The terror of the future.
“10 years from now, what do you hope your life will look like?”
When I first met my friend Mallory Roth, I accidentally asked her what she wanted to do after college. I was barraged with reasons why such a question was utterly ridiculous. I quickly repented and begged her forgiveness.
I got to thinking about what she had said, and it reminded me of something. Right after the new year kicked off, as I sat at the Coffee Ethic, enjoying a cup of the house and reading, this random dude approached me from the Springfield Free Press. He told me that he was taking a poll and was curious what people intended to do or change about the coming year. I shrugged my shoulders and said, “I hope I make it through.” Something that was then quoted in the paper and made me the “most famous person” my mailman knows, which he likes to remind me of often.
So, with those two experiences in mind, I have to insist that this question is both ridiculous and surprisingly well-worded. Most of the time, when someone asks a question of this nature, it is centered on what someone wants to do with the next ten years. That kind of question is a waste of my time. I don’t even know what I want to do today; how the hell am I supposed to be able to predict 10 years into the future?!
But this question is a little different. It asks, what will life be like in ten years. I may not know the details of what I’ll be doing or where I’ll be living, but I can say that I hope my life in ten years is filled with love, community, and beauty. I can say that I want to be a person who incarnates Grace to everyone I meet. I can say that I want more patience with and more indignation against injustice.
I can’t tell you what I want to do in the future, but I can tell you what kind of person I want to be.