Where I See Myself in Ten Years

There’s one specific question I hate most in interviews.

It’s not a technical question or asking me to organize a balance sheet. I have a nice and planned response to what my greatest weakness is and can talk about my definition of leadership like its spelling my name or listing off the ABCs.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

That’s it.

Right there.

Or, you can just tell us where you see yourself in 5 years?

And then I sweat a little bit. Pick at a cuticle. Soft-smile and say, that’s a good question, while my mind tries to get a cohesive two sentences strung together to speak. I try to remember the job description I applied for because how the heck do I answer this?

Where do you see yourself, Erica?

I don’t know.

I know I want to write books. I know I want to write novels and see paperback binding at Barnes & Noble that I got to title and write. I know I want to tell my story and others’ stories and write in a way that people will jump up and down, cry, scream, yell “YES!” or believe in something bigger. I know I want to put words that matter to a paper that will come alive.

I may want to adopt one day. I know I want to be a wife and a mom and have kids, but I also think I want to adopt kids. I think I want to write and raise kids, and maybe drive a Jeep just on the principle of not being a stereotypical mom. I want to marry the greatest man I know, and I want to have a wedding that is 80/20 (80% party, 20% official stuff), and depending on what season my 80/20 wedding happens in, I may want to walk down the aisle barefoot.

I want to forever be involved in Young Life and small groups and loving people and moving. I know that the best way to live is to live with Jesus and people who love you and love Him. I know I want to belly-laugh after hysterically sobbing and have people hold my hands.

I want to continue running marathons when I’m 35 and when I’m 40, I want to help pass out water and Gatorade at stations throughout the course. I want to work at my best friend’s company because she will be an incredible entrepreneur. I want to start a global nonprofit one day; I want to empower women. I want to jump on a jet and visit my big in New York City and I want to ice skate on Christmas at Rockefeller.

I want to give a hilarious maid of honor speech for my sister, road-trip with someone I’m in love with, teach English abroad, and continue throwing parties when I’m 50. I hope my parties at 50 are better than the ones at 25. I want paint my nails different colors and maybe donate my hair to Locks of Love again and take a sabbatical at some point.

I want Jesus to know I’m grateful. I want to talk about Jesus and love people like Jesus, but mainly praise Jesus. I want a life that is a two-hands-in-the-air worship party. I want to pray on dance floors and in night clubs and in churches and in nature. I want to hike Kilimanjaro and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland.

But that’s not what they want; they want to know where I see myself in five years.

So sometimes I mention that I may want to write a book, or maybe help start a business or nonprofit, but a lot of times I just mention their company culture and wanting to build a career there.

But really I want a life. An insane, beautiful, crazy, hold-your-breath-don’t-blink life.