Saturday, August 30, 2008

Psychic or self-fulfilling prophesy?

In the next few weeks I will be attending my 10 year college reunion. Coincidentally, I was recently going through some old files and found something I had to write for my Senior Honors Seminar way back in '98. If I remember correctly, the assignment was to write a parting message about what you expected you'd be doing in the future or what you saw as the future of your chosen profession, possibly to be read by your future self.

As my future self, I read it and thought, "Holy crow! If I had really listened to what I was writing then, I might have gotten to this point sooner." If you've known me for a long time, or been reading this here blog, what do you think about my powers to predict the future? I think it's freaking eerie how well I already knew myself at 21. Hello? Quitting my PhD and getting divorced. Yeah, I already knew it was going to happen, just not consciously.

Note: Everyone else wrote boring essays on the future of their field, like teaching or accounting. I took a different tact and I'm glad. Here it is in all it's glory (and not quite 100% on the beat):

"When I grow up...

Five years from now I hope to be
A professor with a PhD
Or maybe I will change my mind
and get a Masters of some kind

I'll still be married, that I hope
But if I'm not I'm sure I'll cope.
I'll have spent 5 years in Texas State
I've heard it's nice, I hope it's great.

Ten years from now inside my home
Souvenirs from Paris, China, Rome
I'll have traveled near and traveled far
(But hopefully in a better car!)

My house will be built by a lake
With acres of land I'll have to rake
Two stories tall, a porch and garden
with infrequent bills to get all marred in.

When fifteen years from now have past
I won't believe they've gone so fast.
My jobs have changed, I've written books
For children, teachers, even cooks.

I'll own a store and sell my wares
Like stain glass lamps, mosaics, chairs?
I now give lessons on how to make
The things I sell and draw and bake.

20 years have past, I'm forty-one
My life half over? Just begun!
I have no kids, but that's ok
I didn't want them anyway.

I've taken classes, done some theater
I couldn't feel much more completer : )
People know just who I am
And better yet, I agree with them.

The year 2048
It's been some time since '98
S.U.'s a memory of the past
I wished that I could make it last

I'm still real close to those I met
As are you I'm going to bet.
They were the best years that I've had
And that I went, I sure am glad!"

See! Earlier this summer I found a quote from Frances Mayes in A Year In The World (she also wrote Under the Tuscan Sun). She wrote, "Only in looking back do you find those crumbs you dropped that marked your way forward." I agree, but I'd add that only in being mindful of your present do you keep moving and dropping those crumbs to be found.

I wonder about all the thoughts currently in my head and how they will pan out in the next 10 years. Whatever happens, I'm looking forward to it.

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