Day 22: I look once more, just around the riverbend! (where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?)

Oh man. The future is a scary place. I still remember when it was so abstract. It was always something I was planning for, but what do I do now that it’s actually here? And now that I’m really planning for it? It’s scary, I tell you. It’s still pretty abstract to me. I like to dream about the future, but most of what I dream about is not even in the realm of reality. I like to think about an ideal future, so I’m never actually thinking about where I actually see myself in the future. I know where I want to be ideally, but I have a hard time picturing the reality of where I might be.

Who knows where I’ll be. I have so many scenarios in my head that I find it hard to even begin to predict where I’m going to be just next year, or even next month. Right now my life has so many question marks in it. There are so many variables that could have a major impact. Small things and choices that could take me from one path to a totally different one.

Predicting my future is like predicting an earthquake, you think you’ve got the pattern figured out, but really it’s a total surprise every single time. But here’s how I’m predicting my future today, but it could change tomorrow, or three minutes from now.

5 years from now. It will be 2017. I will be 28-years-old. 

What the heck? I thought 23 was old. 28 is older. That’s almost 30. I never picture myself that old. Somehow in my head I’m eternally like 21, looks like I’m going to have to marry a vampire (that’s a joke, just fyi, I’d never marry a vampire, a werewolf maybe, but never a vampire). By the time I’m 28 I hope to have a real career. In something that I love. Hopefully I’ll be taking pictures professionally. I hope to be on tour with a band by that time (Case two: or working for a football team as their team photographer, traveling with the team, still sort of like being on tour). I see myself traveling the world. Planes, trains and automobiles are definitely going to be a part of my life right now. If not for my career, then for some other reason. I may not be totally financially stable at this time, because I’m probably still going to think I’m a kid. Or maybe I will be? Perhaps I’ll be married, perhaps I’ll be engaged or dating someone seriously (perhaps in some kind of convent), who knows? Definitely no children at this point (unless I’ve managed to snag Zac Efron, or someone of that caliber of attractiveness, and I’m forced to reproduce as many times as possible to make the world a more beautiful place one baby at a time). I still plan on being the coolest aunt possible. Unless one of my siblings reproduces again, my youngest niece will be  6 and my oldest will be 16, with everyone else filling in the space. I definitely see them traveling with me.

10 years from now. It will be 2022. I will be 33-years-old.

I seriously hope to be married by this point in my life. I want to be a young bride, and I don’t want to have all these individual memories of my life. I want to have them with my husband, and 33 years is already a lot of individual memories. Hopefully he and I will be working together. He can do whatever he wants, but maybe he’ll be in a band (or case two scenario, maybe he’ll be a football player). Or I guess he can do something else, but depending on what his job is we might not be spending a lot of time together (and that would be very sad), because I still want to be on tour. So it would obviously be ideal if he was some kind of musician (or athlete), or at least did some kind of behind-the-scenes work (like me) too so that we could be on the road together. Though I still want to be on tour, and I definitely want to still be traveling the world (I’m always going to be traveling) I’d also like to have a home by this time. I for sure don’t want to be in LA anymore (at least not permanently, maybe working here sometimes). I want to own a beach house in North Carolina, even if it’s just a small one. Somewhere that is cozy and personal. And barring some kind of crazy stint of craziness, I’ll 100% financially stable by now.

15 years from now. It will 2027. I will be 38-years-old.

What? 38-years-old? What happened? 38 is almost 40! And 40 is over the hill. That is ridiculous. By this time I will either be married, or I will have checked myself into a nunnery. If I decide to have kids, I will probably already have had them. They’ll probably be toddlers at this point (and hopefully they’ll be boys). Which means that I’m not longer touring the world (unless I’m touring it with my husband as a full-time wife and possibly part-time photographer), and probably living in North Carolina, or at least somewhere in the south/midwest. If I’m going to raise kids, I want to raise them in that type of environment. Not in LA, or in DC, or NYC, I want to raise them somewhere where people are real, polite and safe. Hopefully I’ll have a bigger beach house. I’d like to be wealthy by this point. Not disgustingly wealthy, but comfortably wealthy. Where I can live comfortably and also take care of the other people in my life. I want to still be taking pictures, but maybe not in such a dedicated manner. Like, maybe just for special events. Hopefully I will have made such an impact in the world of photography that my name will be recognizable and people will seek me out to cover things for them. Like maybe just certain concerts (or games), and things like award shows (or the Superbowl). I just want to be settled and comfortable in life by this point.

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