I did a five year plan, about five years ago. It turns out, I was wrong on almost every front.
Last week, I went through some stuff I had in storage with family friends in New Jersey. I found a book that my mom gave me when I graduated from NYU, titled Where will you be fiver years from today? I think it may have been a hint, along the lines of “kid, get your shit together.” My mom would never say that though, because she’s nice to me. It’s sort of an adult activity book and it poses life questions, with space to write your answers. It’s cute, a little cheesy, and walks your through what you might want out of your life with a range of mis-matched fonts.
In the section where you map out the things you want to accomplish, I was monumentally off base. Like so, so wrong. Let’s go through a few things I was right about first, because it’s a short list.
- Go to NY Fashion Week. I have been in town for NYFW, and I do fashion stuff, so I am counting it.
- Be rude back. Oh haiii, sassy Cait. Check.
- Live abroad. Double check.
- Write letters to gram and grampa. So grateful I did this one.
That’s pretty much it.
Now the things I was wrong about. At this point, I am freshly graduated, super optimistic about the world, and a truly hopeless romantic. Don’t you judge me.
- Speak Portuguese. I don’t even know why I wanted to do this.
- Get a photograph published in National Geographic. Um, no.
- Go to Greece. Not yet, still want to.
- Sky dive. I used to love jumping out of/off things.
- Marry that guy. Barf.
- Climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Nope.
- Start a nutrition-education program from the Hawaii school system involving cooking, gardening and exercise. SO specific. I think I really wanted to move to Hawaii.
- Dance with a company and perform on stage. Not unless “company” meant “by yourself in your undies” and “on stage” meant “in the living room.”
- Run 5 miles straight. I’m worried about the word use on this one…is that in a straight line? As a straight person? Without stopping? No to all, I guess.
- Have a baby and raise her in a place close to my niece and nephew. Cannot. And why did I assume that said baby would be a girl? Was I counting on technological advances?
- Have a “deli day.” I am not totally sure what this was, but if it was a day eating at only deli’s in New York than I am proud of my former self for this idea.
- Read the New York Times every Sunday. Oh you cliché monster.
- Get rid of self-doubt. Well, I just doubt different things now. Maybe half-credit on this one?
- Move to Fort Greene in Brooklyn and eat at Tom’s Diner once a week. There is no Fort Greene in Cambodia. And no Tom’s.
- Learn to surf. I think I had a lot of conflicting Brooklyn and Hawaii plans.
And possibly my favorite line from the book, and 28-year-old me:
“I want to be as healthy as possible within the boundaries of cheese.”
Honestly, This little book was painful to read. I had a lot of very specific dreams that didn’t work out and that makes me feel a little sad. I want to hug 5 years ago Cait, tell her to stop drinking so much Jameson, and let her know that she will be fine, but she’s just super wrong about a lot of things. I would also like to tell her to work on her handwriting because that business is a mess.
The cool news is that you can be wrong, about almost every major thing in life, and still be fine. I might do another five year plan now, just so I can look back on myself and laugh in another five.