Monday, November 16, 2009

Flash Forward

In a recent conversation, I revealed that I can't imagine myself more than five or seven years into the future. This means that I cannot picture myself to older than 28. Or maybe 10 years in the future at the very most.

Last weekend Monika and I drove around the East Lansing area to look at apartments and houses for rent to live in when we're in medical school this time next year. We were trying to find a house for rent in Okemos. Having seen the ad online, it was in a neighborhood neither of us had been to so we didn't know what kind of houses were there.

We quickly learned that this was probably not a neighborhood that typically rents to poor students. It's a very nice upper middle-class neighborhood -- big houses, mature trees that hide each house from the next. I saw a middle-aged man riding his bike with (presumably) his son behind him on a little bicycle.

There, along the winding tree-lined road, I had a flash of a vision of myself far into the future: me in middle-age, living in a neighborhood with kids, maybe having kids of my own. It was scary. I don't think I'm ready to imagine a time when I'll have finished school, have a career, have an income, a 401K. It's overwhelming to even think about the trappings of middle-age and middle-class life.

I realized that at this point in my life, I actually want a sense of incompleteness. I want this life of a student, the lure of degrees yet to be completed, and the future left open.

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