These post-college years have not looked like what I anticipated. My plans for my future and God's plans haven't necessarily lined up in all aspects of my life. But, that's okay. He's continually showing me how His ways are better. I've accomplished so many things these past couple of years that would have been impossible had my own plans worked out.
In one of the facebook groups that I'm a part of, several of the participants started posting lists of goals under the hash tag #Next5. The idea is to write a list of what you wish to accomplish in the next five years of your life. Then, share it with the world. Kevin Buchanan made a video about the #Next5 Challenge.
I've never been one to create a five or ten year plan for my life before. But, there's a first time for everything. Here's what I hope to accomplish in the next five years of my life. I'm a few months away from turning 25, so I guess you could call this my list of things to do before I turn 30.
I tried to take a selfie with my list, but my selfie skills are seriously lacking. This is the best out of at least 10 or 15 takes...
Eventually, I just resorted to laying my list down and snapping a picture of it.
After four years of college, I was READY to be done. While my friends were busy taking the GRE and filling out grad school applications, I was busy filling out job applications. I wanted to be the one giving the homework instead of doing the homework. Now that I've been out of college for several years, I miss it. I miss the challenge. I think I'm ready now. I have a vision for what I want to do someday beyond the classroom. And, it's going to take a fair amount of extra schooling to make it happen. More about those plans in another post, though...
National Board Certification
I have one more year of teaching to complete until I can start the process of becoming a Nationally Board Certified Teacher. I remember watching my high school teachers go through this process while I was a student, and I'm excited for the opportunities for reflection and professional development it will provide. The thought of video-taping my teaching and reflecting on it terrifies me. But, that's a sign that it's something I need to do. I want to become a better, more effective educator. And, I think this is an important step on my journey to do just that. The extra stipend that comes with it will be nice as well. (Let's just hope Oklahoma keeps paying the stipend!)
Own My Own Home
I moved out of my parents' house at age 18 when I started college. My first two years of college were spent living in a dorm room. Next, came two years of living in an apartment. When I moved to Drumright, I rented a house. This will be my third year living in the same house. I think I'm finally at the point where I need to decide where I want to settle down and buy a house. I feel like it's silly to keep paying rent when I could be investing in something. In the town I live in, house payments are actually cheaper than rent. I have lots of decisions to make. But, I definitely want to own my own home in the near future.
Run a 5K
I'm not a runner. It doesn't come naturally to me, but I want to prove to myself that I can do it. I want to prove to my students that I can do it. This is about me making an effort to stay healthy and fit. This is about me proving to myself that I can do anything I set my mind to. This is about me stepping out of my comfort zone. It's time to stop making excuses and make this happen.
If I said I didn't want to get married, I would be lying. So far, God hasn't made this happen. Instead, he's been using this season of singleness to work on growing me as a person. He's teaching me how to communicate. Oh, how he's doing quite a job of that right now. This could be a blog post in itself. I've also had to learn how to go after what I want and not what I think that others would want me to do. I know marriage isn't easy. And, I know I will be better off for working on these things before entering into a relationship. Will marriage happen for me in the next 5 years? I don't know. Of all the things on this list, it's the one that is the least under my control. At least the type of God-honoring marriage I'm looking for is out of my control. I guess I could always find some random person on the street that would agree to marry me, but that's definitely NOT what I'm looking for! :)
The disclaimer at the bottom goes for the entire list. I truly have no way of knowing what challenges and triumphs the next five years of my life will bring. God is in control. And, the Bible tells me that his ways and thoughts are greater and higher than mine. I plan on working my hardest to make these goals into reality, but I am ultimately not in control.
What's your plan for the #Next5 years of your life?