A Taylor-Made Life - past and present

Left: Taylor graduating high school. Right: Taylor starting at The Daily Journal.

While looking through old photos and documents on a few of my former laptops, I found the following answer to the prompt “Where do you want to be in 30 years?” If I had to guess, this was written around the end of high school, so about nine years ago.

I decided to share my response that was written almost a decade ago. Then, I wanted to write an answer from my current self. So, past Taylor, where do you want to be in 30 years?

Past response (written in 2012)

It is said that in order to be successful, one must project an image of success at all times. I don’t necessarily agree with this. When posed with the question of “What would it take for you to consider your life successful?”

People often answer by saying that they have more money that they can spend and houses and cars galore. However, I honestly feel that if in thirty years I am happy and healthy, as well as those I care about, then I will consider myself successful.

More specifically my dreams begin with my first goal: graduating college. On a personal level, I have many dreams thought out for myself. I hope that in thirty years I’m married with children and maybe even a dog.

I’d like to have a house near where I live now so that I can be close to my family. I don’t really care about how big or nice my house is, all I’m concerned about is that I can have some sort of home theater in my basement so I have a place for all the movie posters I have currently hanging in my room.

Something I began working on recently is a journal of life goals. The goals range from getting my teaching certificate, to publishing a book, to finally finding the “Welcome Back, Kotter” board game I’ve been searching for.

My plan is to finish making the journal by the time I go to college. Then I will wrap it up and save it as a gift for my 28th birthday. Also included in the journal are notes I have written to my future self, wondering about where I will be in ten years.

As I stated before, I will consider myself successful if in thirty years I am simply happy and still have a good head on my shoulders.

I will feel successful if I know that I worked as hard as I could to get to wherever I will be. I am eager to see what the future holds, but more excited to accomplish my dreams along the way.

Present response

While I do not have a teaching certificate or a home theater (yet), I do have the same overall goal (and, arguably, naivety) that I had as a 17-year-old. I accomplished publishing a book, which oddly wound up being based on the journal I was making at the time. I’ll be able to open that high school-made journal in May of next year.

I didn’t stumble upon the “Welcome Back, Kotter” board game at a garage sale as I’d envisioned, but a friend of mine mailed me the game which he found while cleaning out his garage.

I guess my point is, I still very much feel that money and possessions (outside of “Kotter” memorabilia) don’t equal success. In this moment, success to me is having a solid relationship with yourself and the important people in your life.

However you define success, I sincerely hope that it includes happiness and a good relationship with yourself. With that, you pretty much have it all.

So, where do you want to be in 30 years?