My fourth summer job (not kidding) is assistant teaching at a gifted and talented camp. Being one of those little misfits growing up means that I a) get war flashbacks to what it was like being thirteen and thinking that no one would ever understand me and b) I know those squirts down to a science. All of the classes I'm helping with are awesome and I love talking to the kids (aged 13 to 17). But here's the thing: they're way way way way way way ahead of me. Sure, I prepped for college and took the tests and thought of all the right things. Yet, there are kids that aren't even in college and already have a life plan. So the teacher for one of my classes wanted to see what was ticking inside their heads. He asked them to write a timeline from this moment to when they die, including their schooling, job, traveling, hobbies, etc. And talk about INTO IT. I've never seen a more focused group of fifteen year olds. I was bored, not having much to do apart from going around and peeking over their bent shoulders. So I decided to do it. And oops.
AGE 20: DOING COLLEGE!!! CONTINUING INTERNSHIPS!!! MAKE MORE FRIENDS!!!
AGE: 22: GRADUATE! GET INTERNSHIP AT RECORD COMPANY!
AGE 24: TOUR MANAGE FOR NEW BAND!
AGE 27: TAKE BREAK FROM TOURING, WORK AT WARPED BEHIND THE SCENES! TRAVEL ALONG WITH THEM???
AGE 30: FIND CUTE DRUMMER AND MARRY HIM. HONEYMOON = TOUR.
AGE 31: BE ASSISTANT TO LEADER OF SOME MUSIC ORGANIZATION
AGE 35: GO BACK TO TOURING??? WRITE MEMOIR???
I scared myself too much to continue.
Not to freak anyone out, but trying to plan your life is rough. If you asked me to do this when I entered college, or even six months ago, I probably would've written completely different things. All the kids had even more completely plans than I did and I was left feeling as though I was treading water in a very deep pool. With no lifejacket.
But...maybe that's life. Maybe it's not having a plan that you have to adhere to, but a map you're stumbling along the way. And if the directions change or you find a different map...great! But for now...here's to stumbling.