Fueled by the endorphin rush that comes from watching Mr. Smith goes to Washington, I've decided to actually sit down and do the where-do-you-see-yourself-in-five-years thing. And I've decided to dream without qualifiers.
For the past few years, when adults ask me what job I want, I say something along the lines of whatever gets my foot in the door for political communications. Turns out, getting my foot in the door was both more achievable, and dramatically more boring then I thought.
Don't get me wrong. I'm doing good work with good people and making good money. I'm incredibly grateful. I'm also bored out of my mind. For forty hours a week every week for the next two to three years.
Hopefully, I'll find a way to make it more interesting, or develop my skills to the point where I'm trusted with more interesting projects. But I have now admitted that there's a possibility that it won't get more interesting.
Barring unforeseen circumstances, I'm not quitting early. I need to enter the field somewhere, and I might as well enter it working for good people that treat me well. Which leads me to the five year plan. If I'm going to put in my two years of semi-boredom, I want to make sure I'm getting somewhere with them. And to get somewhere with them, I need to know where I'm going.
Thus the dreaming.
In five years I want to live within two hours of home, with home being where my parents and most of my extended family live. I want to be able to drive myself to a loud family dinner, or to the wet, gray, windy solitude of the Oregon coast, whichever I need. I want to have a literary career. Not a full time literary career, but I want to have a handful of plays that have been performed by small theater groups, a published novel (either with a publisher, or through self publishing), and the relationships, and skills to continue down that path and expand my literary career until, in the ten year or fifteen year dream where I'm married with kids, I can work from home while raising them, at least until they're in school. Or, if I don't get the kids and husbands bit, then in twenty years I can have a completely literary career and have complete control over where I live, what I do, and who I spend my time with. Which means in five years, I want my literary career to be in a place where it can eventually grow into the freedom to live the way I want.
In five years, I want to be working in politics. I want to be working in something where I am close enough to see the difference with what I do. And I want to be working in something where I get to draft communications plans, and utilize people's strengths to work for something good.
I think maybe I want to work in city politics.
I want to love the place I'm living in. Not in a perfect forever way, but in a perfect for me, right now, way.
I want to be in a place where I feel positive, hopeful, and open about romantic relationships, whether that's because I'm in one, starting one, had a good one, or just comfortable in my skin and open to possibilities.
I want enough of my friends close by that I can laugh and hug and dream on a couch with them, and visit the friends I can't live next to at least once a year.
If I can get all that, and I mean every drop of it, then two years of forty hours of boredom will be worth it.
So tonight I sleep. Tomorrow I plan.