In life, it seems as though we are always planning for what comes next. We are taught to prepare for tomorrow- to organize, practice and ready ourselves for what is approaching- or the idea of what is approaching- because in the end, life never ends up the way we planned.
I’ve slowly begun to notice that everything around me is pointing me in the direction of the future- it’s preparing me- warning me- pushing me towards something that doesn't even exist yet. This utter exhaustion, born from relentlessly staring straight past what is right in front of me, struck me this morning when I realized that even the fashion industry is forgetting today and thrusting tomorrow upon its followers. Fashion, to me, has always been about immediate gratification- living the NOW aspect of things. i.e. spending money I don't have for a quick adrenaline rush- only to later find whatever it is I bought lying dusty and underused somewhere in the back of my closet. Fashion never had anything to do with the future- until I had the startling realization that as soon as I finally splurged on “this winter’s hottest boots,” I received an email from a fashion magazine advising me to, “get the top 10 must haves for Spring.” Screw the spring. It’s still cold out. Night continues to fall far too early and I still have yet to plan my winter ski trip. I’m not done with winter. I’m not ready for the future…not ready for it in so many ways.
Nevertheless, we work our asses off to save up in hopes of one day enjoying our overloaded bank accounts and at the very least, our 401k’s and pension plans. We hire lawyers and write out our wills so that should that day never come- and we can’t spend all that hard earned money- it’s left to make someone else’s future better. We cut butter out of our diets, eat less chocolate and drag ourselves to running clubs or gyms so that we can improve our chances of ageing gracefully- and living longer.
This whole MBA thing was about the future from the very beginning. I was working in New York, perfectly happy with my life and job- and then I began to muse about my own future. It was over four years ago when I decided that, one day, I may want to do an MBA. So I bought an MBA guide, hired a Kaplan tutor, and took the GMATs. Later, I changed careers and put the MBA guide back on the shelf- saving it “for the future.” Two long years after that, I figured that maybe I was ready to become a student again…so I started applying and was accepted. And in the time in between the moment I chose to come to ESADE and the moment I got here, I was preparing to be a business school student- even though, in retrospect, I really had no idea about what that implied.
I arrived- and from the very first day, we were told that we had to start planning, yet again, for the future. We weren’t given any time to just bask in the whole “I’m a student and nothing more” aspect of being once again a part of the academic system. We had to choose between industries and potential career paths from the first week. We have been bombarded with career fairs, internship searches, interviews, CV writing, interview workshops, career counseling, applications, and the like…I could go on forever.
Now, at the end of the day- at the end of the MBA, I find myself where I was when I began- not 100% sure about what I should do with my future- with about a million options- and a year and a half gone, filled with a bunch more planning that honestly- didn't really change the outcome of anything. I would probably be sitting in the same chair, in the same class, with the same job opportunities and the same disorderly thoughts and grave reservations- than if I had spent the last year and a half NOT planning- and just learning. But then again, I will never know that, will I?
So here I am, still unsure of where I will be going the day after graduation- with a blurry path ahead of me- and of course, still wearing last season’s boots.