Happy Martin Luther King Day! If you have today off, I hope you’ve enjoyed it. For those working today I hope you enjoyed the time and half pay. If anything, today’s federal holiday is a day of remembrance of what Dr. King was teaching us many years ago. It seems that this nation still has a long way to go, before we are able to truly learn from our own past mistakes.
Nonetheless, today’s blog post will be about a question we always get asked frequently. “Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten?” I’ll give my answer, which has changed over time. There’s going to be a blog post about rain on Wednesday and a photo I’d love to share this Friday that I took yesterday; practicing perspective in photography. Let’s dive into more goal setting as this new year continues!
Header photo and cover photo provided by Pexels via WordPress.
For the Future
My original to the “where do you want to be in five years?” question when I was first questioned on this in 2012 was simple: graduated with a bachelor’s and teaching high school band. Well, that changed after having several mental barriers from allowing my tom complete my degree in four years. I had to withdraw from my original University in Texas to then move to Oklahoma to seek medical help.
By late 2013, I had no clue what I wanted to do, truly. So in 2014, I transferred to the University of Oklahoma thinking I still wanted to be a Music Education major. That was also the year I started my blog while also managing other aspects of life. I was only 20 during my first semester at OU where I discovered that I loved performing in bands but had physical barriers from preventing me from accomplishing my true dreams. That took two years for me to realize that being a band director wouldn’t fit my teaching style and that there’s lots of issues within the fine arts public school system that wouldn’t be fixed with just me as a director. So I ran far away from the music department and from the idea of teaching.
When you evaluate my life from 2015-2017 a lot of random events led me to really consider what I want. Now in early 2019, I still have no idea what I truly want as a 25-year old. During that 2015-2017 window I had to withdraw from school for a second time because I had a seizure-freak like paralyzing thing after taking a nap. I did what I knew to do: run. I moved out of Norman to live with my grandmother for a second time in 2015 for a brief period.
During 2015, I learned how much better I operate living alone. This rang true in 2017 when I moved away from living with my family and moved out on my own for 2018-present.
This is me ranting here:
Did I also mention that I am a female trombonist in a world still dominated by men? Band world still has a lot of ground to cover on allowing genders to play whatever instrument they want, not based on what roles they’ve been given in the past.
Medical Problems & Medical Answers
For a majority of my middle school and high school life I always struggled with the heat, marching band, and playing sports. A medical condition I was born with was the way my body manages to not sweat; instead, my whole body turns red until I do sweat. One dream of mine has always been to be a drum major. Specifically, I always dreamed of being the drum major for the Pride of Oklahoma. I learned the hard way that you can’t lead a band when your physical and mental health isn’t top notch.
After marching for over five years my medical doctors stopped giving me clearance to participate in marching band. I cried for weeks. I still tear up and used to refuse to watch anything related to marching band because of my unrest of not getting to also participate.
I mentioned the weird medical thing that happened in 2015. It took two years to find results and I have still yet to have any clearance to participate in marching band. I’ve now grown to appreciate my time in marching band and have let that heartache go. It took going to a neurologist to then being sent over to a cardiologist to discover issues with the way my heart beats. My body didn’t 100% form correctly and there’s a doorway near my heart chamber that messes with my blood flow.
I do plan on revisiting my cardiologist this year or next for a follow up. While the heartbeat and blood flow has improved (thanks to aspirin), I’m curious to solve other medical things. For example, how sun exposure physically and mentally drains me. Is it a skin thing or something else entirely?
I mention all this, because I realized that in the southern portion of the states, band directors are hired on the ability to teach marching band. While there are other ways I could work around that, I would have a difficult chance of being hired as a band director if I wasn’t cleared to be outside and teach. I also had the realization that the way a band sits (in a semi-half circle) wasn’t a way I enjoyed classroom management. I prefer desks in rooms or creative classroom set-ups. That’s how my answer changed to where I am now.
If someone asks me this question now, my answer isn’t solid. First, why do we have to judge things we do in life by a matter of time? Why can’t we just let a person live out a life that they want compared to what society wants?
Second, I am still cautious about being a teacher. I’ve been working as an after school teacher near the OU campus since Halloween. I have noted a lot of things I’d need to improve on and realized that yes- I can be a teacher. Working with kids has proven to be less stressful than working in a restaurant or retail. And well, there’s parents.
This is my second semester back in university (after a three-year break). My major is currently English-Writing. I have mentioned to others the interest in getting a minor in Education, or at least certified to teach K-12. One of the reasons I changed majors, is that I have always enjoyed studying literature and improving on my own writing. There’s also a lot of things I was taught in secondary school that I’ve forgotten and am now re-learning. For example: what’s a verb compared to a noun? How about sentence structures, comma splices, etc.? Moving my major to English-Writing has allowed me to feel that I have more control over the classes I am taking and noting the improvements in my own writing and reading skills each semester.
Right now, my goal is to complete my degree on my own time. To finish my writing projects and novels. Continue striving for lifestyle adjustments that work for me. As a society, we tend to focus on the same goals that we want to accomplish at different times. My advice to you (and to my younger self), is to not let pressure guide you to rush through career choices. It’s okay to change careers mid-life or even pursue other interests.
That above statement reminds me of what my graduate TA said in our American Government lab on Friday. she mentioned that it was okay to switch majors, but commented that you should have a set career path after college. I totally agree with her on the first statement but the second one rubbed me wrong. Maybe one day I’ll write a blog about that subject. For now though, I’d like to focus on the idea that everyone’s got life figured out by a certain milestone or age or degree completion. Everyone’s timeline is going to be different.
It’s 100% okay to not have certain milestones by a certain age.
I love changing my wardrobe out every six months. I also get a huge kick out of transitioning away from single-use items to reusable items. Changing up routines or commutes can help bring awareness to our surroundings. The best example I have of this was last week’s first week of school. I swapped out a language class that I was not prepared for yet, to taking American Government now (instead of May intermission). I realized that I prefer early mornings compared to staying up late, or evening working out after work. It doesn’t hurt to try something new and see if it’ll work within your adjusting lifestyle.
Check out the button bubbles below for previous blogs I’ve written about minimalism and environmentalism lifestyles:
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