At school, teachers at some point ask us, “Where do you see yourself in five or ten years?” or, “What is your dream job?” My dad and I have been preparing for my future for years. When I was little, I wanted to be a pop star like Miley Cyrus, but after realising I couldn’t sing, dad said I should go for a career that guarantees a job. At some points of my life I’d dreamt of being an author, an artist, a game creator, a script writer, or a movie director. I mainly kept these dreams hidden, because I really wanted to impress my family, others and myself. I had no doubt that I was going to finish high-school and I believed I definitely would go to university. I was going to have an impressive job like an engineer, doctor, lawyer, optometrist and the list goes on. I love my dad – I know he wanted me to have a good life without worrying about money and he believed in me so much that he thought I could get any job.
As much as I wanted to impress myself and others, my heart just wasn’t in it. I didn’t dare to try to be an artist, because people told me that art could only be a hobby. It was when I was 16 that everything changed. After my attempt I was in a psychiatric ward where I was extremely self destructive and I didn’t want a future at all. All I wanted was to die. That experience changed me – I was afraid of leaving the house, because I would be overwhelmed and have panic attacks for a long time after coming home from the ward. I knew that I couldn’t go back to school, because of fear and anxiety, so I felt crushed when I became someone I’d never guessed I’d be – a high-school dropout. I was in the Boxhill ward when when my family said they would support me if I wanted to be an artist. I was so emotional when I was given this support to be someone I always wanted to be inside .
5 years ago I would never expect that my life would be the way it is. It is so scary to think about the future. People focus so much on what career we have and not who they are as a person. When thinking about the future, you can be so obsessed with the outcome that you never end up doing it. I find this particularly hard since I’m impatient and I often have my head stuck in the clouds. I write down so many goals of what I’d like to do and because my vision is always looking at the future, I end up not doing it in the now. The thing about being in the now is that you can see our current status. Our morals, values, beliefs and identity can be pulled apart and analysed. Are you satisfied with who you are? Do your actions reflect your values or what you find important? What parts do you wish to accept? What parts need to grow or change?
I know that picking yourself apart isn’t always kind. In fact, it can be extremely hard to accept it or see it. If you are not ready to do this, that’s okay. But when people ask you, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” I believe what is more important than your job, status in society or how much money you have, is who you are. Five years is a long time and people change. What kind of person do you wish to change to? Someone who is more generous? Kinder? Someone who has broken through hating yourself to loving yourself? Rather than asking, “What is your dream job?” we should ask, “What do you dream to become?” Loving yourself and who you are as of now is important, but the moment you don’t want to change at all is the moment you stop growing. Growth is so important and we should all open ourselves to it.
I ask myself, “What do you want to be in the future?” and my answer is to be more mindful and loving. What about you? What do you want to be?