In a recent interview I was asked, where do I see myself in 10 years

by madwife2002 1,753 Views | 4 Comments Senior Moderator

At age 50 I was asked where do I see myself in the next ten years. The question took me by surprise and got me thinking about my chaotic first 50 years of my life and where I will actually be in ten years! So I have written an account of the first 20 years of my life here in the hope that some of you can relate and will document the next half of my life in another article!

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    Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

    During a recent nursing interview I was asked ‘Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ I actually paused in my reply, where do I see myself in 10 years? So much has happened to me in my 5 decades that I couldn't even imagine what life has in store for me in my next 10 years!

    Tonight instead of sleeping I played through my life in my mind to try and categorize what each 10 years of my life held, and will it reflect what I should expect in the future.
    Years 1-10 of my life were privileged, I was loved and cherished by a mother who always had my best interest at heart. I wasn't a conventional child, I was independent and hated being smothered or hugged too much. I always had somewhere to be and something to do! My photographs show me always marching ahead with a determined look on my face.

    I was and still am competitive; I hated to be beaten and would work hard to be the best. If you ever wanted me to succeed at anything, then place me in a situation where I had to prove myself. This was the decade where I found my love of America and all things American, and so my love affair began! Little did I know it would take almost 40 more years before I would fulfill my dream of living there!

    My mother and I emigrated to Ohio in the late 60’s but she hated living in the US, we live there for about 6 months but homesickness meant we quickly moved home to the UK, I cried all the way home I wanted to live near my Grandma, my sister and my cousins! I vowed to myself I would return one day, at that age you don’t see the complications ahead to achieve your dreams everything is so simple.

    My parents separated when I was young, my mother worked and I became one of the first ‘latch key kids’ although to be truthful I rarely came home alone to an empty house. My mother was a very independent business woman, who was generous to a fault. We travelled to foreign countries every time I had a vacation from school, I had a private school education and money appeared to be no problem. My thirst for knowledge and learning knew no boundaries, and I quickly understood that once I had achieved or succeeded, then I was done with that and became easily bored.

    I read books after books, at age 7 I had read every book in the school library; it was thought I was some sort of intellectual kid, who would be a lawyer or a Doctor. Unfortunately my personality meant I don’t study and once a task is completed and I became the best then as stated before I was done and would move on to the next task. I went to the library every week and took out 7 books, which I would read and return every Saturday. I only took 7 because for some strange reason that was all you could take out at one time! Of course when I got into my teens I would use my mother’s library card so I could take out twice as many!

    I was be that kid in the class who would laugh and talk! How I loved to talk, I had a vivid imagination, loads of enthusiasm and very passionate about everything, plus I loved to share all my thoughts with anybody who would listen. I am sure in today’s age I would be classed ADHD, but in those days I was just too full of life and I had to be contained.

    So we come to the next decade of my life, where everywhere I looked I was being ‘contained’ I wasn’t understood because I was always happy, bounced around and would wear my heart on my sleeve. I was like some over exuberant puppy, running from one thing to the next! People either loved me or hated me and to be truthful that has been true my whole life!

    I always had the ability to tell right from wrong, and would stick up for the underdog! I never had a problem letting somebody know that it wasn't right to bully or gossip. I had a lot of friends but never really had one special friend, remember I was a strange kid and teenager. I was lonely, extremely lonely I don't think I ever felt I fitted in! It would be a long time before I would 'fit' in, and even longer before I no longer cared if I fitted in or not!

    Teachers would despair when they would see me coming; I would wear them out with my constant bouncing and questioning. Classrooms suffocated me to be truthful I wanted to be out and gone. About this time I realized that my mother was very strict compared to other parents in the 70’s. I wasn’t allowed to date, I couldn’t go to friends’ houses after school and I never ever had a sleep over.

    About 13 yrs. old I discovered nursing, I found my dream job I spoke with my teachers and stated this is what I want to do with my life. It wasn’t received well my teachers were concerned that while I was super intelligent I wasn’t focused preferring to be the class clown, as I said before I would work hard until I was the best then I wouldn’t work anymore. To get into a nursing program in the late 70’s early 80’s you had to be top of your class and you had to excel in your exams. You could see the doubt in their eyes.

    My mother was appalled, she hadn’t worked all her life, taken me around the world and given me the best education one could provide for me to become a ‘Nurse’. So the war began.

    At age 13 my mother stopped going to parent/teacher conferences, because she said she was never so embarrassed in her life. Apparently when she said she was my mother, the teachers raised their eyes to the sky and shook their head. My report cards always stated that I had so much potential but preferred to talk and laugh through classes; I distracted my classmates and was generally thought to be more trouble than I was worth. End of term exam results were mediocre to say the least. Little did anybody know but my friends were up to a lot more than I was, they were just better at secrecy than I was because I couldn’t lie or be deceitful to save my life.

    My friends would cut school, be round the back smoking, having party’s at each other’s houses, having sleep overs and in my mind having the most wonderful time ever. Oh yeah and they could date boys. They drank, partied and were having the time of their lives, but me poor old me I had a mother from Hell, I would have to account for every min of my life and I was too scared of her to do anything wrong because I always got caught and the consequences were not worth the fun. Looking back she wasn’t bad at all, she only had my best interest at heart but to me I felt she was a demon from hell!

    The funny thing about my story is although I was brought up strictly and wasn't allowed to do what everybody else was doing, I was the one who had a hard life and went wild later on! Everybody else went on to have stable respectful lives, don’t get me wrong I don’t and have never lived a dis respectable life I just went on to have a wilder one than they did, and even now continue to live a different life than most people do.

    So school life was coming to an end, I couldn't wait to be 18 years old. I don’t know what I thought was going to happen at 18 but to me it was the light at the end of my tunnel-all I could think about was once I was 18 my life would begin, nursing, dating, drinking, were going to be top of my agenda.

    I did manage to focus on graduating with all the qualifications needed for nursing school, I got accepted into a prestigious nursing school in my home town and was going to start at 18 which was the earliest you could go to nursing school even though I graduated a year earlier. A total shock to all my friends and their parents who assumed I was too much of a distraction in the classroom and I would never achieve anything. Little did these parents know what their daughters were up to outside of the classroom!

    So with 18 approaching fast, I was sent to college for a year to study a bi lingual secretarial course, I was pretty good in Spanish and French. I wasn't allowed to sit around and wait until I could start my nursing course but I could go to college. My mother was thrilled, imagining all the possibilities of my giving up my dream of being a nurse; instead I would travel the world using my language skills!

    How we were we to know, I would meet my first husband at college, marry him the first opportunity I had, and my life would take an automatic turn for the worse. Nursing school was now no longer a possibility because in those days you had to be 18, single and live in the nurses home under the supervision of the Matron! Did I care, no I was filled with the fantasy of having my own home and managing my own life! What a silly, stupid girl I was

    So ended the next decade.
    herring_RN, VivaLasViejas, and sirI like this.
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    madwife2002 joined Jan '05 - from 'Ohio'. madwife2002 has '24' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'RN, RM, BSN'. Posts: 9,465 Likes: 5,196; Learn more about madwife2002 by visiting their allnursesPage


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    4 Comments so far...

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    Waiting for the next installment......
    herring_RN, tewdles, madwife2002, and 2 others like this.
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    It's nice to dream, but realistically, it's hard to know where you will find yourself in 10 years. So much can happen in a year or less. All it takes is one event (an important one/major one, but only one) to totally change the course of your life, at least for the time being. I try not to make promises to people because I like to keep the promises I do make and sometimes, things you promise to do, can end up changing given certain circumstances.

    I know I have been asked to commit to things for time lengths in years and I have been very hesitant because I don't know where I will be in 6 months, let alone a year or longer.

    After reading your article, I think about the last 10 years of my own life...that brings me back to being about 15 and a half years old....in high school. My life has taken so many twists and turns that I would have never thought they would take...I thought I would be further along than what I am. But, I have learned so much in those 10 years. But, yeah, 10 years is a long time. I have had friends, however, get asked where they see themselves in 5 years. Still a long time, but a little more feasible in the dreaming.
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    I hope with all my heart that I never have to answer that question, for several reasons. One, I don't intend to leave my current job until I'm ready to leave nursing altogether; two, I don't want to be in nursing 10 years from now. But the biggest reason is, I've learned not to project too far into the future, because as wish_me_luck says, things can change on a dime---and the commitments one has made suddenly become impossible to fulfill.

    It took a long time to understand why people were so often disappointed and angry when I'd promise to help with some project or cause, and then drop out when the novelty wore off or it took more time than I was willing to give. Now that I know not to commit to anything unless I am absolutely certain I can follow through, I choose projects much more carefully and give it the best I've got while I'm involved in it. But trying to imagine where I want to be in 10 years? I don't even know where I want to be in 10 minutes!
    herring_RN and madwife2002 like this.
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    I think I might have tipped my head, looked at the interviewer and suggested that I would like to be in their employ 10 years from now...
    somenurse, herring_RN, and madwife2002 like this.


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