Wednesday, September 07, 2005

What do you want to be when you grow up?

So how's everyone doing on their Life Plan then? Oh come on, you know what I'm talking about. The list your guidance counsellor made you write when you started high school. Or the amended list you made when you started college. All the dreams you had, the plans you made... because, of course, it's a well known fact that we all know exactly how our lives will turn out, and what we want at age 13... or age 18... or, I'm beginning to think, ever!

For some reason I've been thinking about this stuff lately and although I can't remember precisely what was my list back then, I'm gonna have a go at checking things off it and, er, updating it slightly.

Well, maybe I should go back a little further - to see how it's all evolved - just for interest's sake.

Terri's Aspirations - Age 6
> Be a ballerina
> Marry a handsome prince
> Live next door to my best friend who coincidentally would have a baby at the same time I would so we could push our prams around the neighbourhood in springtime together

Terri's Aspirations - Age 13
> Be a ballet teacher
> Marry Rob Lowe
> Live next door to my best friend who coincidentally would have a baby at the same time I would so we could push our prams around the neighbourhood in springtime together

Terri's Aspirations - Age 18
> Be a high-flying businesswoman wearing tight pencil-skirt suits, taking charge of my own advertising company from the head of a large, polished boardroom table
> Marry a particular guy I knew at the time
> Move to Jo'burg so that I could be closer to my best friend
> By this stage I was re-considering the whole baby thing - it sounded a little painful!

And then came my 20's and it all went awry.
After dabbling in a variety of jobs for a good few years, I have now officially been an IT geek for around 7 years. No ballet shoes involved!

I also realised at some stage that I wanted either a husband, or a child, but not both. And lo and behold, just as I had given up on ever finding a man, and was looking around for donors so I could get cracking on the child thing, I met the man who is now my husband. Ten years on, and not an ounce of regret. Phew, that was a close one!

I don't wear skirts to work (not very practical for crawling under desks fixing PC's) and I detest meetings with a passion, so no boardrooms for me except under duress in extreme circumstances.

So, how am I doing on my checklist?
> No ballet of any sort (although I still have my last pair of pointe shoes tucked away in a box somewhere)
> I did marry my hero [insert "ugh" noises here :-)], but no babies thanks very much!
> Actually, I did live in Jo'burg for a short time and it was fantabulistic to be close to my friend for a while. Nowadays we're once again reduced to corresponding via letters (by now upgraded to email from snail-mail) and the odd phone call.

But as I grew up (I'm tempted to use the word 'older' but I still feel like a kid inside so I'm not ready for that just yet) a whole bunch of other goals popped into my list, although I never wrote them down. And this is where it gets interesting.

Terri's List Of Stuff To Do Before She Expires:
> Skydiving - (done - Grahamstown, circa 1996)
> Go to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower - (done - 2003)
> Go to Rome to see the Colosseum - (done - 2005)
> Go to Cyprus and other Greek islands - (done - 2004 & 2005)
> Go Hiking in the Tsitsikamma forest - (done, circa 1995)
> Go to the Rio Carnival - (hoping to go next year)
> Go see a F1 Grand Prix live - (done - Hockenheim 2002 & Silverstone 2003)
> See Mikael Baryshnikov dance on stage, in the flesh - (Sadly, it's too late for this one, but I did get to see the Bolshoi Ballet perform 'Swan Lake' once which was almost as good)
> Take ballroom dancing or Salsa classes - (gotta work on that one)
> Swim in the deep blue sea - (done, Santorini 2005)
> Write a novel - (sort of a work-in-progress)
> Learn to speak German

Actually, on the subject of languages, here's a little sidenote. I used to think I had an ear for languages. I still do, in a way, even though I've been extremely slack with the books & cd etc that I bought to help me learn German. But I seem to suffer from stagefright. It happened first in Germany a couple of years back. I'd brushed up on my touristy phrases but when I got there, I couldn't remember even ONE of them.

I thought it was a one-off thing. But then, after weeks of poring over a little phrase-book before going to Paris, the only French word I could get out when I was there was, "Merci".

Earlier this year I went to Brussells on a business trip (sounds important - it wasn't!) and I thought it would be a cinch. Flemish is SO similar to Afrikaans (which I DO speak) that when I accidentally stumbled across a Belgian website one day I was halfway down the page before I realised I was reading a different language. So great, I'll go to Brussells and be able to converse with my colleagues in Afrikaans, and we'll understand each other no problem, right? Well, not quite. Thank goodness they all speak English pretty well because while I was there I even forgot how to speak Afrikaans, which I've been able to speak since the age of about 7.

Like I said, it must be a form of stagefright, hehe.

Anyway, back to my list. I'm not going to put down everything because that would be - well, to be honest I'm bored of making a list now. But the point is, I have actually done a whole bunch of stuff on the list already and I gotta tell ya, I think that's really cool.

My quote in our end-of-school yearbook says something to the effect of, "I wanna leave school, have fun and be happy for the rest of my life."

I wrote that because I didn't know what else to write.

Amazingly, that's closer to how my life has actually worked out so far than any of the other lists I made.
Well, 2 out of 3 ain't bad.


Underachiever said...


Once again you have outdone yourself. This is some great postage. Quoting a good friend(you) "it fantabulistic!"

It's funny how life takes some funny turns, doesn't it?

Undr(more pensive now)

Ben O. said...

Add Las Vegas to your life list.

It is so totally weird - got to see it before ya die.

Nice list and congrats on checking almost all of them off.

We're anxiously awaiting that first novel. (Don't worry too much about that one - I've been writing my novel for years.)

Ben O.

Terri said...

Undr - Thanks ;-)
Ben - Of course!!! Las Vegas is actually one of the things on my list, I can't believe I left it off! I mean, where else can you see Pyramids and the Eiffel Tower in one view?

LiVEwiRe said...

It's funny how some things change (I no longer want to marry all of Duran Duran) yet some stay very much the same. For instance, at any given time my list includes 'try not to injure self in an unbelievably bizarre, clumsy moment'. I might take an hint from you and make a list of things I want to do. I'll also make sure I list the great ones I've done so I can get an idea of what my time here has been about. =) Hey! Since I'm in a manic phase I bet I could get, like, 17 done in the next three!

Terri said...

LW you GO girl! Channel that energy :-) Yes it's quite cool to remember stuff you wanted to do, and find out that you've actually achieved some of it.

ChittyChittyBangBang! said...

Now this was a great read. I actually finished a nice cuppa while doing this.
Now I am furiously thinking about my childhood and the things I wanted to do.
Mmmm... I remember wanting to be an astronaut at age 8. Oh, and there was the pornstar phase I went through at age 13.
Btw, I speak German.

LiVEwiRe said...

Ah yes... hence the Bangbang...Chitty! :)

Terri said...

Chitty the more I read the more intrigued I become... a German-speaking, head-banging wannabe pornstar, allegedly sporting a weedy tattoo indicating definite signs of hippie-dom. Definitely one-of-a-kind!
(LOL @ LiVEwiRe!)

ChittyChittyBangBang! said...

Ich habe Deutsch auf der Shule gelernt.

This whole word verification thing is nuts:
My word to post to your site: depbbs (is that Johnnie Depp sans the fame)
Oh, and this is what I had to typoe to post to LW's site: Hugrudh (apparently the twin brother of the big guy in Harry Potter?)

Terri said...

We could start a game... make up a definition of these imaginary words. Like Balderdash, only not.

BUDDESS said...

In that case I got a bad one guys. What can you make of bfxgqce? Sounds like a name for a rapper.

DelBoy said...

You've inspired me cuz. I'm going to make my list and see how much I've completed. Shy-diving has been on my list for ages, but I haven't got there yet...

DelBoy said...

I meant SKY-diving...

ChittyChittyBangBang! said...

lfgakq? A polite way of saying "kak" in Swedish.
bfxgqce? A word used to voice your dismay at price of petrol, used as follows:
"Another price increase? Why that is just bfxgqce!!"