Everyone has a picture of how they see themselves at a certain stage of their lives. Sometimes of course those pictures change – although I don‘t see how anyone ever stops wanting to be a Disney Princess! – and some pictures stay with us. For a really long time I wanted to be a teacher. Then I fell in love with Orlando Bloom when I started being a teenager, and I wanted to become an actress. When I finished Secondary School I settled for writing. When we think ahead we always see ourselves somewhere ideal. Maybe with a family in a big house or living somewhere abroad hunting kangaroohs or doing surgery on people‘s hearts. But getting there can be quite a scary process. Once you finish school there‘s always the big question of What Now? Becoming a teacher really seems quite straight forward, but do you really want to go to uni straight away? Wouldn‘t it be good to go on the safari you‘ve always dreamed of? Shouldn‘t you go on a couple of dates before you start working for good? Isn‘t there a way of figuring out who you really are? Days of lying around on your bedroom floor, just trying to figure out what you want out of life right this moment, listening to one song over and over again while flipping through the pages of a travel magazine…
But really, we stress ourselves way too much over these things. Dreams don‘t go up in flames if you put them on hold – whoever said that you had to be a human rights lawyer before you‘re twenty-seven? The world holds an infinite number of possibilities and we are able to do whatever we want to.
To me the only thing that really matters is me being happy. I love writing and maybe some day I‘ll do it for a living. And maybe the plays I write are the only things that will ever be published. But what‘s important is that we don‘t define our happiness over the pictures in our heads. Pictures can change and sometimes they do for the better.
When I think way ahead I always imagine myself as a crazy old cat lady. It‘s not very ambitious but it seems peaceful and kittens are cuddly. I‘d drink tea all day long and I‘d knit funny socks for my grand children and I‘d rewatch Doctor Who.
I know life probably isn‘t going to be like that in seventy years (being optimistic here), but we need this picture inside us to get by. Maybe you‘re lying around moping right now, but as long as you have some idea of where you want to get you‘re not going to be stuck forever.
You may not have the potential to change the entire world, to bring world peace or to find cancer treatment – but you have the potential to live your life and to go where you want to. You may not get there tomorrow, but you‘ll get there eventually and life will make a little more sense!