PROMPT: Ten Year Challenge

PROMPT: Are you currently where you thought you would be in life ten years ago?

Hmm. Wow. Deep. My first thought is, “Yes and no.” Yes, because I have done quite a few things on my bucket list (such as attend the Paris Writing Workshop and go on a road trip across the United States). No, because 21-year-old me just had her entire life uprooted against her will and had no idea what she wanted to do. So, it’s hard to say where I thought I would be ten years ago.

I feel like 21-year-old me felt completely powerless to change her life. At 21, I felt like my life would always be dictated by the people around me: family, doctors, teachers, shitty boyfriends, and bad social situations. I didn’t get to choose where I went to college, I didn’t choose to move to South Dakota, and I definitely did not choose to be surrounded by users, abusers, and narcissists. Unfortunately, that is what happened to me and now I have to accept it so I can live out the rest of my days in peace.

I digress. The important thing is that I have snapped out of this unhealthy mindset. I firmly believe I am in control of my own destiny, which is why I spend most of my time doing whatever the hell I want with absolutely no regard for how anyone else feels about it. I didn’t flush three bottles of zombie pills down a toilet just to be told what to do by someone who has no idea what it feels like to be me. I refuse to be controlled by anyone or anything. The wild cat finally escaped captivity. Now it can never go back.

I adopted this attitude about six or seven years ago when I decided to start my journey to “enlightenment,” whatever the hell I thought that meant at the time. Since then, I have worked on my mental health, written my ass off, and traveled to quite a few places on my list. Am I where I currently want to be in life? No. But I am also 31-years-old now and have a much better idea of what that actually looks like.

I’m grateful I took the time to explore my identity in my 20’s. The mistakes I made and lessons I learned from them have been invaluable. I felt confident walking into my 30’s with the understanding that life can really only get better from here. I made a list of writing, travel, and career goals to check off in my 30’s. I feel prepared to take on the world.

The question I am thinking about now is: where do I want to be ten years from now? I think we all know the answer is finally living in Paris! But more importantly, I want to be a successful, established writer with a serious, professional career that allows me to travel. I would also like a fabulous apartment with a balcony, bathtub, and amazing view.

I’m sure someone out there is thinking, “BuT wHaT aBoUt MaRrIaGe AnD bAbIeS? YoU’lL cHaNgE yOuR mInD wHeN yOu EnD uP aLoNe WiTh CaTs.” I don’t think I will, actually. Cats (and dogs, and most animals in general) are superior to human beings (especially children) in just about every way possible. You know what’s even better than cats? Crows. Specifically Parisian crows, who are snobby and judgmental about what kind of food they eat out of the trash. A mere hairpin is not a sufficient offering to a Parisian Crow. It must be a fashionable hairpin; so fashionable that this crow will become a trendsetter just by picking it up and flying around town.

Okay, it’s decided. I also hope for a fabulous murder of stylish-but-cynical Parisian crows to hang out by my balcony and keep me company while I write. That seems like a great life goal to achieve by age 41. I am now inspired to write a short film about a murder of crows who conspire to help a lonely writer meet a sexy-but-wealthy Frenchman so she can get a visa and stay forever. True love isn’t a feeling; it’s a carefully-negotiated business contract that benefits all parties involved.

Okay, so that was fun. Time to go clean my house now. Ta ta!

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