Alice · anxiety · Authenticity · Growing Pains · Letting go · Life · Meandering Thoughts · mental health · mindfulness · Relationships · Success · Uncategorized

Where Do You See Your Self in 5 Years, and Other Annoying Questions

Who are you?  What do you want to do with your life?  What are you looking to gain from this experience?  These are some of the most commonly asked questions you hear throughout out your life.  It begins in kindergarten with the simple question of “what do you want to be when you grow up,” and we hear it in almost every stage of life there after.  It’s ingrained in us to define ourselves as early as possible, and we end up running through life trying to meet self and societal imposed expectations. At some point, we realize we aren’t doing what truly want or we aren’t where we expected to be.

Normally it’s referred to as mid-life or quarter life crises, depending on when you go through them. We begin questioning again, putting constraints on ourselves; the labeling and putting ourselves in boxes.  Who am I?  What do I really want to do?  What do I want to be?  But once you realize you aren’t on the path that you want or who you thought you would be, it’s inevitably met with fear.  As human beings we long for control in this seemingly crazy world.  We want to feel like we have power over our own lives and do so by defining.  We define ourselves, our successes and our failures.  It’s not our fault.  We’re told to make these choices from the time we’re small.  It’s only natural that we want to live up to the constructs we’ve built for ourselves.  When these constructs fall, it leaves us dizzy and reeling from our loss of control and understanding. But why must we do this?  Why do we need to label ourselves, force ourselves in to these boxes?  It wasn’t until recently that I realized we don’t.

There is nothing wrong with not knowing what you want to do or where you want to go in life.  There are millions of people in this world who still don’t know what they want to be when they “grow up.” None of these people are under the age of the twelve.  They go through each day exploring and learning, and that is the key.  So many of us stop after we’ve lost sight of what we want or who we want to be.  When something doesn’t work out, or we realize that something doesn’t make us happy, we just stand still until we are forced to move. We force ourselves into unhappiness and complacency.  We focus on the failure and the  shortcomings that brought us to this new point.  The people who truly seem to grow through these periods don’t stay stagnant.  They may allow themselves some time to wallow in self-doubt and self-pity, but sooner rather than later ,they move.  They may not move on right away, but they move.  They try something new and keep going.  They don’t allow themselves to sit in shame or self-loathing.  It’s that old saying of getting back on the horse.  After all, a man who dwells in self-doubt or pity can not experience joy.  He’s simply not open to it.

Once we strip ourselves of these expectations, we can fully accept that time is not linear.  To quote a notable doctor, it’s a big ball of wibbly wobbly timey whimey. You don’t always hit milestones in a straight line.

That’s definitely a wibbly wobbly knot

We need to put aside our expectations and look at how life really works.  We need to stop assigning ourselves qualifiers and putting ourselves into little boxes.  Whether you walk a straight line or end up making hundreds of twist and turns, you are no less valuable for it.  If you don’t know what you want to do, where you want to go or who you want to be, just get out there.  Learn what you don’t want.  Learn who you aren’t.  Learn where you don’t want to go and don’t give yourself a hard time for that.  Just go.  Move.  Live.


34 thoughts on “Where Do You See Your Self in 5 Years, and Other Annoying Questions

  1. Excellent point. Most of the time you don’t know what’s coming or where you are heading. And part of the fun is in not knowing all the details and figuring things out as they happen.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. in 5 years i believe i should, would/will be in a better place than i am currently… i dont like to measure and say but with long life and good health i should be bigger, bolder and better than i am now..

    great post… greetings from leXHansplaCE


  3. Thanks for the thoughtful post. I am in a much different space currently than I have been for most of my life. I am learning to embrace myself more fully and not give too much time dwelling on what I should have done or become. It feels good and takes away self-imposed pressure as well as guilt.


  4. It doesn’t matter where you’ll be in 5 years. It matters most how you live every second. It is necessary to have a rough idea, but it is exactly that. Clinging to an absolute outcome of a life creates pain and disappointment when it doesn’t work out.
    The only constant is change🙂


  5. Though I do believe in looking ahead and making plans, there is no way in knowing what could happen even in the next five minutes! What’s important for me to remember is that even if I don’t have a solid plan for the next couple of months or years, I shouldn’t get discouraged that I don’t…I tend to get stuck in that rut of feelings sorry for myself for not knowing what I want at times haha.


  6. Great post. My only measure of happiness and where I should be through my life has always been, Am I happy and do I like who I am as a person?


  7. As someone who has many years behind me, what is important is to make a plan. A plan that moves you forward. It doesn’t matter if the plan gets remade, the whole time you were in that space before, you were moving forward! I changed careers twice, but while that was happening, I earned two degrees in unrelated fields that have helped me advance in my current endeavor.


  8. Love that crazy arrow showing how life really goes to find success. Its always a process and its a day by day thing! You never know where you will end up!
    Karen |


  9. Lol it is always annoying when someone asks you where you will be in five years. Whatever happened to living in the now. I like what you said about putting aside our expectations.


  10. I think of this often. It is good to have goals and a plan but what if your goal isn’t the right one? I think it may be Woody Allen who said, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”.


  11. Man its definitely that second photo where the arrow is scrambled around! I really dont know but I hope my next 5 year journey is fun and prosperous!


  12. I couldn’t agree more. Life is not linear. It has its peaks and valleys. I know there have been times in my life when I felt I was as low as I could go, but then there were other times when I felt that I had achieved everything that I wanted to achieve. It’s all part of living. What else can I say?


  13. I can say what I want to be doing or where I want to be in a certain time frame.. but who really knows how it will turn out. My life is def different than I planned it out to be. But I have two beautiful toddler girls that have my heart so I love it anyway!


  14. A wise person once told me that no matter how much you plan things out in life, life has a funny way of happening on its own terms. That is why I have been learning not to sweat the small stuff or to take everything so seriously.


  15. I flip flop between 5 year plan and just setting one year goals. Honestly now I’m getting older I’m seeing more value in just planning for 6 months ahead. Now if I have an event (vacation etc) then I’m all about planning for that event!


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