The Future

Ever wonder what the future may have in store?

Boy I sure do.

In case you are wondering, this post is only semi-professional in nature, but I didn’t want to go to the trouble of using Dreamweaver to update my mCook Web site. I know. I’m a slacker. Whatev.

So anyway, back to the future. (It’s good to be punny sometimes.)

At some point in my life I stopped daydreaming on a regular basis about how I wanted my future to turn out. I don’t know why; I don’t know when. I just stopped. Maybe I was disillusioned, maybe hurt from a relationship or two…but regardless, I stopped doing it on a regular basis.

Now, “regular basis” are two key words there. I still daydream from time to time, and I do think about the future, but these days I’m more apt to be planning for the future instead of dreaming, waiting for it to come smack me in the face.

A few things have made me aware of this:

1) Spring Break free time. Spring Break has been good, mostly. I haven’t accomplished nearly as much as I wanted to/should have. I need to read more about Berlin. I definitely need to get caught up in meteorology. I’m like four labs and six chapters behind. No joke. But the break has had its high points, too. I’ve had three birthday dinners, and my birthday was a week ago. That’s pretty amazing. Take my advice: turn 21 as often as you can. People like to feed you at this age, apparently. Other than just my stomach, the rest of me has enjoyed the break by relaxing, sleeping in, playing cards/catch with K and family. All of the free time has given me plenty of opportunities to think, and that has been the primary reason for becoming aware of my lack of future-dreaming.

2) The second reason for remembering how I used to think my future would turn out came about from an unlikely source —pulling a box of cards off of my bookshelf last week that haven’t been used since middle school. Back in the day, a couple friends and I would spend every day we had off from school and half the summer playing cards at one of their mom’s office in downtown Martin and then go (religiously) at three o’clock to the local card shop (at the time) Home Plate. This was our heyday of dreaming and (dare I say) scheming. We started playing guitars. We started wishing we could drive. We started thinking about girls. (Well, at least I did.) And then high school came. And we lost one of our friends to a move to Massachusetts. And then I got bogged down with school and stuff (and girls…and band…etc.) And somewhere in there the blinders were put on so that I couldn’t see much past graduating high school.

3) The final reason for becoming aware of the lack of future-dreaming is that my brother-in-law Blair told us tonight that he won’t be going to UK for grad school, at least next year. He’s still waiting on East Carolina University, which is another fine music school. The trouble is, the geography program at ECU isn’t stellar and it doesn’t have the focus that I want for grad school.

As you can probably guess, I let myself dream a little when he said he was applying at UK because UK has an excellent grad program in human geography, and so I started looking a little closer at what they had to offer. I had a dream. There’s no telling what may happen with that dream. I would be happy even if the four of us (B, my sister, K and me) didn’t end up in the same area after we leave Martin, but I can’t help but think that it would be much more fun and enjoyable if we all did end up in the same place.

The odds aren’t exactly stellar for us ending up at the same university, given that there are only a handful of universities with great music schools and great human geography programs. Dreaming was fun for a while, but realism inevitably settles in and sets up shop.

I am a self-described realist; others often confuse this for pessimism. Some people wonder why I am a realist, and I’m not entirely sure why I see the world the way I do, but I suspect that it comes down to change and how it is handled. Change has made me strive to see what is real, what is out there in black and white, instead of what would be ideal.

Change has made me a writer, an editor, a geographer, a traveler, a Germanophile, and lately, a supporter of the Democratic party. There, I said it. I want Barrack Obama to be our next president. But enough politics. In high school, and certainly in middle school, I would have called you liar if you told me I’d be all those things in 4-8 years.

I don’t have a witty saying to end this post, and I don’t really want to search for an inspiring JFK quote to show that maybe there is still some hope for the future.

But I did anyway.

Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” ~John F. Kennedy

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