I have been asked this question time and again. And every time someone throws this question at me, I draw a blank. Honestly, it’s not that I am avoiding answering the question; I do not have an answer!
“What are your future plans?”
Sorry to disappoint you, but I don’t have any! It seems that in the past six months, the world and its sister has developed a sudden keen interest in my future plans. In most cases the above-mentioned question is a polite and subtle way of asking me when I will get married. People have seen how well I react if they so much as utter the word “marriage” and so they have developed an alternate strategy. Ask the same old question but use a different approach. Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against holy matrimony. I think it’s a fabulous institution (if it works for you!). I just don’t see why I should have a full-blown plan for it. It will happen when it will happen. I can’t put a date, day and time to it, even though everyone else seems to believe that unless I do, I have no hope of getting hitched! I, on the other hand, strongly believe that these things cannot be accomplished with a strategy. Generally, I tend to be a planner. I like to have schedules for the littlest things and by and large I prefer to stick to them. Sudden unexpected change annoys me. Take a look at my diary and you will see exactly how important to-do lists are to my daily life. Nevertheless, I still think somethings in life are best left unplanned.
The other “future plans” that people are interested in is regarding my profession. I hate to break this to you, but I have no plans in this particular area of my life either. And I don’t see a reason for having them. I am happy where I am and I enjoy doing what I do. The day I reach saturation point and feel I am not learning anything new and work has become daily drudgery with no element of excitement, I will take a switch. But how can I know now when I will reach saturation? Till such time that I do reach saturation, can I please enjoy my work without everyone asking me what I would be doing in the future? It’s not that I am an unambitious lazy bum. I work hard and I am sincere to my work. But I simply can’t do thing future planning thingy.
Lately, besides the more generic “What are your future plans” kind of questions, I have also been asked more specific and oh-so-clichéd “Where do you see yourself five years from now?” and “How high up on the ladder to you wish to climb?” And each time I am asked this I can’t help saying “If I wanted to be part of the rat race don’t you think I would have studied something more conventional that would put me in the big, bad, competitive corporate world?” Sure, social work has its pressures and they are not always easy to bear but it is very different from the corporate world. Thankfully so. I can cope with the social sector but I wouldn’t survive a day in a regular office!
After having heard my story, do me a favour. The next time you strike up a conversation with me, discuss what ever your heart desires but don’t bring up my future plans because now you already know… I hdont have any!!