it to be a Sunday. See, I’d be able to take my time getting used to my new/current life and still be able to lounge around. Everyone knows Sundays are the socially acceptable day to do absolutely nothing.
I would be in my own house, preferably in Atlanta, with a spare bedroom for my family to be able to come and visit. My house would be a quirky collection of Pinterest and Etsy chic, with stacks of crystal coasters and a gallery wall of beautiful prints and inspiring quotes. It would have lots of windows and open space, filling the house with criss-crossing rays of natural light.
The next day I would wake up early for work, because surely at this point I’d be a respectable and productive member of society. I’d be working in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of one of the city’s finest hospitals. I’d be an extremely skilled Registered Nurse and every patient’s favourite.
After work I’d have plans to stop by my sister’s house for dinner, to spend some time with adorable nephew and new baby niece. Naturally I’d stop by the toy store beforehand to ensure I’d be their favourite aunt, constantly spoiling them with presents. I might be older and wiser, but I’d definitely still be competitive.
On the way home, my boyfriend would call to tell me about his day and ask about mine. We would be in quite the serious relationship, though at a comfortable stage where we were secure not being together every waking moment. We would finalize plans for the weekend to try a new restaurant or spend the day at a food festival just as I’d be pulling into the driveway of my cozy home.
I’d bring in the mail before locking up for the night, sorting through a few magazine subscriptions and a monthly gift box (PopSugar perhaps? Or maybe Birchbox). I would open up one envelope straight away, pulling out concert tickets for my favourite band. I’d quickly snap a picture and send it in a group conversation to my friends, who’d all send equally excited replies about our girls’ night out on the town that weekend.
After tidying up my already pristine house, I’d get ready for bed. The TV would idly be playing some reality show or another while I’d settle under my Anthropologie comforter. On a whim, I’d reach for the One Line a Day journal I’d been religiously filling in for the last five years.
I’d flip back to August of 2015, remembering a time when I felt so unexcited about the days or weeks to come. I’d remember how consistently bored I’d feel and experience a wave of relief and gratitude at the life I had built in the years that followed.
Imagining what I want out of my future, actually served as a pretty great motivator to keep pushing through this plateau phase of my life. The things I want, the experiences I hope to have are all pretty achievable, and with hard work and a whole lot of perseverance, I’ll get there. I know I will.
No matter how many times I try to remind myself, the message somehow keeps slipping to the back of my mind. So I guess I’ll say it again:
I am exactly where I need to be right now.