Some people have more definitive plans for their lives, a firm vision for where they want to eventually wind up. Others only know generalities, careers they'd like to pursue, whether they'd like to have children or not.
What do you think is the fundamental reason for this, why some people are driven and some aren't? Does it have to do with fore-planning, blind luck or a combination of both?
I used to imagine my ideal life would be spent living in Great Britain or Ireland, that I'd be a writer/novelist living in a cozy cottage with roses trailing around my front door. I'm not sure I'd be married or not. I never made it that far in my planning. But somehow I'd spend my life wrapped around a lot of solitary time, spent tapping away at a computer.
I ended up staying in the Chicago suburbs, getting married and having three children I stayed home with for twelve years of my life. To satisfy my literary cravings I read - a LOT - and participated in online book groups. I wrote a bit but not very much. Then I began blogging, rubbing elbows with lots of authors, agents, etc. I keep saying I'm "going to work on my" novel (I have several in progress) but usually put that off. Now I'm a professional reviewer, hardly dipping into my own work.
The "cottage" is a two-story colonial in the Chicago suburbs and the flowers a mostly lovely (if plants would stop dying!) garden. Solitude is all but nil but I've gone on retreats every now and then. Our house is located in a pretty quiet location, on half an acre. The major annoyance we face are cars whipping down our street and the noise of airplanes landing at the airport nearby.
In some ways I've realized parts of my dream, though that cottage in Britain/Ireland has yet to. Neither has the independent wealthy, which would be necessary to maintain an older house. In some ways I've gotten what I always wanted but not all.
Is that enough? That's what I always ask myself.