Where do YOU want to be in X years time?

When I was discussing the signing of the new contract with my boss he asked me what my plans are, careerwise, for the next few years. “Well…,” I began, “I would like to stay here for another year at least, maybe two. Definitely finish my Master’s. Try to do increasingly complicated and technical translations and hopefully work on getting into a specialist subject. Beyond that I haven’t really thought about it.””OK,” he replied. “Fair enough. But you should think about it. Two years is not as long as you think, it will soon be here. Ms. K (colleague) has very definite plans for the future. She knows exactly where she wants to be in 2 years, in 5 years…”
My first thought was ‘You mean people actually do that?!’ By that I mean plan every step of their career, actually knowing where they want to be at various points in the future. I certainly don’t. Until about 18 months ago I didn’t even know what I wanted to do with my life. For a while I thought it might be cool to be a teacher, so I tried being a language assistant and, while it was sometimes enjoyable (especially in Austria where the kids were nice), most of them time I hated it. Plus by the end of the first year I had realised I was no good at it. English conversation and playing games I’m fine with, but actually teaching people stuff that they don’t already know? Hopeless doesn’t even begin to cover it. Translation on the other hand I am good at (finally I found something I can do! Yippee!) And it’s something I really enjoy as well. I love the feeling of satisfaction I get when I read through a translation I’ve done and realise that yes, it actually makes sense. I can definitely imagine being a translator for the rest of my life… well, the professional part of it anyway. But making specific goals?? Honestly, I wouldn’t even know where to start…

Gotta get out of this place

I made a decision over the weekend.
I decided that I have to get out of here at the next available opportunity. I have to.It doesn’t matter whether I have a real job or not, even if I have no idea where I’m going to be 2 months after that date I am moving out.

Back in December, when my boyfriend decided it was time to move out of this student residence, we made the decision not to live together. He didn’t want to and I didn’t want to. The difference between was that I didn’t want to then but thought I might want to in the future. Jan just just knew he wasn’t ready to move in with me – he’s not the kind of person that thinks about the future. But that didn’t matter then. Mostly I was just jealous – why was it that he, who didn’tmind living in this building and had never even thought about moving out before, was going to be getting his own flat whereas I, who had been talking aboout wanting to move out for months and months, was going to be stuck here – possibly forever? No fair!

So fast-forward a few months. It’s April. He’s moved all his stuff out, the key to his old room has been returned, I’m forced to sleep in my own bed, cook in my own kitchen… and Jan has a flat mate. A flat mate who actually uses the flat. Meanwhile Jan doesn’t actually spend a night at his flat until May. So where did he sleep during that time? In my room of course. He might not have wanted to live with me officially, but he didn’t have any problem with sharing a bed with me every night. (He doesn’t mind me doing all his washing for him either, but that’s besides the point).

So now it’s August and here’s how things stand:
Jan is still living with Maik and is now starting to think that maybe he would have been better off living with me after all. Maybe. But he’s very cleverly set it up so that we won’t be moving in together for a very long time.
He told me at the weekend that he didn’t want to be moving around all the time, so he got a flat with the intention of staying in it until he finishes his phd… in four years time. Guess what? So did his flat mate. So that means Jan has no intention of moving out of his flat for the next four years and neither does Maik. Four years! I’ll be nearly 30 be then. (29 is nearly 30 no matter what way you look at it). I pointed out to Jan that he’d basically set things up so that there was no way we’d be moving in together at any point. He didn’t say anything to that, just looked at me. Then when I told him to stop looking at me like I’d slapped him round the face he replied “I’m looking at you like that because it’s true… and I feel bad.” So now I feel bad that he feels bad and… it’s all a big mess.

But all of that isn’t the point. That’s just background. The point is… four years. Four bloody years. That’s how long I’m going to have to wait for my boyfriend, unless he or Maik has a radical change of opinion in the meantime. And I refuse to spend that time here. I am not living in a student residence until I’m 29. No way, no how. Not happening.

So I’m moving out. At the next available opportunity. Which will be March.
Phew. I feel so much better now I’ve made that decision.