Recently I was asked during a job interview “Where to you envision yourself in five years?”
Now there’s a loaded question if I’ve ever heard one.
If it was a friend asking, I would say “I haven’t got a clue!” That would be the truth.
Instead, I replied, “Here, doing the job I was hired to do” (or something to that effect).
Does that make me sound less than ambitious? I mean really, I’m about seventeen years away from what would normally be retirement (and that is a whole ‘nother other blogpost ::sigh::). How ambitious does one need to be at this point in one’s life?
I’ve done a lot.
I’ve seen a lot.
I’ve experienced a lot (believe me, some of those things I wouldn’t wish upon anyone).
I’m not without ambition, but I’ll admit that my ambitions are very different from those I might have had in my early life.
While loitering on Pintrest in search of things to add to my bucket list board, I spent some time reviewing other peoples’ bucket lists.
Some of the pins I ended up posting to my own board while others I was mystified by. Things like: “receive flowers from a stranger” or “be kissed unexpectedly” or even “be the couple everyone is jealous of”.
Aren’t bucket list items things that one has some measure of control over effectuating rather than hoping that some random external source will make them happen?
And if one is fortunate enough to be in a relationship that is so divinely wonderful that it serves as an example for others, would one really want to surround oneself with people who would be jealous of our happiness and success?
These did, however, bring to fore just how different our expectations and self-perceptions are simply based upon where we find ourselves along the timeline of our lives.
Five years ago I had fairly recently moved back to Canada with my son, after a sixteen year hiatus (and a failed marriage) in California.
I had just started a new job, and had just moved into a new place. I had great hopes from all of those things, fully expecting to gain new skills and flourish in my new position, spend some time nesting in my new homestead, watch my son excel in school and grow into young manhood relatively unscathed and filled with purpose and ambition.
Nothing was quite the way I expected.
I was laid-off from the job within five short months through circumstances beyond my control.
My son struggled through various tribulations in school and through early adolescence, and living below a family of five in a poorly lit basement suite turned out to be less enjoyable than I had envisioned.
I dated and got my heart broken and after a long withdrawal and healing process, I have become hopeful again. I lost and found, in steady and repeated intervals, my creative mojo. Ditto my spirituality.
I’ve been utterly transformed in these five years, and I would never have been able to foresee that, nor precognitively determine the level of transformation that would take place. Most of it took place internally and no one other than me and a few close friends could intimate the level of change just by looking at me.
The truth is that the future is wide open, in ways that I can’t even begin to express. I’ve spent my life flying by the seat of my pants, making constant and minute adjustments in response to my ever shifting internal core that eventually ends up being expressed externally as the human being the world sees me as. I’m sure that isn’t about to change any time soon.
In the meantime, I intend to do many things.
Become at once more disciplined and more daring.
Savour all things more deeply even as I engage in even wilder and more audacious dreaming.
Learn to be kinder, more patient, loving and respectful – with everyone (including myself).
Laura Magdalene Eisenhower posted something to Facebook the other day that sums up my intentions.
“When one can maintain emotional maturity when there is a conflict or upset, when one can still be respectful to others when they have had a hard day, when one has the humility to self-correct when mistakes are made; when one can let Love be the greater force than Ego, then we begin to see our highest potential reveal itself and shift our realty [sic] for the better as it also invites others to exist in a similar way. This is how we can maintain some sense of balance and harmony with each other, which protects us from dark forces.”
I’m not sure I believe in dark forces, per se, though I believe everyone has shadow aspects, and both the reptile brain and the ego can take us for a ride to places we have no business going if we are to maintain a level of happiness and equilibrium in our lives.
The rest, though, is solid. I am still perfecting the process but damnit if I’m not minutely edging closer all the time…