Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Current Me, Meet Future Me

A few months ago, one of my best friends shared a quote with me. She couldn't remember where she had heard it, who said it, or exactly how it went but the gist of it was "Imagine the person you hope to be in five years, now start acting like her." It's a good quote. Simple, to the point, motivational and inspiring. It didn't seem to have too much of an impact on me at that time other than the fact that I liked it. As I said though, it was a few months ago that Kat relayed this quote to me and apparently it did have some impact because last night, as I lay in bed, I couldn't help but have this quote play on repeat for what seemed like hours. It got me thinking about who I really hope I will be in five years. Well, not who I will be, because no matter where you go or what you do, you're still the same old you. But it did get me thinking about what I hope to be doing in five years, where I hope to be doing it, and how to make that happen.

Maybe it's because I'm going through a quarter life crisis due partly to the fact that after almost two years working as an Instructional Aide in the Resource Department at a middle school in Oakland, the most "real" or "grown up" job that I have ever held, and deciding not to return in the fall, I am faced with the question, "So, now what?". Maybe it's because I'm 27, I have no career or desire to have a career, I have no children and that biological clock isn't screaming at me to get going on that project. Maybe these reasons combined made me realize that I should do some serious thinking about the image of my future self and start projecting that image on my current self. I'm just not sure how well they are going to get along.

Five years from now I will be 32 years old. Like I said, I don't see Future Me running a start up company in Northern California or buying a house with an extra room for the nursery, although who knows what lies in that crystal ball. But here are some simpler things that Future Me will be doing, or rather, that Current Me has to start on so Future Me isn't dissapointed in how we spend these next five years.
  •  Be In Shape
           Of late, I have been romanticizing my younger body image. The funny thing is, I was never in that great of shape and despite being in better shape during my swim team years, I probably have a higher self image of my body now than I did back then. Nonetheless, will all this time off thinking about what job to get next and a gym membership that I am paying for but not using, I have decided to start running. I went yesterday, and I am dressed, as I type, to go again today, so Future Me, look out! Because two days in a row is practically a habit!
  •  Eliminate Corn Syrup from my Diet 
           I was on quite a roll of eating healthy, and avoiding corn syrup was a major part of that, just a few weeks ago. I had been suffering from some unknown skin condition for almost a year. Not trusting doctors (remember I am a hippy), I took the issue up with my acupuncturist, hoping he could stick a needle or two in my face and solve the problem. To my dismay, he told me that I had to change my diet, eliminate red wine, coffee, and spicy food. After doing so with only minimal results, I decided to do more research and learned that preservatives and corn syrup can also cause, quite commonly, skin issues and outbreaks. So, I allowed myself hot sauce on rare occasion, coffee became chai, wine morphed into beer and all things processed and especially containing corn syrup were forgotten. This worked for a while. Being on summer break and all though, I decided to let myself celebrate and indulge a bit, and we all know how falling off a wagon can be. It's a lot harder to jump back on that damn wagon when your running behind it and it's picking up speed having just lost some weight from its load! So Current Me has to bite the bullet on this and go back to being a bit more selective as to what I consume.
  •  Live Abroad
        Many of you know about my obsession with living abroad, mainly in Central America, specifically Costa Rica, although after some new research, there are other options on the table. This is a hard one to just start doing on a random Tuesday while surviving a life crisis as it does take a more physical, rather than metaphorical manifestation of change. Although this one I am working towards on a pretty consistent basis. Money was being saved, when it was being made, and plans have been drawn up. But, no job means no extra money to save so therein lies the rub!

I need a job. I would also just settle for money.

It's hard to think of what job to pursue now. Bartending, serving, dog walking, all of these have potential and could make me some money which makes both Current Me and Future Me happy. But it is hard to pass out resumes when I feel as though I'm finally starting to enjoy this down time that summer break has afforded me. My sewing machine is set up and projects are being brainstormed. The video camera, with blank tapes was unearthed last night and skits are already being discussed. And there is that run I'm about to go on. So how does one balance wanting the free time to creatively explore my potential for greatness with the need to plan for five years from now? I suppose this brings me to my last bullet point:
  • Be Enlightened
          Future Me will not worry about trivial things like jobs because Future Me will have transcended the need the worry. Future Me will understand that all things happen for a reason and while we don't always see instant cohesion from events, there is a grand scheme being carried out. Future Me will be like some crazy fit, runner, ex-pat artist Buddha that just smiles because she finally knows the meaning of life and knows how little she knows all at the same time. Or whatever.

So, to revisit the quote that started this whole rant, "Imagine the person you hope to be in five years, now start acting like her." The whole enlightenment thing, I can do that. Going for that damned run is the hard part.

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