now or later: struggling with long-term goals.


If you’ve known me for any length of time, you’ll know that I love daydreaming and planning and brainstorming. I love to bounce ideas off people—and in fact, this is sort of why my mom never knew what my major was, even though for 3 years it didn’t change. I like contemplating and outlining. I like to wonder.

However, it’s that exact trait that sort of makes it hard to pick a life path and stay with it. There are so many opportunities and adventures out there, I’m sort of nervous about limiting myself.

When it comes to goal planning, more often than not I’m thinking about what’s happening now and what can I change now. There’s long-term thinking behind this, but if I decide to go for something, and it’s going to take 5 years to get there? It makes it hard for me to keep focused on it.

And these are exactly the challenges I’ve been facing recently. There are two directions that have really interested me, and have done so for quite some time. Luckily I can do both of these concurrently, but their end goals make the impatient me a little twitchy. I want to get there, I want to be there already. But I know I have to wait and continue working towards it.

As you already know, I have loved writing from an early age. The reason I decided to enroll in U of Chicago was because I was ready to take it seriously. And I feel really good about where I’m at as a writer and where I’m heading. But I also know I have a long way to go. I also know that writing is a hard career to choose—you could be a successful writer without “making it big,” or having that happen during your lifetime. But it is something I love, and I’m going to continue.

Not many people have heard me talk about this, but I really do love academics and academic administration. I have some definite ideas and plans I would love to work towards… I just need to suck it up and go for it. Even if I won’t see the end for a good handful of years.

It’s a hard battle, and difficult to find balance. Especially in this day of instant gratification. And I’ll completely admit to being impatient when it comes to certain things. I don’t necessarily want things OMG RIGHT NOW, but it’s hard when progress is made slowly over time that it’s really hard to see how far you’ve gone. But when those 5 years pass? It’s going to be amazing to look back and finally realize how far I’ve actually gone.

Just got to keep focused on the hear and now, and know that if I keep at it, I’ll end up where I’m supposed to be.

What are your long-term goals you sometimes struggle with? What do you wish you could just cut to the end and finally be there?