It is scientifically proven that you can physically live only in the present. You can chip your nails all you want trying to dig out the past or fry some serious grey cells stressing about the future, but your body shall continue playing hockey with the present. No other choice man.
So now that we have established that we are residents of the present, I find it bizarre when someone asks me “Where do you see yourself in the next five years?”. It is the most baseless, mundane and garbage of a question in the history of questions. You are supposed to have a six by six vision into the future and know exactly where your life is headed to. Anything less and you are a disgrace. I have battled this demonic question through school, college, job interviews and conversations with the enlightened gentry, being the friends of my father. My every answer rebutted the previous one and my conscious hid her face inside a used paper bag. This question truly needs to be eliminated.
I really don’t know where my life is headed to. I don’t know where I will be in the next five years. Maybe I would be soaring in this lawyer profession of mine, or maybe I would be married with a kid on its way, or maybe, I would be in a hospital undergoing a colonoscopy. I could be anywhere, doing anything and living anyway. My present is all I have to fret about right now. Yes, right now.
Now I have reasons to substantiate my aversion to that question. The validation is that not once have I lived the vision I saw of myself five years back. In school, when Shiny Miss asked me where I see myself in the next five years, I told her that I see myself studying to be a neurosurgeon. Of course I said that only to make an impact, because 11th grade came and I opted for commerce. Then came law school where the same question was repeated and the answer this time was “I won’t be a litigation lawyer. I see myself working in a top tier corporate law firm”. Of course, I became a litigation lawyer. I can hear the universe trying to stifle a giggle.
There is nothing wrong in not knowing where your life is headed to. It is OK not to have a plan. You are allowed to let life take its own course. You are fine! I try treating my present well and I prepare for the immediate future which my myopic vision can see, i. e ‘What clothes should I wear for the upcoming wedding of the senior I hate.’ or ‘May be I should start a recurring deposit to save some money because I need to buy an iPhone next summer’. Sometimes, just sometimes I try to go a little further by exercising 4 times a week because I know that this body of mine needs to be healthy to pole vault over the insane hurdles that the future has charted out for me.
The past five years have changed me as a person. I do not hold the same interests, I do not carry with me the same mentality and I have very less in common with the person I was five years back. I have evolved and I have learnt. I have become an upgraded version of me, with many bugs removed. I did not foresee any of this. I did not plan. I am comfortable with myself.
I am not the Planning Commission of India to come out with a five year plan. Come to think of it, even their plans rarely work out.
Why kill a beautiful present?