Where do you see yourself in five years?
You know the cliche of asking people where they see themselves in five to ten years? I've always hated those questions. Recently though, I actually had a moment where I thought about asking myself that question. See, last month I actually celebrated a significant five year anniversary myself. This July marked the five year anniversary of me moving to North Carolina.
Five years ago my family and I packed up my childhood home outside Seattle, Washington and crossed the country to call the Research Triangle Region of North Carolina home. I remember when my father lost his job in Washington. My parents brought up the possibility of moving for his new job and I was all in. I could not have been more excited to leave the only place I'd ever known. I was less than satisfied in my life overall at the time (pretty standard of a high school student treating for depression) and I believed this was the change that would fix everything. I didn't know anything about North Carolina, but that really didn't matter.
Of course, fast forward to three months after we made the move and there I was, a high school dropout with a declining mental health and the overwhelming desire to go right back to the Pacific Northwest- but that's a story for another day. So clearly, moving did not solve all of my problems. However, it wasn't until three years after my family made the move that I recognized the lesson this experience had taught me. Yup, it took me three years but I was finally feeling comfortable with myself and my surroundings.
See, during my first semester of community college, the first paper my English 111 teacher assigned was to share a life lesson we had learned. Of course, the first life experience I thought to write about was the move. Yet, it still took me a bit more digging to get to the lesson within that experience. After much reflection, I realized that I had been living my life by one of the most common idioms out there, the grass is always greener on the other side. When I was in Washington I believed life in NC was preferable, but once I moved all I wanted was to go back. I convinced myself that wherever I wasn't was exactly where I needed to be. And just in case I haven't made my attempted point clear enough yet, I was wrong.
This lesson that the grass actually isn't always greener on the other side is perhaps the most valuable I have learned. While I may have initially learned this lesson in relation to physical location, I have also come to accept it's application in relation to time. If there's anything I used to excel at, it was romanticizing my past or my future. Much like current location, I believe it is incredibly easy to look to the future and believe that all of your problems will be solved with time. Or oppositely to think fondly on the "simpler times" of the past.
So now I return to the discomfort of asking, where do you see yourself in five years, Cass? Well I see my name being Cassandra Garcia (cue the collective eye roll), I see myself being a doting cat mom, I see myself loving personal style, and I see myself working towards my own happiness everyday- in a variety of ways. In all honesty, wherever I find myself in five years, I do not believe it will be any better or any worse than where I am right now. I simply believe it will be different.
- Disingenuously Dressed