Five Year Plan

When we graduated high school and were making plans about where we were going to be in five years, I don’t believe any of us really had a clue. I know I didn’t. I certainly wouldn’t have predicted that I’d be living with a cheating drug abuser, finishing up my last year of college and my English degree, and working four small part-time jobs just to be able to afford Dollar Menu dinners every night. Nor would I have been able to foretell the five years after that that included my druggie boyfriend leaving me for my cousin, me re-living my early 20’s out on the dance floor of the local dive bar, and numerous gentlemen floating through my life. None of that is what I imagined. The last five years has been a surprise too. The pleasant kind. I met my husband, finished writing a novel I started in 2005, and quit my job to—well, mostly I quit because it was awful. Also, I wanted to finish my book. I had intentions of getting a job once the novel was done, but finishing it made me want to be a part of the writing community. It made me want to see if I could make money doing what I loved instead of barely being paid to do what I hated. Even though I’ve found that it’s a long way from the last keystroke on your manuscript to the first paycheck, I’m excited to have come this far. This whole experience has pushed me to make choices about who I am, what I want, and where I’m going.

It’s a scary thing to be 33 and not have a clue where your life is headed—to be staring down the barrel of Life, pointed right in your face. Every day I feel inadequate and incapable and dare I say, like a failure. I wonder where I go from here. What’s next for me? Where will I be in five years? The only thing to do is to make a choice and pursue it like my life depends on it. I have to accept that just because I stumble, it doesn’t mean I’ve chosen the wrong path. There are bumps in every road.



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