My Future

By
When I think about the future, I imagine an abundance of decisions and hard choices. It feels awkward when people tell me that I am going to go far in life, because I am so unsure of how far I am really capable of going. What is it like to “go far”? What does “going far” really mean? Is my version of “going far” the same as that of the person who tells me that I’ll be there someday? What if I “go far” by my definition, but according to theirs, I really go in reverse? Does it matter what they think?
I know one thing for sure: the most important thing that I want out of my future is happiness.











* * * *
The office environment is not for me. I cannot fathom the idea of being so closed up and stifled. I imagine that an office is a prison, with chains and manacles that will only tighten upon me, eventually snuffing out my creativity and thirst for adventure. I have a desire go everywhere and do everything! I want to see, do, explore--- I just want to be free from everything I know; I want to build my life out of chaos, just so that I can say that I did. I cannot submit to a lifetime’s sentence of straight lines and clean cuts; I want more. I have dreamt since childhood of going to all sorts of different countries, trying everything once, and helping as many people as I can. I refuse to see my dreams exterminated; slowly, one by one, until I am left as an empty, paper-pushing “real world” droid; devoid of thoughts, devoid of emotion, devoid of any thirst for the great, boundless adventures that lay in wait wherever the imagination should wander! One thing is sure: I will not become that empty shell.









* * * *


Alaska… South America… Europe… Australia! Egypt, Cancun, Italy, Africa!
I am sitting at the airport with my boyfriend; it is the summer after my graduation. I am thinking of every single destination and activity that I have ever wanted to try; every new thought is better than the last. I hold my passport in one hand, and his hand in my other. I look at him and smile; he makes me so happy! He looks back at me, his handsome face full of excitement, and he squeezes my hand. “So, where are we headed, honey?”
I close my eyes and a grin spreads rapidly across my face. “This is it,” I think, “my life is just beginning.”









* * * *
It is my wedding day and I am staring out at the ocean while I stand on a mossy cliff hanging over the crashing waves. I close my eyes and fill my lungs with the fresh, salty air. I feel my hair blowing freely over my shoulders in the breeze; my dress is billowing excitedly around my legs. I stretch out my arms and feel the wide open freedom of my youth washing over me and my mind is glowing with excitement. The very air around me seems to be electrified with anticipation. I feel radiant, and as I open my eyes I see my husband-to-be standing next to me. He smiles, and I can’t help but do the same. My arms gently float downward, and he takes my hand. We turn and walk towards our life together. I turn around and take another look at the wide expanse of blue before me and I think to myself, “My life is just beginning.”









* * * *
We are sitting together on our front porch, each in our own rocking chair. I stand up, lean over to kiss him lightly on his forehead, and slowly walk across the chipped blue paint of the floorboards and go inside through the glass doors. Our home smells fresh, lived-in; homey. I gaze fondly though my graying hair at the pictures of our past scattered across the walls. Our first high school dance together, our hike through the Rocky Mountains, our first time skydiving, and our first house together. The two of us standing on the beach, both of us covered in sand, having just buried one another; our trip to the Pyramids. There we are SCUBA diving in the tropics, and attempting to wind-surf on the ocean. I come across the photographs of our children; playing in the park and a chaotic Christmas morning next to the fireplace. Here is the time when we went camping, with him and the kids looking incredibly frustrated as they try to pitch the tent.
As I gaze upon more pictures, small mementos of our life together, he walks in. He gently slides his hands around my waist, and we gaze together. We have had fantastic lives, and as I look into his eyes, a gentle smile plays with the wrinkles on my face. I think, “Even now, my life is just beginning.”





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