I’ve been contemplating my hopes and dreams a lot lately. A few days ago, I asked Crystal why we celebrate the anniversary of the day we literally did nothing more than take our first breath. Her answer was a thoughtful comment on how the celebration isn’t for us, but those around us whose lives we touch.
Crystal literally blesses my life every day. Additionally, she enriches my writing with really good ideas. As I contemplated how to celebrate my birthday, her words kinda stuck with me. However, since it’s supposed to be my birthday, I’ll twist it to my own hopes and dreams.
Past Hopes and Dreams
“Son, where do you see yourself in five years?”
Seventeen year old Cree contemplated his father’s question, trying hard to think of an answer that was both true and acceptable.
“I want to graduate. Then, I want to serve a mission.” Cree paused before continuing. “Then, I plan on going to college, and finding the right lady to marry in the temple.”
“That sounds like a pretty solid plan,” his Dad said. “You know you don’t have to do it exactly in that order?”
As Cree continued watching, his Dad clarified that he would graduate a whole year before he went on his mission, and he could find his Mrs. Right before he finished college.
Cree knew all of that, but he really didn’t want to listen just then. He tried to focus on what was expected of him, and with only a few months left until his graduation, Cree didn’t want to start any sort of argument. He just hoped that he’d be able to make it.
Thoughts and Feelings
At that point in my life, I just wanted to get on my own and try to figure out how I could live a normal life. However, the idea of living like my parents felt foreign to me. I loved them, and they raised me well; it just didn’t feel like me.
Present Hopes and Dreams
Now, seventeen years later, Cree contemplated his father’s question. He’d gone straight into college the week after graduating High School. Then, Cree met the love of his life, Crystal. And that’s about where things went sideways before they went forward. However, it ended up with Cree and Crystal, married, in their own home, with three wonderful children, and two cute family pets.
Cree made a living as a United States Marine, where he’d spent the last eleven years. When Cree contemplated the future now, everything felt different.
Truth Over Time
As I look at my future from here, I kind of have the goals I’d like to set for the next five years. They’re not so cut and clean as my seventeen year-old self would have liked, but they’re mine alone… sort of.
- I want to continue serving in the Marines for the next nine years, retiring after I feel I’ve given everything I can to the Corps. That means reenlisting in about four more years, for the last time.
- Seeing the world with the love of my life, Crystal. In the next five years, that means exploring the bits around us that we haven’t seen yet.
- Running the Marine Corps Marathon. In the next five years, that means training every week towards running 26.4 miles between 7-8 hours.
Future Hopes and Dreams
About the only thing I’ve learned in the last 34 years, is that I don’t know what the future holds. I just hope that each and every day I can work towards becoming a better person than I was the day before.
Here’s to another year of breathing…