I wrote a post at the start of the year about my goals, plans and hopes for 2017. Some were blogging goals, some were personal goals and some were just general hopes for the year and the future. Today’s #Blogtober prompt was ‘goals’ and I thought about writing an update to my last post. But then I thought I might write about something a little different.
When I wrote that post back in January I actually really struggled to come up with ideas of what I wanted to achieve. And thinking about it I’ve never really had any big plans for my life, I’ve never been one for having big dreams for the future.
I remember when I was at school and I had to choose my GCSE subjects I had no idea what to choose. I had friends who already had ideas about what they wanted to do after school but I had no idea. Well, I wanted to be a dancer but I wasn’t the right shape and my parents would never have let me abandon my academic education. So I chose subjects I enjoyed and that I was good at. And when it came to choosing my A level subjects it was the same story. I actually envied the people who wanted to be doctors, or vets, or lawyers – at least they had a direction.
In the end I chose maths and English (literature) because they seemed like they might be useful, I chose French because I enjoyed it, I was quite good at it, and we went on holiday to France every year. And lastly I chose economics on a bit of a whim because it sounded interesting.
When it came to deciding on a degree I opted for one that would allow me to continue doing as many different subjects as I could, and I ended up with a degree in French and Social Sciences. I went to France and worked on a campsite between my second and third years at uni, and I enjoyed so much I decided to go back for another summer after I graduated.
That summer led to a winter working in a ski resort, then another summer in France, a winter back in Blackpool in a pizza restaurant, another summer in France, this time as an area manager. Then a winter in an industrial laundry in northern France (as glamorous as it sounds), the next summer working for a French campsite rather than a British tour operator. Another winter back in Blackpool, this time working in HMV before a final summer in France as an area manager again. And then I moved to Scotland to work for the company I had been working for in France.
But in all that time I wasn’t thinking beyond the next season, beyond the next six months. I had no big plans for the future. After moving to Scotland I still didn’t have a real plan. I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. Three years in the Canvas Holidays head office and I was bored with no real prospects of promotion. So I left and got a job in the HBoS call centre. I hated it but I still didn’t have a plan of what I could do next. After 18 months in the call centre I moved to the mortgage department. It was better but I still didn’t even earn enough to pay all my bills and have any money left at the end of the month.
In 2009 I did the closest thing I think I have ever done to making a real plan for the future. I left the bank and trained as a teacher. It was at the end of my teacher training that I met my future husband.
And when I met the man who I would marry less than two years later I really started having dreams for the future. I dreamt of marriage, and children (two, a boy and a girl). I dreamt of being happy. I thought I would keep teaching.
The marriage and children came (two boys, but we definitely won’t be trying for a girl), but for now I’m not teaching and haven’t done for over two years. But what I have done, that I didn’t plan for, is start this blog. And carry on writing it. In fact I’ve been writing it for very nearly four years now. It has brought me many things that I had never dreamed of, never imagined. It is even a source of income which I had no idea was even possible when I started writing.
And now? I still don’t have any big plans for the future. I hope we are all happy and healthy. I hope we can earn enough money to buy nice things once in a while and go on the odd holiday. But I don’t have any life goals, any burning ambitions. I’m happy enough to see where life takes me. And do you know what? I think that’s OK. It’s a plan that has served me well enough for the last 20 years!
Are you a big dreamer, or do you just take whatever life wants to send your way?