What do you want to do when you graduate? Where do you see yourself in ten years? Why are you trying to start a business at such a young age? What are your goals in life?
As a 19-year old, I get asked these questions a lot. It’s understandable, people are curious about what the future holds for me. Adults have a deep desire to know what the generation that follows them, the generation they worked so hard to collectively raise, are planning to do with their ominous futures.
But pardon me, because these questions are fucking bullshit.
I’ve never been one to understand why life, and indeed progress in life, must be measured against a set of arbitrary human milestones. If I want to do something, I’ll do it when the idea comes to me and the timing is just right. I will not wait until I’ve been given a piece of paper that says I’ve been certified to have a certain amount of knowledge about sorting techniques or once I’ve got a piece of metal around one of my fingers that says I am cleared to have children.
These questions and similar ones hint at a human obsession with time. Its finite nature, its forever forward movement, its various unknowns. Despite the complete lawlessness and freedom of time, we’ve somehow turned it into a prison for ourselves. Time is something that I confront a lot myself, as any emboldened 19-year old would. Why am I in this “time” and not that? Can time be “wasted” or “spent well” as is mentioned in colloquialism despite it being “infinite”? How do you know when it’s the right time for something? More importantly, how do you know when it’s the wrong time for something?
I don’t pretend to know the answers to any of these questions. Perhaps one day, when wisdom greys my hair and pains my back, I’ll know the answers, or, at least, know more than what I know now. But for now, time stretches from my door step to the edge of the observable universe. It looks like embarassments I’ll never remember, victories that’ll seem small and irrelevant in the future, sadness that pales in comparison to the boundless happiness I hope to experience, volcanic victories that stretch my heart, my mind, and my wallet, and encounters with wonderful human beings that change my perspective on the universe that we all reside in.
As for the questions people pester me about, here are some answers that will give you all that much-needed resolve (sarcasm).
What do you want to do when you graduate?
Ride a red VW convertible with the top down through Sheridan Road (the main street that runs parallel to Northwestern’s Evanston campus), yelling “FREEEEDOM!”
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Hiking up the mountains of central California with a man who understands the sparks in my mind as much as the curves in my body.
Why are you trying to start a business at such a young age?
I’m training for all the businesses, projects, and ideas I hope to build out during the rest of my life. dsfa isn’t my Big Bang and I’m not irrational enough to imagine that it will be a huge success. It’s only the beginning.
What are your goals in life?
Be happy and make other people happy.
I can only finish off this blog post with a quote from Dr. Seuss that always reminds me to push for change in my world despite my age, to do things today and not tomorrow, and to milk all the goodness from every second of every day.
How did it get so late so soon?
— Dr. Seuss