When you’re a teenager, you have an idealized notion of what being an adult will look like. Of course there are the usual things like; no curfews, eating brownies for breakfast, and being able to do whatever you like, whenever you want to do it. Whether your plans included college, or not, there was likely some element of partying all night. It is, after all, a right of passage to adulthood. As time goes on, working at the part time job you had in high school and college is less fulfilling. There comes a point when it becomes necessary to re-examine your ideas of what adulthood is.
Sometimes life gives you the plan. All that partying results in a pregnancy and suddenly its not just you but a little one to care for. For others there may be some illness in the family that requires you to put things on hold to care for a loved one. For some there is a lack of support either emotionally or financially, to complete goals that you’d set. And so you regroup. To quote the late musician and visionary John Lennon , “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.”
For someone in my position, I have a chance to look at those goals that I had for myself when I was a teenager. Some of them were absolutely ridiculous. There was no way that I would end up wearing leather mini-skirts on a stage in front of ten thousand screaming fans while I sang. Mini-skirts just don’t go with my style. Others of those bygone dreams were perfectly plausible like pursuing higher education, writing, and having a social circle that I could entertain in a nice apartment or house that was mine. I wonder what happened to make me give up on them? Truth is, I really can’t give a good answer to that question.
I find myself pursuing the writing dream. But there is still the element of picking up the pieces for me. I’ve been working at a job that just isn’t covering things but after being a housewife for so long, finding a full-time and well-paying position hasn’t been easy. The search definitely continues and I’m eager to get on with a job that will help me to better sustain myself. To be able to have that home, social circle, and the ability to go back to school to have a better career helping to inspire kids.
For me, it still feels like I’m in a transitional period in my life. I’m ready to put on the big girl panties and step into a more adult position in life. I’ve done it in the past. I’ve had jobs where I was able to act and dress like an adult. Yes, being able to wear something other than sneakers and a company provided polo shirt would go a long way to making me feel like I’m a grown-up. But I feel like it is time to take the next step and to look ahead a bit and decide on what I want to build my life around.
Some people write a five-year plan. At least that was all the rage when I was in school. Now, it seems like a personal manifesto is more the order of things. A statement of beliefs, goals, and things that you do not only out of necessity but to grow as an individual. I am researching but, I don’t know that I’ve ever read a manifesto. So I suppose I should before I try to write my own.
I do have ideas of what I would like to accomplish in the next five years. Coming up with the steps to getting to that point is the hard part for me. So much of it seems to revolve around money and being gainfully employed to be able to have things like my own place, a social life, a vacation plan, and the ability to promote my work more effectively. (Yes, the old saying is true. It takes money to earn money.) Ultimately it is about balancing all aspects of life. For me, balance means having a more stable schedule so that I am able to count on income amounts, time off and on the job, and being able to make plans that I can stick to without losing hours at the job. There are also other aspects to consider though; things like spirituality and a social life. I haven’t been able to do much on either front in the last year.
So, yes, I am gearing up for a change. I’m not getting any younger. So I may as well get on with making my life what I want it to be. That means that I have to define what I want it to be in order to work toward it.
Have any of you made a five-year plan or, maybe a ten-year one?
Have you written a manifesto of your own?
Do you have any advice for someone who plans to tackle that task? I’m all ears.