When May of this year came and went, it deeply resonated with me. Ten years ago I graduated college. Ten years ago I was a lost soul, and had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go. I’m pretty sure this is a common phenomenon: the plight of the recent college grad. Up until this point, your life has been pretty scripted: get good grades and go to a good college. In college, get good grades and you’ll get a good job. The problem for me (and probably many others) is that I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, or rather, I knew what interested me, but the idea was a bit too abstract. I knew I wanted to do something in the environmental/conservation field, and frankly that idea changed weekly. At one point I wanted to be Jane Goodall. During another point, I wanted to work in environmental law. I can (un)successfully say that I ended up doing neither; however, I did stay true to my interests and have been working in biodiversity conservation (=bonafide bunny hugger).
These past ten years I have been going with the flow – there is no true goal or definitive direction. It has more-or-less been an amorphous journey of exploring new opportunities and then seeing what happens. It’s been a life experiment.
As I look towards my future and attempt to create a new path for myself, I can’t help but look back on what I’ve done because I don’t think I could have planned, thought of, or dreamt of what I have done. It’s not that its all that crazy, or life-altering, but it is certainly not what I had planned. Then again, I didn’t have anything planned, so perhaps that’s why this reflection has fascinated me. Perhaps if Robin from 2004 really did sit down and make goals, maybe I would have accomplished more. Who really knows… Maybe, I’m not meant to be a planner, but I’m meant to be a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of gal. That approach seems to have worked so far…
Regardless, upon making my list, I had a very self-satisfying moment, a rare instant where I was actually proud of myself. It was a time where I’m not comparing myself to anyone else, which subsequently makes me feel like I’m worthless. I’m a helpless perfectionist, so nothing I do is ever really praise worthy – I can always do better. But, this list made me smile – a lot. Heck, I even printed it out and hung it over my desk in an effort to keep me inspired to do more.
Now, I’m trying to piece together a vision of my next ten years because they obviously have to kick this past ten-year’s ass. Bring it on 2024!