The random ramblings of a Geek dad

Dreams of a future yet to be.

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Where do you see yourself in ten years?

If you’ve ever been to a job interview, or an annual review, or even to your high school guidance counselor you’ve likely been asked this question, and if you’re anything like me the answer is never as simple and straightforward as the questioner makes it seem. They expect you to give an answer along the lines of “I see myself in a corner office as a high ranking manager of the company” or something like that. They want you to show that you have ambition and drive and are motivated to progress forward in your corporate career, climbing that proverbial ladder one rung at a time. I tend to give a blank stare for a moment while I visualize my future, then try to think fast and give whatever answer I feel this particular boss is searching for to stroke their ego and make them feel good about themselves so they will give me my 3-4% raise for the year.

In reality what I see in my mind is a crisp, clear, almost too vivid image of the future I hope to one day see. I can see in exact detail the house I want to live in, the property, my wife and son playing in the backyard. I can see the archery range along one side of the tree line, and the deck that overlooks the property. I can see the workshop in the side yard complete with kiln, forge, wood shop and electronics in their own corners of the building. I see the recording studio stocked with instruments, the painting room for my wife that takes the place of the corner office complete with 2 walls of glass to provide an ample view of the scenery as inspiration. I see the kitchen we have always talked about, with room for more than one person at a time, something I can’t say for our current kitchen. I picture the library, with 20 foot ceilings and stocked shelves going all the way up. I can even see the leather chairs, with their slightly cracked cushions from wear of a family who spends countless evenings reading together.

I can see all this as clearly as if it were a memory of this morning’s walk around the house, yet this is not the answer the bosses want to hear. Nowhere in my vision is a career. Nowhere is me spending my days working my heart out for them. So I do as we all do when talk to our bosses, I lie. I tell them about the things I want to do for the company, where I want my professional career to be. I put on a good show and inflate that ego to as near its breaking point as I dare.

Truth is this is the vision that has been in my mind for years, and every time a career works its way into my vision it’s only there as an explanation of how I can afford this. Along the years I have had so many ideas of things I could do to make enough money that I would never have to rely on working for someone else again. Ideas like things I could invent and sell or a program or app I could write that would take off and become the next Instagram that I could sell to Facebook for 6 billion dollars. The only thing that has made an appearance over and over again since I was a child is writing.

Every couple of years I think about writing, about turning it into a job, something I love doing that could earn me money. After all, isn’t that the dream, to make a living doing what we love? Writing has so many appealing aspects to me that it’s easy for me to rationalize why I am drawn to it. It can be done in the comfort of my own home, allowing me more time with my family. There is potential for good income in writing, I know I will never be the next Stephen King, or George R.R. Martin, but I like to think that someday I would be able to afford the things I see in my dreams, to be able to afford to tell my wife that she doesn’t need to work anymore. That she doesn’t have to spend another shift being treated in ways that make her feel lower than dirt. To tell her she never needs to spend another holiday season working so many hours that she all but disappears from our lives for months.

I don’t know if my dream will ever be anything more than a dream, but it’s something to hold onto, to hope for. Writing is something I can see myself doing in my future, sitting my leather chair and writing, watching my wife paint, the thought brings a smile to my face even now.

Now if only I could finish a story, any story, and share it with someone to find out if there is even a glimmer of hope that someday people might spend their hard earned money on something that I wrote. By the time I’m more than a few pages into a story I always start tearing myself down and criticize myself to the point that I put the pen and paper away and don’t touch them again for years. It scares me to share my work with anyone, because if I do, and they confirm that my “skill” is really not anything worth mentioning that my dream may slip away from me forever.

I truly hope that my new community here in the blogosphere will keep me writing, keep me improving, keep me going so maybe someday before another 10 years passes I will get to see at least a little bit of my dream.

How about you? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

photo credit: lululemon athletica

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8 responses

  1. This is a piece of your writting right here. It has a good rythem and flow to it, you come across as warm and likeable and as a kind of everyman. What kind of writting do you want to do? I think a good concept and characters is a good start, then some major scences, then you just have to flesh it out – that’s the part I’ve been stuck at for 15 years! On second thought, what do I know?

    September 1, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    • I typically write fiction, and usually some form of epic, fantasy, or post-apocalyptic work. Those are the genres I enjoy reading the most, so naturally that is where I like to write. Usually when I write something it’s because I have a clear, vividly detailed scene playing in my mind and if I don’t put it to paper I stay stuck on watching that scene over and over again. This leaves me with notebooks filled with individual, unconnected scenes. I have thought about taking some of these scenes and weaving them together, interconnecting them to create a mesh story along the lines of Frank Miller’s Sin City. I absolutely love the way that novel is put together, so now when I write a scene out I try to think of ways to tie it to other scenes I have written.

      September 1, 2013 at 4:06 pm

      • No way, this is exactly how I ‘write’ I just get a scene playing out in my head, so I’ve got all of these disjointed sci-fi/fantasy scenes written down as well! Sin City is one of my fave movies/graphic novel series it’s epic! I’ve managed to find an awesome premise for it all but as for what actually drives the story forward (apart from just the characters motivations) is a real sticking point😕 We could post each other some scenes/chapters/dialogue if you are brave enough? 😮

        September 1, 2013 at 4:27 pm

      • I may dig out an old one that is still one of my favorites for a post here soon. I will definitely keep an eye out for some from you as well!

        September 1, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    • And thank you for the kind words, it really does mean a lot to have some kind of encouragement that what I write may actually be worth reading.

      September 1, 2013 at 4:08 pm

  2. Eva V.

    I’m pretty good at poetry, but I have a hard time writing storylines. I’ve started following a creative writing course as to improve a little. On another note, I don’t like looking into the future or imagining what my life could look like. Creating expectations has tended to let me down in the past. I’m a happier person for it. Great post, I really enjoyed reading it.

    September 1, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    • I fully agree on the fact that too setting expectations tends to lead to disappointment, but my visions for my future make me smile too much to ignore them. I’m always impressed with poetry, I try it from time to time, but struggle with rhymes that don’t sound forced and cheesy. I know poetry doesn’t necessarily have to rhyme, but I still feel like I need it too when I write.

      September 1, 2013 at 5:58 pm

  3. I can’t wait to read more. I find myself in similar situations…all I want is a nice little space where I can write and my husband can draw. Simple little requests. Blessings.

    September 3, 2013 at 1:31 am

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