One has not truly lived until a person they’re dating turns to them one day and says that they are concerned that they don’t know where things are going.
It’s got to “go somewhere,” they say.
Today, I’d like to explore that idea.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS?
When I used to have jobs, every so often my attempts at working optimistically would get interrupted by a manager who would want to talk with me about my future.
“Am I not doing a good job?” I would ask. They’d tell me that I was doing fine, but that maybe I should consider moving into management.
The last time I got asked this was in 2015. I told him that I wasn’t certain, as “I don’t have 2020 vision.”
It was the only opportunity that I got to use that joke, and I wasn’t about to waste it.
But they didn’t like my serious answers, which involved a vision or plan where I’d do work and keep doing work. I had no interest in getting paid more to talk about the work and babysit adults than the people who actually do the work. I never liked that system, and did not want to be party to it.
The boss, like all bosses, never gave up on the idea that I needed to be “going somewhere.”
ARE YOU GONNA GO MY WAY?
When I was a young adult, I’d get asked by older relatives when I was going to get married, or when I was going to have kids. To my credit, I resisted asking them when they were going to die.
It got annoying, so I ended up asking them if they could allow me the space to live my own life as I wanted. That got them to stop, for the most part.
MARRIAGE ISN’T FOR ME
I had a few girlfriends who wanted to get married. They kept asking where things were going.
When they told me that they wanted to get married, I had to wonder if they were going to ask me where things were going after we got married.
The next stop is either divorce or death. Divorce is the preferred option if you want to stay out of jail, and if you require a quick answer.
I knew where I wanted things to go after the break-up, and that is far, far away from me.
WHY THIS IS SO PREVALENT
Life is full of uncertainty. It is also full of decisions to be made, and I’ve chosen poorly on many occasions.
The reason why people would be asking me where things were going for me, was because they were seeking out validation for their own choices.
Maybe they did things the way their parents did, or the way in which they suggested. Maybe they did things the way their friends did things.
I once asked an adult relative of mine [from the previous generation] why she got married. She told me, “Well, all of my friends were married by age 19-22, and they had babies. I didn’t want to be left out, so I got married and had children to fit in with everyone else.”
When they ask me where things are going, they are seeking out validation that THEY made the right choices in their lives. So if they moved into management, and I had no desire for it, they might wonder if they made the right decision. But more than likely, they will judge me as being stupid or lazy, and then reassure themselves that they made the right choice.
IN THE END
In the big picture, all of this ends up going to the grave. It’s where we all end up.
Where we take things is not important in the grand scheme of things. However, it IS important to us in the right here, right now.
People want to know where things are going. The answer I gave above is the answer that I live with.
Much like I don’t need to be happy all the time, or need to be wealthy, or anything else that is attractive to humans in general, I also do not have the need to be going somewhere with ANY of this.
All I really need involves simply being, in lieu of going somewhere.
The idea that we’re going somewhere with what we are doing helps people feel good about themselves, for some reason.
I don’t need to be rich. I don’t need to be married. I don’t need to be “on my way up” in any regard.
I only need to be. From there, I deal with what is before me in the moment.
And then, I return to being.
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