I have been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to go through some decent schooling, healthy and good meals, supportive and caring family and friends. I may not be the first to admit this, however, I do acknowledge this.
Although a large proportion of my friends consist of my high school and university friends, I would have to say that we became friends and stayed friends because we shared common thread - in that our backgrounds were largely the same. Furthermore, our next steps were similar too - we worried about what course, which university, what jobs, which jobs etc.
Looking back, I do wonder what happened to some people I used to know. Like that guy at the back of the class who never really said that much or that girl who used to be in my tutorial in uni. Sometimes, in a very roundabout way, I will meet these people again in a very different context. While I was working at the video store, a customer happened to also be a girl from my primary school. She looked the same, but this time, she had a little girl in her arms as she perused through the videos. It's interesting that at some point our lives had converged but we had eventually headed in different directions.
For me, the progressions from primary school to high school and subsequently university were probably a generated through a mixture of expectations, persuasion and environment. Very briefly I wondered a million what-if's, but realised the futility in such an exercise. I cannot change the past and have made so many choices over the years that the countless possibilities may have yielded a very large number of permutations which would be too difficult to speculate. What is now, is what is real.
I needed to eat, live and finance my habits of sports and videogames, so work was almost an obvious step after years of hitting the books. Following a number of years of plugging away at work, I could not think of a logical progression in terms of time usage. Retirement? - but this could be another 40 years away, a timeframe with which I am definitely not familiar.
"I have no direction," I complained to a friend.
"What do you mean?"
"I don't know what I want to do next."
Does there always have to be a next? Does one have to know what one is doing? There swere the same questions which were bombarding me.
"So where do you see yourself in five years time?"
"I don't know," I responded.
"Make sure you have a plan, because if you don't have a plan, you end up being part of someone else's plan."
I pondered this for a moment. The thought had never really crossed my mind, as ironic as that may seem since I look as project plans and manage teams of people.
Perhaps the whole progression from school to uni to work was a plan. A plan which I had been transparent to me, but was there nonetheless. To this point, I was pretty much just going with the flow and not really thinking about what I wanted to do in the long run. Although plans rarely come true, at least there is something to aim for rather than standing on the spot.
I then spoke to one of my close friends.
"Do you have a plan?" I asked.
"Yeah. Of course. And an exit strategy." He began to explain his plan. Even though there were bumps along the way, his general plan was flexible enough to lead him to where he was and he is very happy where he is at the moment. I marvelled at his attention to detail, flexibility and general approach.
Hmm...maybe it's time I started planning.