My parents moved a few weeks ago (to my street! But that’s another story.). They lived in their last house for 13 years, so you will not be surprised to hear that all sorts of curiosities from past eras have surfaced in the process of packing and unpacking.
Last week my mom dropped off this little jewel: a handmade project that stirs no memories for me at all, but that I apparently made in my senior year of high school, a strangely optimistic time in my life when Curlz font and anonymous inspirational quotes were the height of sophistication.
This assignment seems to have been one of those cheesy first-of-school goal-setting projects. I can tell that I didn’t take it too seriously, because it’s easy to detect plenty of what is politely known as BS-ing, of the sort I’d have done quite intentionally.
But I was not a total phony, and 17-year-old me was certainly not above any excuse to pull out the magazines to clip pictures of my future family. So it’s not that hard to discern the sincere hopes and dreams of little Lindsey, circa 1999. Let’s have a few laughs at her expense, shall we? We can do that without feeling guilty because we love her and we know she turned out okay despite the fact that she took herself way too seriously.
At the end of this year…
I am graduating in the top 5% of my class.
That’s my well-meaning teacher, there, forcing me to visualize these dreams as if they are inevitable. This DID turn out to be true, for what it was worth.
This is important because I want to have a high class rank so that I can get into a prestigious college. I will feel proud when I achieve this goal, because I know I will have worked hard for it.
Don’t know what sort of “prestigious college” I had in mind at this point, but my eventual choice of Texas A&M University certainly fits the bill. And I was probably laughing as I wrote that last part, because I was NOT working that hard and I knew it.
I am completely independent. I do not want to have to be dependent on my parents when I leave home, except maybe for money.
Way to “shoot for the stars” there, Linds.
Two Years from Now…
I am a sophomore at a good college. I have a 4.0 grade point average. It is important for me to attend a good college and succeed academically so that I can get the job that I want when I graduate.
Ah, yes, that was before I learned that NO ONE CARES WHERE YOU WENT TO SCHOOL. Also that NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR GPA. I got my first job (which I hated) because of connections and my second job (which I loved) because of divine Providence.
Five Years from Now…
I have graduated from college. I am working as an English teacher at a small private school. I am just married, and we are living in domestic harmony. This is important to me because this is what I have wanted since I was little. I love schools and cannot wait to come back to them with authority.
In the fall of 2004 I had graduated from college (check!) and was starting my first year as an English teacher at a large public high school. I was learning the hard way that going back to school with a “staff” badge is not the same thing as coming back “with authority,” a distinction that caused that year to be an absolute nightmare. The fact that I hated everything about teaching was very disillusioning for me, because, as I rightly stated, “it’s what I [had] wanted since I was little.”
As for being married, well, what can I say, I’ve always wanted it. I will feel excited about starting a new life as a member of the working middle class. I will have to sacrifice my life of celibacy and complete independence. I will have to start doing things like visiting in-laws and paying taxes.
I wasn’t married within five years, much to my dismay. And I can only imagine that I thought that the words “singleness” and “celibacy” were completely interchangeable, because I cannot imagine my innocent 17-year-old self intentionally making such an explicit comment on my current and future sex life.
The primary obstacle will be finding “Mr. Right”…
Sweet Lindsey, you have no idea. But five years later, he IS on the scene, even if you are not “living in domestic harmony” with him quite yet.
…and finding a school that has a nice job opening for a first year teacher. I will overcome this obstacle by getting myself ready to be a good wife, so I can get a good husband. The school will pretty much be a lucky break.
Yes, this is difficult.
No, it’s not that simple.
Yes, pretty much. But you’ll learn to call it “divine Providence.”
Ten Years from Now…
I am no longer working at my teaching job, and I am expanding my nuclear family to include two children, one boy and one girl. I finish writing at least one book. I have been to Europe, twice. This is important to me because, like my last goals, this is what I have wanted for my whole life.
Ten years must have seemed like a lifetime away, because I threw my whole bucket list at my future self on that one.
Exactly ten years after I wrote this Abby was born, so I was at least on the right track. I HAD been to Europe twice (both times at my parents’ expense– so much for being so independent!). I had not written a book, but maybe Senior Lindsey would let me count three years of keeping a blog.
I will feel excited and optimistic, but slightly overwhelmed about my new responsibilities as a mom. I will have to sacrifice my teaching career and sacrifice a lot of my time and freedom to accommodate kids.
UNDERSTATEMENTS OF THE DECADE.
The main obstacle will be the kids arriving on my time schedule, but I can do what I can to stay healthy and to be financially, mentally, emotionally ready for them when they do come.
In the immortal words of Mr. Bennet, “You think that, Jane, if it brings you comfort.”
Mom dropped this off late one afternoon, and I flipped through it that evening as I sat on a stool watching Jem take a bath. Obviously it was a big dose of comic relief, but it was also a really sweet reminder. Although my timeline has been a few years off from what I anticipated, in every significant way I am living the life I always hoped for. And that’s nothing to laugh at!