In my very first class of college, the professor started with an ice breaker for everyone to get to know each another. The question was, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”
My answer revolved around being a teacher, and hopefully, out of school with a job. That was it. I didn’t think of much else to include in my answer. Now, five years later I’m really starting to see the depth of that question.
There is no way we can ever fully predict where we will be in five years. Sure, we may have a dream in mind and focus on that until it becomes a reality, but we never realize the path that reveals itself on the course of our lives.
For me, that question had one very unilateral, basic answer, which I defined by a career–a career I decided to ditch a year later. To my surprise my career has gone in a completely different direction. I have owned my writing and have embraced the spirit of giving back. I now plan on venturing into the world of nonprofits, while still keeping creative writing, which has been my passion, an option.
But one thing I didn’t think about is the people that would impact me. Last night, I finally got together with some friends from high school. For the past five years we have all been on and off, getting together on breaks and talking when we could find the chance to hold a conversation. But today I really realized, after it seemed like no time had passed at all, that these guys are really important people in my life.
The fact that we all jumped into the college world with all our hopes and dreams in the air, and are still friends after four trying years that grounded us all, shows a lot about the friendships we have all formed. Having only been able to get to see each other here and there and talk on occasion, we all were excited to hear what has been going on in each other’s lives. Even more so, we were all excited about the next time we could all get together to hang out again.
To me, these guys are more than just friends, they are brothers. They came into my life when all my dreams were just thoughts floating in my imagination, and they are still here as I put the puzzle pieces of my life together. After living the question of where I will be in five years, I have realized they will be my brothers for the next 50 years and then some.
For me, it may sound young of me to say this, but if people stay in your life through the years where your own definition of yourself is challenged, where you find out what your true passion is, what really makes you happy, where you really want to go and who you really want to spend it with, if those people make it through all those realizations of growing up and becoming an adult, then they are friends for life.
Now as I ask myself again where I want to be in the next five years, I am totally open to the possibilities. I am open to where I go and what I do, but what I am for certain about is the amazing people I want to invite on my ride. The brotherhood of my fellow St. Francis Raiders to my Griffs at Canisius College, and the many other important people I have met outside of school.
The people in our lives are really what help us see who we are and what we are meant to do. So when you ask yourself where you want to be and what you want to be doing in the next five years, be open to what the road will lead you to and pay attention to the people who are your passengers along for the ride.