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Old 04-19-2006, 01:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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5 and 10 years : Ago and From Now

Journal Entry, now as a Thread: Mods, please move if necessary, delete if a duplicate;

Well, I thought I would talk about one of the main philosophies that I adhere to:

A Harvard study asked newly-minted graduates what their plans were for 5 and 10 years. Of the respondents, graduates who had a 5 and 10 year plan were (insert number I forgot here) more successful than those who didn't.

That struck home with me. I realized that having a long-term goal was not only something to work towards, but achievable if you set out and actually model your current decision making with that in mind!

Now, when I ask people younger than me "Where do you want to be in 5 years? 10 years?" I get a wave of blank looks. Are we failing our generation? When did we start to allow people to float along through life? Ask a teenager what they want, and you parents will know what I am talking about.

I want to challenge others to give a little reflection here. What do you want to happen in 5 years? Putting this into perspective, look back at 5 years ago; did you think you would be where you are? What were you doing? Who were you spending time with?
Now go back another 5. What were you doing 10 years ago? Well, since this is the TFP, you were at least 8 years old. Maybe you were in school, maybe you were with your folks at home. What did you want (besides that cool new video game for the Playstation)? Were you working a crappy job to save money for a car? Were you freshly married, with no kids? Still in the Honeymoon phase?

2001 was 5 years ago, folks. Y2K was debunked.
1996 was 10 years ago. Clinton was in power. The internet was fresh and booming.

2001, I was just finishing 3rd year university. I was happy I switched majors at this point, because I didn't know how hard 4th year was going to be. When people asked me what I was up to, I would gush about school and how everything was going well. I didn't think about being an officer. I wanted to trade stocks, or be an analyst for a big company. Economics consumed me, and I looked at every decision as a payoff matrix or a sum of utilities. It was incredible.

I had very little money, since it all went to books and tuition, but I still managed to get by. I ate healthy, and my circle of friends was small and tight.

10 years ago, I was stationed in British Columbia, and spent hard time in the Army. I was in excellent shape, but I was getting tired of the bullshit. People were telling me what to do because that is what they were told to do. It was like absolutely no thought went into planning anything. Everything had settled into a boring (and tough) routine. Why should I listen to people who are not as bright as I am? What was keeping me back? I saw that most of my high-school friends were almost done University, and their futures looked brighter than mine. I should look at going to school. I like computers. I would probably go for Computer Science.

5 years from now: Shit. I used to have a plan. Be where my boss is, be happy. Starting a family. Paying off student loans, but with enough money to be comfortable and happy.

Today, I look at that and question the fundamental principle. What the fuck do I want to do my boss' job for? How can I start a family when my marriage has fallen apart? What does money matter for?

10 years from now: I will be fourty-fucking-years old. The big 4-oh. I should be set, with revenues > expenses; I should be setting a nest egg for my children's education (paying for it myself sucked. I want better for my kids) and for retirement. I should have a couple of toys (boat, ski-doo, collection of pretentious single-malt scotch and a humidor of Cuban cigars) and the like. I want to fall asleep with the most perfect woman in the world. She should think I am perfect. I want to be in shape, not let myself go the path of the pudgy middle aged guy. I want to learn blacksmithing and the Bagpipes. I want to have travelled. Many places. I want my house full of things bought in far away lands, and everything has a story that takes me an hour to tell. I want a group of friends who are genuine, and share similar interests.

Well. hmmmm. That was off the top of my head. Does it make sense? I guess so. A little weird, but not bad. I guess if I found myself in that position, would I still want more or would I think that I won the Life Lottery?

10 years ago, I just wanted to work with my brain, instead of my back. I wanted enough money in the bank to pay the bills and have beer in the fridge. I got that. I guess Kaisen, the Japanese word for 'Continuous Improvement' is applicable here.

At least I have a goal. At least I can ask myself "Does this fit?" when a major life decision comes up. I have allowed myself to make these goals flexible. It is not necessary to write these down on a stone tablet. Things change, and one needs flexibility, or else break.

What is your 5 year plan? 10 year? Do you look back fondly at the progress you have made in the last 5 years? 10? Are you happy?

I am. Even though I am sad today, I am happy about my past, and my future.
Hey, if you are impressed with my memorizing pi to 10 digits, you should see the size of my penis.
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Old 04-19-2006, 02:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
You had me at hello
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Location: DC/Coastal VA
Ten years ago I was in the same industry, but in a dead end job that promised no advancement because everybody above me was staying in place until retirement. I was also depressed and really, really hated the place I lived. I had no goals and felt trapped.

Five years ago I was a year into a much better job, a couple months away from being married, and living in near paradise.

The only goal I have ever had was to get that first full-time job. Since then, I've just kind fo fell into different positions. The funny thing is, if you were to look at my resume, you'd see what looks like strong goals and steady advancement. Honest to God, every advancement has happened with me deciding, "well, it's been a while, I wonder what's new out there?"

Five years from now, I think I'd like to be at NPR in some capacity. Ten years from now, I don't know. My dream would be to have written something of worth. I do work towards that goal by journaling every day, here and on paper.
I think the Apocalypse is happening all around us. We go on eating desserts and watching TV. I know I do. I wish we were more capable of sustained passion and sustained resistance. We should be screaming and what we do is gossip. -Lydia Millet
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Old 04-19-2006, 03:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: Oregon
Ten years ago I was thirteen, in the 8th grade, and hopelessly dorky.

Five years ago I was 18, in college, and on the verge of everything. I had just gotten out of a long-distance relationship left over from high school, my brother had been diagnosed with a brain tumor, and yet I had everything to look forward to.

Five years from now I will be married. I'd like to be living in or around Olympia, Washington, and I would like to have my Master's in Teaching from Evergreen State College completed. I want to be teaching, preferably in a smaller school like the one my dad is principal of.

Ten years from now I want to be living in a custom-built home somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. I want to be close to my family, but just far enough away. I want to have children and be a stay-at-home mom while they are young. So, ten years from now, I will be a housewife, at least for a couple of years.

They are not reaching goals, but they are mine.
If I am not better, at least I am different. --Jean-Jacques Rousseau
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Old 04-19-2006, 03:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Ten years ago I was 8 and in the 3rd grade. Pretty much nothing to say.

Five years ago I was 13, in the 8th grade, and still, pretty much nothing going on. I had no particular dreams at that point aside from being an emotional little girl.

Five years from now, I'd like to be getting my MBA and I'll have graduated with a bachelors in Business Management.

Ten years from now I hope to have started my own firm, living in a reasonable house, and with any luck own my own office buildings to work from.
I got in a fight one time with a really big guy, and he said, "I'm going to mop the floor with your face." I said, "You'll be sorry." He said, "Oh, yeah? Why?" I said, "Well, you won't be able to get into the corners very well."
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Old 04-19-2006, 03:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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10 years ago, I had a career, and I thought I had a future... I had one or two people I could count on, and I was happy.

5 years ago... I saw the world, from the inside of an office building... logged over 1 million miles in the air... all i did was work... happiness was fading.

Five years from now -- who the hell knows - -i'll be five years older... five years crankier... five years more bitter and cynical... I'll have a different job, hopefully I'll figure out that there is more to life than working - but I doubt it.

10 years from now -- Dead - drowned in a hurricane attempting to sail, solo, somewhere in the south pacific...
Free your heart from hatred. Free your mind from worries. Live simply. Give more. Expect less.

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Old 04-19-2006, 04:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Location: Preston lancs(i know i know)
10years ago...i ws 13..bit weird..parents going thru rough times..me nd my dad not speaking ...led to me movin out 2 yrs later.school wasnt something i loved orhated i ws a bit rebellious but only when crossed..i had seerious issues with food and my weight.
5yrs ago i was 18...had just had a botchedoperation and was suffering...theguy i ws seeing was using myfor money and i was justabout to come to lancs , from my hometown leeds.i amstillhere now.
in 5 yrs time, i HOPE tohave passed mymasters degree,and formy emotional life to be more settled...cos itcertainly isnt atthe momentbut icant complain because i amverylucky in allother aspects of my life.
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Old 04-19-2006, 05:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
Filling the Void.
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Location: California
10 years ago: I was 10 years old. I was dealing with abusive parents, stretched thin doing their bidding, and just learning about my sexuality from a tragic situation. I was unhappy.

5 years ago: My mother and father were confronted about their abuse and ordered to stop (or be sent to jail). I finally started doing my own thing, which was difficult because I had no understanding about control. I had no self-respect. I was anorexic, bulimic, a compulsive eater, a depressed and sad human being. I had no hope for my future at the time. I told myself at age 20 I would kill myself (as I nervously await my 20th birthday, which is coming on the 22 in three days). I was a poet, a writer, an artist. Beautiful and perfect. I was in love with my friends, my gang, my hooligan buddies. I loved a boy, then a girl, then a boy.

5 years from now: Who knows these days? I will be married. Maybe I'll have a failed pregnancy. Maybe I'll have a baby. Maybe my cat will be dead (but I doubt it). But hopefully I'll be out of university. I'll be succeeding in a job I enjoy. Hopefully. And I'll have gone back to France and become even more hopelessly entangled in the French culture that I love.

10 years from now: I'll be mother, a lover, a wife. I will have memories to look back on. I'll be making money, or creating happiness. It depends on the path I choose for myself.

Last edited by la petite moi; 04-19-2006 at 05:10 PM..
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Old 04-19-2006, 05:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
“Wrong is right.”
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Location: toronto
Awesome thread.

10 years ago I was starting my music degree. I knew I had some talent, but was unaware how common that level of talent is. I was an average size fish in a small bowl. I knew I wanted to be a musician but had no idea what that would eventually entail (rule #1 - DON'T QUIT)

5 years ago I was living in the shadow of the "jazz lifestyle" I didn't have it in me to practice 10 hours a day and stay up at clubs until 4a.m. every night. I thought there was something wrong with me and that I'd never get anywhere. Also, somehow all my friends seemed to be able to do their thing without having to work a job (mommy and daddy were helping)

I feel free of these "jazz demons" a music career can be arrived at differently. You have to live your life, but you don't have to live "the" life. It's such a cliche anyway.

5 years from now I want to have a second album out and have a working band. Maybe organize a small tour. I want to be able to look back and see my portfolio at least double (compositions, recordings). Also, I'd like to finally start paying a mortgage so I can own my own property!!

10 years from now I want to start thinking about where I want to be on this earth (somewhere in England? Halifax maybe?). I'd like to have enough of a reputation so that I don't have to be dependent on a vibrant local scene. The thought of composing in a farmhouse somewhere is pretty attractive to me. I think I could also be out of debt by now...except of course for the mortgage, which I expect to be paying off until I'm 60.

Things feel like they're getting better for me.
!check out my new blog! http://arkanamusic.wordpress.com

Warden Gentiles: "It? Perfectly innocent. But I can see how, if our roles were reversed, I might have you beaten with a pillowcase full of batteries."
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Old 04-19-2006, 06:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
Functionally Appropriate
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Location: Toronto
10 years and 5 days ago, I was 26 and I went on the first date with the woman I married. Things have been going well ever since.

5 years from now, I want to be coasting at my peak position within the company I'm working for. At the same time, my independant lighting design career will be gaining enough momentum that I can quit on a high note, and devote myself to it full time. We'll have our second child and they'll both think I'm the coolest dad ever. (Mom will too )

10 Years from now I will be working solely as a lighting Designer, to the point where I'll be turning down work, rather than trawling for it.

I can take whatever comes with my career, but the real unknown on the horizon is our parents. In ten years, they'll be in their 70's and who knows how their health will be. Confronting and coping with their decline is the challenge I'm the least prepared for. Family well-being is what matters to me most.
Building an artificial intelligence that appreciates Mozart is easy. Building an A.I. that appreciates a theme restaurant is the real challenge - Kit Roebuck - Nine Planets Without Intelligent Life
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Old 04-19-2006, 06:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Location: Iceland
10 years ago: I was 16, graduating from high school and about to embark on my evangelical college career. I thought I'd be a born-again Christian for the rest of my life. Iceland didn't mean anything to me.

5 years ago: I was 21, finishing up my student-teaching in Seattle and taking far too long to get over a broken heart. I decided to go to Iceland to get away from it all and also to get to know my father's side of the family. That year abroad changed everything in my life, and I haven't looked back since.

5 years from now: I will be 31, married, possibly with kids, hopefully with a PhD, doing something I love every day, building a life with my new family. I have no idea what country, state, or city I'll be in. I hope ktspktsp and I will still be very close to our own families and able to take care of our parents.

10 years from now: I will be 36, with all of the above, and probably a little more! That is enough of a goal for me right now. Stability and happiness, and the ability to care for those I love.
And think not you can direct the course of Love;
for Love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

--Khalil Gibran
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Old 04-20-2006, 02:23 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Location: Kittyville
Oh boy.
10 years ago, I graduated from high school. I was convinced that I was going to be a famous actress and I was on my way to college to study Theater (and Spanish) in Buffalo. I was SO excited. Buffalo was a big city compared to the place I grew up. I had never fit in, and I was thrilled to leave that small town behind. Oh, yeah, I was dating someone from home too. (Not that that lasted or anything.)

5 years ago, I was a year out of college. I still thought I wanted to be an actress, but I was having a hard time actually doing anything about it. I was with Quadro, and we had been going through some emotional times, but had just moved in together. I was thrilled.

5 years from now, I will be 32. I will have recently finished getting my Master's degree as a Physician's Assistant, and will hopefully be working at a premier level one trauma center somewhere (I don't care where.) I will be $100K in debt, but with so much more earning potential. I will still be married, and I'll be pretty interested in getting pregnant.

10 years from now, I will be 37. I will have had any kids I'm going to have, and I will be in charge of the Physician's Assistant department in a premier hospital. I will still be happily married, and other than that? Who knows! I hope to have a house by then...
My heart knows me better than I know myself, so I'm gonna let it do all the talkin'.
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Old 04-21-2006, 01:22 AM   #12 (permalink)
Wow, great thread idea... I've actually been circling it all day, deciding how to approach it... If you asked me a year ago, my 5- and 10-year plans would have been totally different, job-wise.

10 years ago, I was a young man of 16. I was a sophomore in high school, and was thoroughly enjoying my activities with light design for the high school and the plays produced by the theater department, of which I was a part.

5 years ago, I was 21. My group of friends and I celebrated my 21st by getting on-the-floor drunk every night for 2 weeks straight. It's one of my fondest memories of my friends... we were all inseparable. There were no friends better than these people, at those times... I had a shit job and was going nowhere... but I was enjoying being "young and foolish" by partying a lot, doing what I felt like with absolutely no responsibilities except rent, utilities, and car insurance. For the most part, we didn't have a care in the world.

5 years from now, I'll be 31 and a Paramedic with almost 4 years' service under my belt. I will likely be married, if not engaged to or seriously involved with someone.

10 years from now, I'll be 36 and I may have upgraded my paramedic specialties to do airborn emergency medicine (the paramedic helicopters), or maybe an ER nurse. ER is more probable. I will still be happily child-free, and love my future wife more with every day that passes.
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Old 04-21-2006, 04:59 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Location: Chicago
I love this thread! Fantastic idea, Ben!

10 years ago, I was 25 and just starting my insurance career and winding down my running career. My boss had recently announced that he was moving the operation out the suburbs and told me that he'd find me another gig downtown. I interviewed with the guy that I work for now for the bottom rung assistant position, and he gave me the "scare-em off" speach that I've now used several times myself when hiring my own assistants. I had recently incorporated a new training theory into my running (the African model for those of you following along at home), and it was paying off big time. I won several hundred bucks in prize money that summer, won a race with 16,000 people (actually not as impressive as it sounds) and capped it off with a big win on my home course from college in an 8k cross country race. I had just started dating a woman who later on broke up with me over the phone while I was at work 72 hours after telling me that she loved me.

Five years ago, I was a new-minted senior assistant broker developing my own book of business. Traveling for businesses was still fun, and I had just moved out of the apartment that I had shared with two of my best friends for 3 years (that was a killer place) and into my own place. I 'd met the woman that I would marry and have kids with (see signature) in November, but in April we still hadn't started dating (mainly because I'm an idiot). I'd started to embrace the fact that my future held me being slow and fat and that my ankle was never going to get any better.

Five years from now, I doubt I'll be working for the same company. There are some retirements at the highest levels due between now and then, and the personality shifts could make the company implode pretty easily. That makes me very sad since this is a great organization, but I don't see how the various factions can coexist without having neutral management, and there are folks that will be scrambling pretty hard for the top jobs. Given my current book of business (assuming that we can keep maintaining it with the market in decline), I should land fairly softly, but I have no idea where. My son will be 5 and should be even more fun than now. He'll probably have a brother or sister, and we should have most of the house paid off.

10 years from now I'll still probably be doing exactly what I'm doing now, although I have no idea for who, but hopefully most of the core members of this group will still be in place. I have no intentions of ever running my own shop, and there is lots of strength in numbers in my business. Hopefully we'll have had a couple of market cycles by then, which should put my revenue pretty solidly over $2M. If I'm lucky, I'll be coaching baseball or soccer for Max (or at least going to as many games as possible) and whatever sibling makes an appearance. The house should be paid off and we'll probably be looking for a new one, hopefully in the city but maybe out in the suburbs.
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - B. Franklin
"There ought to be limits to freedom." - George W. Bush
"We have met the enemy and he is us." - Pogo
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Old 04-21-2006, 06:52 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Location: Manhattan, NY
10 years ago: I was advancing my career. I got scouted from a leading advertising agency to a cable company. I met my now boss working at the studio. I met Skogafoss at the archive library. I was independent meaning I never saw my boss, I was responsible for 5 buildings and their servers and infrastructure. I just broke up with a girlfriend and moved to my own apartment in Queens. I made my rounds at various bars in NYC's Greenwich Village.

5 yeas ago: I had proposed to Skogafoss. We were living in Hicksville, Long Island outside of NYC. I was at the peak of my managerial IT job responsible for 15 people at the 1st or 2nd largest media company in the world (depends on who you ask.)

5 years from now: I will have 5 years of sobriety. I should have one or several properties hopefully in different countries. Running a non-profit organization bringing books to underpriviledged children and a for profit business of gourmet foods.

10 years from now: 10 years of sobriety, free time to travel around the world, more properties to faciliate the income for the travel ability.
I don't care if you are black, white, purple, green, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, hippie, cop, bum, admin, user, English, Irish, French, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, indian, cowboy, tall, short, fat, skinny, emo, punk, mod, rocker, straight, gay, lesbian, jock, nerd, geek, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Independent, driver, pedestrian, or bicyclist, either you're an asshole or you're not.
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Old 04-21-2006, 07:16 AM   #15 (permalink)
Getting it.
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Location: Lion City
10 years ago was 1996. My wife and I were in our third year of marriage and my son was 1.5 years old. I was not working as a waitress in a cocktail bar. I was working for a now defunct film distribution company as a publicity assistant. I despised my boss but liked my co-workers. My foot was in the door, as they say. Later that year, I quit to take a job with a small international distribution company. I did everything but sales (contracts, marketing, deliveries, answer the phones, set up the computer network, etc.). In both cases, I was lucky.

5 years ago I was 2001. I was now head of sales for the same, now mid-sized, international distribution company. I was relatively content but starting to feel the need to move on to something else. This feeling would carry on until 2005 when I finally found another job.

As for the future... like the past, I don't have concrete plans. I have been lucky to land the jobs I've had and dedicated enough to keep them once I've had them.

5 years from now... I really don't know. I am currently at one of those crossroads in life where I know what I want to be doing and it isn't just one thing. I have the benefit of knowing what I don't like to do as well. If my current efforst pay off, I will be living abroad and working in a new career. This is a big IF. If they don't pay off, I will be back to the drawing board.

10 years from now, I will be approaching the end of my 40s. I have no idea where I will be or what I will be doing. Again, due to where I am in my life at this moment, there are a number of things I could be doing and a number of places I could be living. Suffice it to say that the main goals I have are:

1) to be a good example to my kids
2) to continue to have the love of my wife
3) to be happy
"My hands are on fire. Hands are on fire. Ain't got no more time for all you charlatans and liars."
- Old Man Luedecke
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Old 04-21-2006, 07:33 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Location: O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A
10 years ago I was getting ready to graduate high school. I was on top of the world. I was into my final, and best year of softball (which I would become All State in May) and looking forward to "maybe" playing in college. I was the most confident I have ever been.

5 years ago I was 3 months into my current company and had already switched to my current position (I didn't start out there). I was nervous, unsure but excited. I had been married 3 1/2 months and wondering why it wasn't so much more glorious than just being "a couple" was.

If this thread had been created one month ago, I'd say I had no idea about my future. But the past two weeks (and even just this morning) my future has started to have plans.

5 years from now I hope to be into our newly built house. I'll be taking care of my sheep and enjoying living in the country and in a house (as opposed to a trailer house, where we've lived for the past 5 years or so). My husband and I will be even more comfortable with each other and more in love than ever in our 10th year of marriage.

10 years from now I'm not sure where I'll be. Hopefully well into paying for said house, land and sheep. I will be married for 15 happy years.

I've really never had long term plans or goals before now. When I was in high school I never saw past high school. In college, never really past getting out and getting a job. Now that they are out there looming, it's scares the hell out of me, but is, at the same time, extremely exciting.
"Whoever wrote this episode should die!"

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Old 04-21-2006, 07:42 AM   #17 (permalink)
Location: LI,NY
10 years ago. 1996. I was married for just 2 years, we were living in our very first house, and I got pregnant with my daughter. Before getting pregnant, we went out to bars, a lot, and had a great fun time. Life sure changed after getting pregnant, for the better.

5 years ago. 2001. Married for 7 years, living in 2nd house. Fighting over having a second child. After 9/11, I won the battle. I got pregnant with my son.

5 years from now. 2011. Now that is weird to type out. I hope to be even happier than I am now. I am sure we will still be living in this house, both of my kids will be in school, money will surely not be as tight (no daycare expenses). I'd like to redo my bathroom and kitchen by then.

10 years from now. 2016. I will be that much closer to 50, hoping to retire early from my state job. My children will be 19 and 13. By this time, we might be living in another state, we have already started talking about that possibility in the future.

5 years ago I would have never thought I'd be where I am now. Not physically, but emotionally. I have realized that you can learn about yourself even when you are not a child any more. I have changed so much in just the last year. I always knew I wanted to be a mother and a wife. I never knew it was so much work, and so much fun. Life is a learning process, may I never run out of things to learn.
"Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles." ~Alex Karras

Last edited by Meditrina; 04-21-2006 at 07:44 AM..
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Old 04-21-2006, 07:59 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Location: A warm room
Ten years ago I was nine. I was ridiculously happy, spending almost all of my free time with my best friends. I was the smartest kid in my class and got E for excellent in all subjects.

Five years ago I was in grade nine. I had just come out to my friends, and almost everyone was cool with it. I cut off my hair to show my dykiness, but was offended whenever anyone mentioned how it made me look queer. I stopped hanging around with most of the people I had spent the past five years with in exchange for people who were smarter and nerdier, music council and writer's block. I dated a boy and nearly broke his heart, then dated another boy and broke his confidence. Then I did it again to both of them. They're two of my best friends now. I was still smarter than most of the people in my classes.

Five years from now, hopefully I'll be freshly out of teacher's college, but I have my doubts. Maybe I'll finally open the sex-ed and toy shop I've been dreaming about. Hopefully I'll be engaged or married to Simon.

Ten years from now I'll either be teaching or running the sex-ed centre. I'll have a kid or two, and maybe a house with a gigantic mortgage. I'll be growing plants either way. Maybe some herbs and veggies and definitely some flowers. I think I'll be mostly happy, but probably dissatisfied. Everyone is dissatisfied at 29, right?
who am I to refuse the universe?
-Leonard Cohen, Beautiful Losers
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Old 04-21-2006, 09:51 AM   #19 (permalink)
Location: Sarasota
There is no doubt this will be diferent from most of the previous responses. I am 47 now and can assuredly tell you all that age does not beget wisdom (people who are stupid at 25 are stupid at 45 ) but it does give you perspective.

10 years ago, 1996, I was working at Bank of America after barely surviving financially the recession of 1990-1991. For you young guys, the economy went to hell and interest rates went up 2 points overnight when George Bush Jr. started the first Gulf War. It was the first 'televised' war and everyone sat at home for a week staring at their TV's. The Bank gig was good. Expanded my horizons after being a local homebuilder for 8 years. Made me realize what a bigger world was out there. I had been married 13 years and my daughters were 5 and 7.

5 years ago, 2001, the year of September 11th. I was getting ready to go to work when my wife called me upstairs to watch the TV and we watched together as the second plane flew into the Trade Center. My wife is from NYC and we watched in silence and cried for the people who we knew who worked downtown. My wife is a police officer at a large airport and we knew her job would never be the same. My daughters were 10 and 12 and Dad was getting ready to have them fitted with chastity belts. I had left the Bank to go out on my own as a real estate developer and was struggling to get things going. My Dad's Parkinson's was getting pronounced and he was considering an operation to implant electrodes into his brain to stop the tremors. My brother was doing time for his 3rd DUI and my younger sister was having her second son. I mention these obscure things because this is what you young folks have to look forward to. Life gets complicated. Your parents are dealing with things you have no idea about. But that is good. Life is short. Live it up. We did. You came in with nothing, you go out with nothing.

Today. Life goes on. See my sig. I truly believe in what it says. My oldest daughter is graduating from HS in a month and is starting at the University of Florida this summer. We sent her to Antarctica in December for the trip of a lifetime and she went to Europe (Brussels, Paris, Geneva) on spring break. My youngest daughter just got her learner's permit, so I get to call my insurance agent to now have two teenagers on our car policy. Ouch.

5 years from now. Who knows. One daughter graduated from college. Maybe grad school. Another one in college. Thankfully we did the Florida prepaid college Plan way back when. Still married. Bigger boat. Maybe a million in the bank. Hopefully my Dad will still be around. Thinking about you parent's mortality is sobering.

Ten years from now. Who really knows. More of the same. The longer you are around the more you realize how fleeting things really are. People you know, one day they are here, they next day they aren't. Kids grow up. You friends start looking as old as you do. Heard an interesting perspective the other day---Life moves at your age. When you are 16 life moves at 16 mph. Way too slow. When you are 60, life moves at 60 mph, way too fast. Young folks want things to go faster, older people want things to slow down.

Well, that's enough. Thanks for listening. Hopefully, it will inspire or at least enlighten you guys as to what's coming. BTW, I have this theory about global warming. Gas prices are going to go up enough to force alternate energy development and it will reverse the warming that I think is merely a cyclical weather pattern and all will be right with the world. Or not.

Be well all.
I am just a simple man trying to make my way in the universe...

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined." - Thoreau

"Nothing great was ever accomplished without enthusiasm" - Emerson
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Old 04-21-2006, 10:47 AM   #20 (permalink)
10 years ago. I was a junior in high school, just waiting to get out so I could be a mechanic and make serious money without fooling around with college. I figured I would own a house, be married, and be pulling in $60k a year by the time I was 21.

5 years ago. Realized my plan from 5 years earlier wasn't very good or realistic, as I had accomplished none of those things. Began preparing to go to college so I could get a job with an automaker.

Today. Completed college, living on my own, but only making half what I thought I would be making 10 years ago. Still don't own a house, still not married. Still not working for an automaker.

5 years from now. Hope to at least own a condo, and maybe get over myself and meet someone.

10 years from now. Seems like it is so far away, but the last 10 years went much quicker than the 10 years before that, so 10 years from now is right around the corner. I don't know what to hope for or aspire to, other than hoping things are better than they are right now.
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Old 04-22-2006, 01:05 AM   #21 (permalink)
Happy as a hippo
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Location: Southern California
Ten years ago I was 10, living in california and hating life.

Five years ago I was fifteen and living in Utah having the best time of my life, oddly enough...

Now i'm twenty. i'm living back in california and loving it. I have two years of college done, i'm tits deep in debt, but life is definately looking up.

Five years from now I'll be almost 26 I want to be done with school and have a decent job that I love.

Ten years from now i'll be almost thirty one. I want to be married, stable and happy...
"if anal sex could get a girl pregnant i'd be tits deep in child support" Arcane
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Old 04-22-2006, 06:08 AM   #22 (permalink)
...is a comical chap
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Location: Where morons reign supreme
10 years ago I was 18 and was just finishing my first (and last) year of college. I found out that my parents were splitting up and I was devastated. I had just started dating my hubby, hung out with a close group of friends until all hours of the night, had a dead end job that I loved, and was in general satisfied with my life, other than my parents.

5 years ago, hubby was in the Marine Corps, and I was about to get pregnant (in May). I loved living in NC and had a lot of friends. I wanted to go back to school, but there was no nearby university, so I just figured I'd go back when we moved back to Utah. I had no intentions of having kids, so I didn't figure this would be a problem.

5 years from now I hope to have my associates degree...it'll take me longer than the normal 2 years because of work, my son, and life in general, but it'll happen. I hope to have been accepted into the physical therapy program at the University of Utah and have started school there. Hubby and I will be living in our first house, and perhaps will be thinking of renting it out and buying a second, better house. I will have a job that I feel pride in and enjoy.

10 years from now, I will be finished with college, have a good job, and have enough money to endulge in my and hubby's favorite pastime...traveling. We will probably still be living in Utah, but contemplating a move after son graduates from high school. We'll have a house with a spare room that I will convert to a mini aviary. Most of all, I just hope I'm happy in 10 years.
"They say that patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings; steal a little and they throw you in jail, steal a lot and they make you king"

Formerly Medusa
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Old 04-22-2006, 07:00 PM   #23 (permalink)
The sky calls to us ...
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Location: CT
10 Years ago, I was a devout Catholic, I was in middle school and getting my ass kicked repeatedly, I couldn't understand why anyone would want to own a gun, I still though I was invincible and the world revolved around me, and my biggest problem was doing 5-paragraph essays for the teacher who didn't like me and doing them well so I could get into high-level classes in high school.

5 years ago, I was a high-school Junior who didn't know where his life was going, was socially inept, was a nerd who hung out with nerd friends, was obsessed with conspiracy theories that would have been turned down by X-Files writers for being too implausible, and was a self-proclaimed communist, and had few things to worry about other than writing papers for school so I could get into a good university.

Now, I'm a college student who doesn't recognize the two people previously described, is a year and a few weeks from graduating with a BA and BS from a good university, and still has a faint hope that he can change the world. I've become the gun owner that the 10-years-ago me failed to understand, the Godless heathen that he prayed for, and am still bitter about the revelation that I am not invincible and the world does not revolve around me. I am the sociable person that the 5-years-ago me failed to be, am proud of my inner nerd and have friends who are proud of theirs, I laugh at 99% of the conspiracy theories that I believed in and encourage serious consideration of the rest, I jokingly call my liberal friends communists when they disagree with me (I would probably have a bunch of conservative friends who laughed at me in debates if such people existed in college,) and now split my worrying time between financial issues and writing papers for school so I can get a decent job.

5 Years from now, I see personal life, my world view, and my belief system will most likely be refined, concrete versions of what they are now, I'll have a decent career, and I'll be close to financial independence. Otherwise, I'll be spending some nights with friends, and some alone drinking beer and goofing off on the Internet.

I have two visions of myself 10 years from now,

1: I see myself doing exactly the same things I see myself doing in five years, in a nicer car, on a bigger computer screen, and a more impressive house, and maybe having settled down with someone.

2: I see myself running around like I own the place in a vast, post-apocalyptic wasteland, not unlike that portrayed in Mad Max, until I'm killed by a rival gang.
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Old 04-22-2006, 08:34 PM   #24 (permalink)
High Honorary Junkie
Location: Tri-state.
10 years ago, 12 years old: started a local newspaper (which folded 6 years later), during middle school, which was definitely the most difficult social period of my life

5 years ago, 17: just accepted to USC a year early, confident but far more socially-inept than I realized at the time (luckily, I think this changed somewhat ;-)

5 years from now, 27: for fun and profit, have traveled through russia, india, australia, and maybe africa. a position in IT consulting where i've proven my ability to travel and interact well with international clients, having established myself as a true business developer/manager. most definitely financially independent.

10 years from now, 32: probably not married yet, although wouldn't be averse to it. i have no idea where i'll be or what i'll be doing, but i'll still believe in the common mantra to embrace opportunity
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Old 04-22-2006, 09:13 PM   #25 (permalink)
Indifferent to anti-matter
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Location: Tucson, AZ
10 years ago: I was 28, unmarried, working a temporary job in Green Bay at a paper mill unaware that the next NFL season would lead to a Packer appearance at the Super Bowl. Also, I was still smoking weed. No pets.

5 years ago: I was 33, married, son was a year and a half, working a direct hire (non-temp) job unaware that I was to be let go in a little less than two years. Also, I had quit weed, but still drank too much beer and smoked a pack (of cigarettes) a day. Had a dog and three cats.

(5 days from now: I hope to have a job, currently unemployed)

5 years from now: I hope to have won the lottery or been the favorite of some unknown wealthy deceased relative 'cause I'm getting really sick of this "just barely squeeking by" shit. Son will be eleven, hope he's gotten over this "demon child" phase. Also I hope I'm still not smoking cigarettes any more, and I hope the dog is still alive (same for the cats, but I don't really expect it).

10 years from now: No one can predict who lives or who dies, but 400lb 5'-10" diabetics do not have the most charming of diagnosies (morbidly obese). I hope she's still alive to see Stephen get his driver's license at least. I hope the supervolcano in Yellowstone park won't have blown up yet; it'd also be nice if the entire planet weren't contaminated by radioactive fallout. Hopefully in ten years they'll come up with a cheaper anti-depressant.

If puns were sausages, this would be the wurst.
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Old 04-23-2006, 11:53 AM   #26 (permalink)
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10 years ago, I was 9. I was a shy, quiet kid who loved to read and thought science was the coolest thing in the world. I was probably happier than I will ever be due to the simplicity of my mind and life back then. I think I was 9 when I first saw Apollo 13, the movie that changed my life. I also got a beautiful beagle as my 9th birthday present. Volley is alive and well to this day.

5 years ago, I was 14. I still loved math and science, and I was beginning to see that a career in the field might be a lot of fun. I was recovering from being completely ignored by my first love, a skill that would come to great use throughout high school and engineering school.

5 years from now, I hope to be finishing up graduate school. Not sure where exactly...hopefully some place exciting like UC Berkeley or MIT...just have to keep the grades up. I'll be looking for a job and praying that outsourcing won't leave me on the streets.

10 years from now, I hope to be in an extraordinarily fun and rewarding job as an aircraft systems engineer, a biomedical engineer, or an audio engineer. I would like to be married or courting a beautiful young lady, although I feel my chances are rather slim.

Great thread, BigBen!
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Old 04-23-2006, 12:42 PM   #27 (permalink)
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10 years ago, in 1996, I was a mere 10 years old. That year, I completed fifth grade and began sixth. I was moderately interested in history and literature, but had not yet discovered anything truly captivating about schoolwork. I began my long career as a martial artist, although the benefits from that training did not even begin to emerge for years afterwards. In the fall of 1996, I discovered two novels, Ender's Game and Dune, that served as a catalyst for my love of politics and ethics, as well as gently prompting me to improve my cognative abilities.

5 years ago, I completed my sophomore year of highschool and began my tenure as a junior. It was during this period that I took my first and only highschool-level philosophy course. Based on my enjoyment of the discipline, I wrecklessly predicted that I would complete a double major in philosophy and government in college. It turned out to be a correct prediction, interestingly. Towards the end of my sophomore year, I began to put more serious work into my schoolwork, allowing me to later have sufficient credentials for getting into a liberal arts college. Finally, during the 01-02 winter, I worked as a ski instructor and learned some valuable lessons about job prospects for people who fail to complete highschool or college.

Currently, I am finishing my junior year of college, majoring in philosophy and government, as I had predicted five years earlier. My work ethic is 100 times what it used to be and my life is successful academically and personally. Perhaps above all, I cherish my relationship with my girlfriend of 1.5 years.

5 years from now, I will have received my BA in philosophy and government, as well as a JD from a top-10 law school. I'll work as a clerk for a [federal?] judge before settling down in the northeast to pursue a career in law. I don't have any idea what sort of law I want to practice, however. It is likely that my girlfriend and I will be engaged by this time, although perhaps not yet married. I will own a nice car, such as an S4, M3, Corvette, or similar.

10 years from now, at age thirty, I hope to be happily married with a young child, perhaps already with plans to have a second one. Perhaps my career as a lawyer will be going well and I will be satisfied with the intellectual and monetary aspects of my work. (We can hope...) I will own a very nice car, such as an RS4, Corvette ZO6, M5, or similar. Assuming I don't spend too much on my automobile habit, I might even be paying a mortgage for a house...
The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error. ~John Stuart Mill, On Liberty
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Old 04-23-2006, 06:14 PM   #28 (permalink)
Observant Ruminant
Location: Rich Wannabe Hippie Town
Interesting idea; I've done something like it at parties, and the results are always good.

Ten years ago I was 40, married and and homeowner with no kids, with both my wife and I employed in well-paying high-tech jobs. I was incredibly bored and stressed at the same time, but had all the money I could spend.

Five years ago, I was 45, married and a homeowner, in a management position I truly despised and never should have taken -- except that the commute was five minutes long and the money was even better. I kept hope alive by stashing away extra money to pay off the house early.

Today at 50 -- well, I was laid off several years ago and went back to school to get a degree for _another_ career that I turned out not to like. Wife's been laid off, too. Good thing the house is paid off, but the COBRA's a bear. We're keeping our heads above water with part-time jobs at the local university. I'm hoping to get on there full-time in an admin job. The work's not inspiring but the people are good and frankly, there is a near absence of BS and tension. I leave the job each day with my head straight. That feels good. We have our nest egg intact and don't really need a lot to live on what with no house payments. And my investments have been paying off quite well lately, so even with our minimalist jobs our potential net worth has been rising quite smartly this year. I'm starting to feel middle-aged for the first time in my life.

Five years from now I'd like to still be in a full-time job at the uni, covering expenses and coasting down to retirement, while still growing the nest egg with investments; I'd hope to be using some of the nest egg to back the wife in a small business which would turn into a full-time job for her and and a retirement living/activity for both of us. Somewhere between here and there, the time might be right to invest in income property, and if so I'll pick up a house or two for rental income.

Ten years from now -- basically the same, though we may possibly leave this expensive beachfront college town and buy a business and house someplace cheaper and less crowded.

All this is of course subject to change without notice, intentionally or otherwise. With everything that's potentially unstable right now -- the long term value of the dollar, energy availability, global climactic degradation, and person things like health matters and disabilities -- all plans, everywhere, are subject to change without notice. Perhaps more now than at any time in history.
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Old 04-24-2006, 08:56 AM   #29 (permalink)
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ten years ago, age nine. (April 24, 1996) Third Grade, I liked that one quite a bit. I had friends at school, but in the summer I felt that I didn't have too many friends (didn't hang out with the few neighbors that were my age)

five years ago, (April 24, 2001) age fourteen. eight grade. Within a few weeks from now, I was going on a school field trip to washington D.C. for 3 days, which I was excited for. That, along with high school was really only what I had going for me (got accepted into a private high school). Around this time, I began to feel depressed and hated school. I felt I was being trapped by the other kids at school, because some of them would become high school dropouts (and they have) , others would just settle for whatever and live a typical lower middle class life, never leaving their comfort zone. I wanted more than that, I wanted to leave behind what I knew and make change in the world and myself (hence, went to the academically rigorous high school). I had quite a bit of ambition. My career aspirations were to be a record producer and work in the music industry; or something in the federal government (though not a politician).

(inserting a now, because from reading previous posts, I don't know how everyone is today).
I'm a freshman at a very small (1400 students), smart, private liberal arts college. I feel that I do belong here but I don't know why.. I'm still undecided for a major, but something in the social sciences. The other college posters here seem to have a firmer grasp of what they'd like to major in, but I'm not one to make commitments quickly.
I occasionally question if the debt that I'm going into is worth it (as opposed to attending a cheap public school near home, saving about $30 k), but most of the time, I remind myself of the opportunities here and reaffirm to myself to continue.

I see a few different career paths in front of me for the next five to ten years.

- Physchology/anthro/soc, getting a Masters and studying how technology and the internet affects our lives: either on a socitial (more anthro/soc scale) approach or on an individual level, relating to a person's attention span, methods of communication with other people, how has the internet affected an individual, particularly on communication, sex and the mind. If I go with this last point, I'd probably end up with a PhD and a practice for teenagers.

- Public Policy/urban development:
- Either getting a Masters and working either for the state/local government or own small private business either public transportation (or private transportation) and revitalize urban neighborhoods while keeping the cost of living there low enough so that lower income residents can continue to live there and even use this increased capital coming into the neighborhood to better their lives, so that the poverty doesn't merely shift into the suburbs.

- Poly Science
Working for the US State Department or Fed. govt. bureaucracy, the UN, or a NGO (non-govt org.) working in international affairs and diplomacy; utilizing my French.

- education/creative.
- Teaching social studies to junior high students and inspiring them. During my side time, I would find it pretty cool to have something published: either a book of poetry, short fiction, or have a filmscript manifested into a small film. At the school, I'd also be heavily involved with extracurriculars, because for me, it made me appreciate school more.

Regardless of the career, I'd live in an urban area (Because, well, I detest the suburbs and the rural areas a bit too), maybe getting married, maybe not; definitely travel for a bit (where: nearly anywhere, seriously; either for a few months backpacking, or living there for a year or two frugally).
To be honest, I don't care about what luxury goods I'd have. Seriously, I'd like to think I would be satisfied with running hot water everyday in a shower; maybe high speed internet, and structurally safe housing.
I hope to have a good circle of friends and remain on good terms with family, and of course, my health...

Perhaps I see things too concrete. I've always heard life has so many uncertainities, but I don't know how the past curveballs thrown at me have an impact or not, and to what extent.
The job market is so fluent, so one probably has to change professions and fields somewhat often, so who knows, maybe I'll end up doing a couple of these.

currently reading:

currently playing :

Last edited by keyshawn; 04-25-2006 at 08:12 AM..
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Old 04-29-2006, 04:15 PM   #30 (permalink)
Location: Canada
Well, I was one of the 'younger than Ben' ppl he once asked about my five and ten year plans. And I'm happy to say that I now have those plans.

Five years from now - I want to have finished my grad degree (either in Halifax or Ottawa) and taken a year off to travel internationally by either way of tour or teaching english overseas.

Ten years from now - I want to have finished my PhD (from a different University). Work as a prof and purchase my first home (hopefully, a fixer-upper).
"You can close your eyes to reality but not to memories" -Stainslaw J. Lec
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Old 04-29-2006, 04:56 PM   #31 (permalink)
I'm not a blonde! I'm knot! I'm knot! I'm knot!
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Location: Upper Michigan
10 years ago I was in college working towards a El Ed degree.

5 years ago I was working part time doing housekeeping and staying home with my kid. We had 3 credit cards, a car loan, and were barely keeping up.

Now - I was just recently thinking about the future goals.

We have none of that debt - just a mortgage. I work at home earning three times what I did 5 yrs ago. I have my degree. What else do I do?

28 years - pay off our mortgage
13 years - save about half necessary for my daughter's college.

but between now and then??
-I just have the daily goals, teaching my daughter to read now.
-Doing better in my business each year.
-Always learn something new.

I feel like I would seem like a dull person in some ways but then again I personally feel fulfilled.
"Always learn the rules so that you can break them properly." Dalai Lama
My Karma just ran over your Dogma.
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Old 04-29-2006, 05:15 PM   #32 (permalink)
Young Crumudgeon
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Location: Canada
Ten years ago I was the tender age of twelve. I had a vague idea that I should probably do something with computers, because I was good at it and I knew there was a lot of money to be had there. Most of my time was spent doing the things twelve year olds do; playing soccer, riding my bike, things of that nature.

Five years ago I was seventeen and had just left home. I had no plan except to make money and eventually someday finish my education.

Five years from now I want to either have completed or have nearly completed a college or university education. I suppose that sounds kind of vague, but this is one of those times in my life that I can't quite figure out where I want to go next. It's been my experience that vague plans are the best sort anyway, since if you try to get too specific there gets to be too much that's going to go wrong. None of my plans to date have worked out.

Ten years from now is too far ahead to think about. I'm hoping I'll be self-sufficient and debt-free by that time. If I'm lucky I'll have someone in my life and maybe one or two little tykes running around giving me grey hairs. I'm not counting on that part, though. Whatever happens, happens.
I wake up in the morning more tired than before I slept
I get through cryin' and I'm sadder than before I wept
I get through thinkin' now, and the thoughts have left my head
I get through speakin' and I can't remember, not a word that I said

- Ben Harper, Show Me A Little Shame
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Old 04-29-2006, 10:11 PM   #33 (permalink)
Delusional... but in a funny way
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Location: deeee-TROIT!!!
10 years ago I was 13 and finishing seventh grade. Don't remember much about it.

5 years ago I was a month from graduating high school, with plans to go to DePaul University. I wanted to be a music teacher. I was in a doomed relationship and I was rather depressed.

5 years from now I'll be 28. I'll have my degree by then, and I'll hopefully be teaching in an elementary school. I'll still be happily married, with a house and perhaps another child.

10 years from now I'll be 33. I'll still be teaching, and I'll be a devoted wife to my husband and mother to my children.
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Old 04-29-2006, 10:37 PM   #34 (permalink)
Location: northern california
Let's see, 10 years ago I was 38 teaching in a jr. high classroom. Married with a ten year old and one due in May. Still competing in high level sports(fastpitch softball and basketball). Five years ago, moved out of the classroom and out to the phys. ed. dept. No longer able to play softball due to arthritis in both hips, but still holding on to old man basketball. Today, older son set to graduate from college semester early, younger son almost 10 and full of piss and vinegar. Still teaching p.e. but the day before my 48th b'day told I may have cancer of the lungs. Don't smoke, never have, what a pisser. Five or ten years from now, hope to still be here complaining of piddily ass aches and pains and enjoying my family. You guys may not want to wait too long to make plans.
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Old 09-27-2009, 07:33 AM   #35 (permalink)
Tilted Cat Head
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Location: Manhattan, NY
my my my.... 3 years into the 5 years since last posting and it's been very interesting.
I don't care if you are black, white, purple, green, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, hippie, cop, bum, admin, user, English, Irish, French, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, indian, cowboy, tall, short, fat, skinny, emo, punk, mod, rocker, straight, gay, lesbian, jock, nerd, geek, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Independent, driver, pedestrian, or bicyclist, either you're an asshole or you're not.
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