Prompt: When you were 16, what did you think your life would look like? Does it look like that? Is that a good thing?
When I was 17, my senior English teacher didn’t want us to write a traditional research paper. Instead, we had to write a letter to a friend in class, imagining our lives 10 years in the future. We still had to do quite a bit of research, but I remember loving the writing process, dreaming up where I thought I would live and what my life looked like.
Because I am somewhat of a pack rat, I still have that paper. Here’s some highlights of the life I imagined in my research paper:
- Graduate from BYU with a degree in music education
- Go to Juilliard and study jazz for my M.A.
- Perform a concert series with Harry Connick, Jr.
- Marry my high school boyfriend and honeymoon in New Zealand
- Buy a house in Seattle and teach vocal jazz and piano at Seattle University
- Get laid off from job in academics, due to budget cuts
- Have two kids, Mike and Jess
- Get a part-time job teaching choir in a high school
So to compare with what my life actually looks like:
- Went to BYU but did not graduate from there; degree in Secondary Ed, Language Arts Emphasis
- Went to Bowling Green State for my M.A.
- Saw Harry Connick, Jr. in concert, sat on the front row, and HE LOOKED AT ME THREE TIMES, IN THE EYES, so it’s basically like performing with him.
- Did not marry my high school boyfriend; have never been to New Zealand
- Live in Nebraska and teach piano to children
- Escaped layoffs from budget cuts in academics
- Have dozens of kids who at times feel like mine, even though they aren’t
- Get a full-time job teaching journalism in a high school
The broad strokes of what I saw my life-to-be as a 17 year-old are pretty darn close to where I ended up. The best part? I’m pretty happy with how my life has turned out, even if close up, it looks a bit different from what I imagined as a kid.