What do these things have in common? Well, they represent goals I had for myself as a teen and thought I’d reach at some specific time prior io 2014. I not only didn’t, but will almost certainly never reach these goals.
The degree: when I was thirteen in 1999, I switched from special education to grammar school. It was pretty much expected that everyone who attended this school wanted to and would go to univeristy after graduation. I knew I would graduate grammar school by 2005, and calculated that this would mean graduating university by 2009. I wanted to major in Dutch at the time. The idea fo rmy major has changed many times over the course of my secondary school experience, but the idea that I’d graduate university by 2009, didn’t.
The job: during my first year at grammar school, I admired my Dutch teacher. She was in her mid to late twenties and had been working at the school for several years. I had a vision by which I’d be a teacher of Dutch like her by 2010. Now I know that, by 2010, most university graduates, even the excellent ones, didn’t get a teacher job a year after graduating, but I didn’t know this by 2000. My ideas about what teaching was like, were very detailed and quite screwed. Actually, if I had to fit my ideas with a job, they’d be more suited to a school counselor than a teacher. Having personally experienced a teacher overstepping the boundaries of his job, and having seen the admired Dutch teacher burn out during my second year at grammar school, I am glad I didn’t pursue a teaching job myself. Not that I’d pass teacher education, but it’s better to realize this yourself than to have someone else kick you out of the program.
The child: I never thought much about how I’d meet the child’s father or otherwise get pregnant. In fact, for a while I believed I was a lesbian. Nonetheless, I was sure I’d give birth to my first child by 2013. My ideas about her were pretty detailed, so in a way it’s good I didn’t give birth last year or I’d mess up if I got a boy. I imagined myself as a true breeder, as I thought of getting two or three more children.
I know now that it’s 2014 and none of these dreams have come true, that I shouldn’t really have clung to them as goals, but as just dreams. After all, I had control over only a minority of circumstances which would lead to these dreams coming or not coming true. I’m not saying that people can’t be the leader of their own lives, but there is only so much you can control. You can be the leader of your life in how you choose to handle the circumstances you end up in. Some of these circumstances you can change yourself, but some you can’t.