Lately, the future has been feeling a little… fuzzy. I can’t really picture it. It sometimes feels like the theme of my life has been uncertainty. This has forced me to develop a sense of humor. I am very thankful for that sense of humor, but living in New York also feels like I am living in an urban Jumanji and making it from point A to point B can truly kick you in the ass emotionally and deplete you of all your energy. It’s no joke when people say this city will break your heart: everyone is constantly trying to just find purpose and belong in a city that F*CKING HATES YOU.
If New York was a person it would be like Miss Trunchbull in Matilda, but in Jessica Rabbit’s body. And you want this person to like you but she will never, ever ever love you like you need her to. And I will never break up with her because she makes me feel like the rest of the world is Ben Stein in every movie, ever. AND ONCE YOU’RE IN THAT’S IT- YA CAN’T LEAVE because there’s this weird sense of failure if you leave? My therapist and I will discuss this Friday. Moving on.
When people ask me about my future, it’s hard to imagine. I am trying to survive the month, and imagining the next year, much less the next ten, is exhausting. Recently, my friends came across a website called www.yourtenyearplan.com and passed it along to me. They all said they felt excited about the future after completing the exercise, so I looked it up too. It goes something like this:
“What does your life look like? What are you doing? Where are you living? Who are you living with? Do you have pets? What kind of house are you in? Is it an apartment are you in the city are you in the country? What does your furniture look like? What is your bed like? What are your sheets like? What kind of clothes do you wear? What kind of hair do you have?
Tell me about your pets, tell me about your significant other, do you have children? Do you have a car? Do you have a boat? Talk about your career. What do you want? What are you reading? What are you making? What excites you? What is your health like?”
So, I bought cardboard at CVS, three black Sharpie permanent markers, and put on my favorite playlist on Spotify (Brazilian jazz overheard at dinner parties). I wrote for two hours straight. I wrote like I was praying, I said everything out loud. I imagined the Universe as a person, and that they were listening to what I wanted and were taking note: like all I had to do was ask. The life I imagined was beautiful- there’s a lot of love in my life and it’s generous and kind and full of laughter.
And now that I know what kind of life I want, I want to work really, really hard for it. The exercise also showed me that what I want is possible, and achievable, and mostly- I think writing it down helped me realize that I deserve it. That I am worthy of it. It’s so easy to let people take advantage of you, and it’s so easy to feel like I have to be perfect in order to get what I want. Even when dating, I’ve always felt I had to ask nicely within everything I did in order to be loved.”Look how great I am, please?” Or even at work- I can remember many times I let others walk all over me out of fear. I’m not really sure what I was so fearful of. I’m always apologizing, I’m always trying to be agreeable. But in 2028, the person I am stopped doing that long ago and started owning her future, not asking others to give it to her.
So I’m going to start acting like her. And talking like her, loving like her, and laughing like her. I love her, and I don’t care who doesn’t. That’s something she would say.