I worked in recruitment for 10 years and the one question I never, ever asked my candidates was the stupidly inane “Where do you see yourself in 5 years”. I never, ever asked this because if I had asked myself that question at 23 I would never have been able to answer that at 28 I would be engaged, then pregnant, and then a single mother, that I would finally have my driver’s license and I would be working in recruitment and studying towards a Bcom.
Now I’m 40 and I can’t help but wonder how I’ve managed to waste 20 years of my life and that I have no idea where those years have gone and what I’ve accomplished.
Let’s go back to 2005.
You are not overweight
You weigh 58kg’s. You are thin, you are the right weight and you are incredibly sexy. In 2009 you will weigh 84kg’s, you will be pregnant and you will have an emergency caesarean section that will destroy your core strength.
Buy a bigger car
It’s 2007 and you can buy a sexy black Audi with full black leather interior or a small, cute but economical Nissan Micra. It’s big enough for you and Jade. You buy the Nissan Micra. 2 years later you have a second child and you’re in a lift club taking your eldest daughter and squishing three other children in the back to school. Buy the Audi. It’s black, it’s sexy and it’s bigger. You won’t be at the job you despise with every fibre of your soul for much longer so don’t worry about the mileage and petrol.
Don’t take your MIL on holiday to Durban
It’s 2008 and you’re taking a family holiday to Durban. You’ll get the bright idea to take your MIL on holiday with you. She lives in Cape Town, you never see her, it’ll be fun. WRONG. While she’s sober she’ll encourage you to fall pregnant to get her son to marry you. When she’s drunk she’ll be calling you all sorts of unmentionable names. “Teef” is the nicest word she’ll use. She’ll also criticise your cooking, eating sushi and drinking cocktails. Never mind 10 days of private beach, sun, sex, sand, bikini (yes you were thin enough to wear a bikini) and no work, she’ll still manage to cause an epic break-up of massive proportions between you and your partner. Oh, and you’ll come back from Durban PREGNANT.
Don’t settle for what you can get. Go for what you want. I’ll leave it that.
Leave that job
You hate that job. Leave it. You’re not a dog. You’ll be treated like one. You took the job because it was close to your grandmother and you were promised all sorts of things. Your grandmother died in 2004. One year after you started. Leave the damn job. You hate the traveling (53km’s to work one way), the salary sucks, your colleagues are mean girls who hate their husbands, you’re tired of hiring receptionists and you’ll have bronchitis for 3 months from the damp in your new offices. GET OUT. You’re worth more.
Take that job with the horrible boss
You will be offered a job in January 2005 at R25 000 a month as a team leader. It’s close to home, its guaranteed commission, and you’ll have admin back up. You’ll have a chance to interact, be more, learn more, and be part of a team. Oh, you’ll apparently have the worst boss ever but it’s an amazing opportunity. TAKE IT and make it work.
Get more tattoos
You’re still thin, still have a flat tummy, and are still gorgeously sexy. Have those tattoos. Don’t listen to your boss. She can’t fire you because you have tattoos. It’s not in your contract that you can’t have them. She’s an old–fashioned fucking dinosaur who still wears the same clothes 20 years later and lives in the dark ages. Have that back piece that Daniel wants to do. Have your arm tattooed, have your shoulders tattooed, and have your ankle tattooed. DO IT while you still have the money, one child and a permanent job.
Study, study, study
You will drop your studies because of work, another child, to start a business. Don’t do it. Do that digital marketing course. Take that Google Paid Media course. Finish your degree with a Marketing major. Take small, short courses all the time. Be constantly learning and educating yourself. By the time you want to study you will have run out of money and you’ll be too tired to study.
Get him to sign over custody
Jade’s Dad will disappear. You will throw him out of your lives. Yes, this WILL happen. Be proud of yourself for finally getting rid of him. However, get him to sign over full custody and guardianship before you do. The laws will change; you will not be able to get a passport for your daughter. She will be 15 and will still not have a passport and it will cost you R20 000 plus, a family advocate and court time. This will happen at the exact time you need a passport for her and won’t have the money.
Don’t start your own business
Don’t do it. Leave that crappy job paying that crappy salary that is not furthering your career. Build your career in recruitment. Find a company that is tech savvy that combines recruitment and social media and digital. Make the move. Just don’t start your own business. It will not be worth it. You will learn many lessons but it will drag you down, make you miserable, almost bankrupt your family, depress you, make you angry, upset, cry, irrational and turn you into an all-round unhappy bitch. Build a fabulous career with the help of someone else. Don’t sacrifice your savings, family, friends, and relationships on a business no-one believes in, not even your waste-of-time business coaches. You’re an INTJ personality. You are not meant to build a business on your own. Find a partner, do your research, do market research, but don’t do it on your own.
I’m writing this now so that at 45 I can look back and say WOW I went through a tough time and came out better on the other side. At 45 I want to have achieved the following:
I will be happy.
I’ll be driving my Audi.
I’ll be taking my family on holiday at least 4 times a year, of which one will be an overseas holiday.
I have my dream job and career
I’m financially stable again and I’ll have a dog. I won’t be the dog.
I will have lots more tattoos – this is my next one.
I will have studied and be certified in all things social media and digital.
Jade will have her passport, she’ll be 20, will have successfully matriculated, she will be happy and well adjusted, taken a gap year, traveled and explored the world like I never got to.
I have learnt that we can’t see into the future, we don’t know what the future holds and so it’s futile thinking and fretting and worrying over it (says me the worrier) and we definitely can’t go back in the past.