The Five-Year Plan is simultaneously my worst nightmare and biggest consideration. One of my older cousins asked me if I had one this past summer over a 4th of July BBQ at my grandmother’s farm. Following a shrug of my shoulders and a shake of my head, my cousin said: “Sometimes it helps to picture where you want to see yourself in five years. Then, you can decide how you need to get there.”
My cousin’s logic made sense to me; set a goal you want to achieve within a set amount of time. In many ways I was already familiar with his thought process. In high school I wanted to produce a fashion show with seven friends for my senior project, and I did. In college I wanted to write my memoirs for my senior project, and within a year I had. Upon graduating from college, I wanted to become a teacher, so I researched and interviewed a dozen preschools and daycare programs until I found the one that was the right fit for me. I grew up and started to learn how to take care of myself financially, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. But all of this was achieved on a yearly basis over the past ten years. How was I expected to plan the next five years of my life in such detail? Would I need a poster board and marker, or an Excel spreadsheet to chart my goals and monitor my progress?
Several months later since our initial conversation, and I am no closer to realizing a concrete answer for my cousin, let alone myself. I do not exactly know where I will want to be living, whether or not I will still be teaching, or if I will be married and raising children of my own. I only know that my interests are continually evolving and at times changing, and therefore so are my goals. Whether these goals are made and achieved every five minutes, hours, days, months, or years is all relative to the specific goal in consideration. However, I do know that if it is important enough to me, I will pursue it with every ounce of energy I have until it has been achieved. That I can say now, at this very moment, with the utmost certainty.