[noun; ~ Pronunciation: /fyoo-cher/]
- Definition: All the time that hasn’t passed yet. For some, the future consists of all their thoughts, plans, and goals they wish to achieve at some point in their lives. For others, it’s nothing but a grey area. For less others, the future is like a TV-drama series and all they have to do is watch to see what happens. For me, it’s an unknown adventure.
“Only you can control your future” – Dr. Seuss
Is Dr. Seuss right? Can we control our future? I think to some extent we can, but there’s more to it than willpower alone.
Three years ago I started a retail job and I remember being asked that dreaded question during my job interview: “where do you see yourself in five years?” I had just fought through the worst period of my life, the one in which my mother had cancer, and the last thing on my mind was making plans for the future. If anything, my mother’s illness taught me ‘future’ is relative.
Before that, I had plans! TONS of plans! And I was well on my way of working through them, one by one, when my mum got the devastating news and all I wanted then was to fix her. Or at the very least take care of her. My planned future, my visualisation of what was in store for me, changed overnight and the real future took over.
I don’t think we control our future. I think we have a say in it, but we don’t get to choose what happens to us. For instance, it was my choice to study sociology, but it were personal circumstances I had little control over that caused me to graduate a year later than planned (With Honours, might I add – I’ve never been prouder of my own efforts!).
If ten years ago someone would have asked me what my life would look like today, I’d have described something not even close to reality! I’m not saying I am unhappy, on the contrary: I am growing happier and wiser each day. I AM saying the future can’t be created, but can only be shaped.
Sitting at home waiting for things to happen doesn’t work. Trust me, I’ve tried ;) Going out there and doing something, that will trigger new events and change your future from being dull and depressing into exciting and adventurous (at least I hope it will – if not I’m screwed)!
I think that’s the only say we have in this thing called the future: our actions. Choose a path and follow it, or create one of your own. But whatever you do, you will encounter bears on your way, as well as butterflies (I’m trying out metaphors here, bear with me!), and you will have to deal with them both as you walk along.
In the end, there is only one truth: there’s no way of avoiding your future, no matter what you do. It’s going to happen anyway.
Where do I see myself five years from now? I have no clue. I’ve decided to leave my future wide open, and can only imagine it’s not prison where I’ll be.
Then again, you never know for sure, do you? ;)