Planning for the future
At the beginning of the course, Pete made us write an email to our future selves. In the email we had to write where we hope we would be, what we hope we’ve achieved and what we would like to do next. He asked us to go into detail. For professional he asked us to write down agencies, our position, what the office might look like, for personal we had more wiggle room, about frindships, music taste, whatever really. I can’t remember what I said in mine. I’m sure it was profound and I believed every word.
I started the course with a clear image of what I thought SCA would bring me, where I’d like to go and what would make me happy. Looking back, I definitely thought I knew more than I did, but I just knew so little I wasn’t aware of the things I didn’t know. So on a random day in September 2032, 34 year old Ella will receive the ramblings of an oblivious student telling her very confidently what she should’ve achieved by then and who she should be.
I’ve done a time capsule note before. When I was 11 I wrote a letter to my 24 year old self. It is a very cute thing to do and I definitely recommend it. It was less demanding than the email for sure. It said that I hope I did well in my GCSE’s (nerd), that I get to go to university, that I’m talking to my family as often as possible, that I’m still in touch with my best friends at the time (Charlotte and Lucy) and that I’m still rocking out to the Fleet Foxes (legend). Three out of five isn’t bad, a passing grade.
Planning the future, 5 year plans and all that stuff, is definitely a great tool, a great thing to focus the mind on. A bigger plan helps so when things stumble or are difficult, you can look forward and check-in with yourself. But what is obvious is that we have no idea how these things will play out. The milestones I set were just vague things I thought I knew about but if they did happen they weren’t as I expected. Take the Fleet Foxes for example, rather than being the best band ever as I thought, they’re now a guilty pleasure, so technically the plan was achieved but not in the way I would’ve hoped for back then. I managed to get to Uni, but it wasn’t this wondrous place I imagined, and Charlotte, Lucy and I grew apart as our obsession for the Cheeky Girls faded.
In a very long winded way, I think what I’m saying is that ambition helps drive and focus us, and it’s a great feeling to tick stuff off a list but when we hope for things, we don’t know what we’re hoping for. Naivety can make us certain of what is best for us but who the fuck knows. But yeah, I’m sure my 34 year old self will smile at past me as she blares Mykonos reading my well intentioned email.