“The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.” - Sherlock Holmes

When we try to think about what our lives will be like in 5, 10 years from now, we tend to put ourselves in the best situations that we could possibly imagine. And why wouldn’t we? I mean, I’m sure that it varies from person to person – I know that it does – but all most of us want is to be doing okay and to be progressing in a manner that we see fit to our own selves and our own motives. Sometimes – most times – things just don’t go as planned, or as we saw it unfolding in our heads, and that’s all right. If you’re wise, you planned for the unplanned. You were aware of that wild card factor that plays into each and every one of our lives. If you did that, you can stay ahead of the curve.

So maybe something fell apart that you were working on. That’s okay, you just pick up the pieces and move forward; salvage what you got out of it, learn from it, and see how you can make it work for you in the long run. So maybe you’re first child is coming into the world about five years before you thought it would. Okay, surprise! You got an early gift from the universe! Early gifts are the shit! Especially one so precious and endearing as a little human that’s part you and part someone you love and admire. If you’re as lucky as we are, you’re both remarkably witty and wildly attractive and you just know that your child has no chance of being anything other than a superlative being.

There are small changes that we all go through over time, and there are big changes that we go through, and all of them will shape and mold you based on your decisions and your responses to situations laid out in front of you. We think forward and visualize what our lives will be like in 5, 10 years, and to get there, you have to be conscious of your moves day to day. You have to be able to keep that idea – that vision – right in front of you while managing the wild card when it’s played. To be completely honest, I didn’t think I’d be where I am at 26 when I was 16. I thought, there’s no way to get there, that’s near impossible. But with persistence, I have arrived at the door and the sense of accomplishment is overwhelming when I stop to take all of it in.

Very soon, I will be a published writer. I have received two Midsouth Emmy® nominations for a television show that I help produce. Along with an amazing collection of friends and family, I have made and screened two films a theatre for an audience that were left wanting more. I have found a girl, and a partner in life that is unmatched. She’s going to be a terrific mother, and to create life with her is unbelievably exciting and really, a privilege. 

So when you’re thinking about it all in the middle of the night; where you want to be in life a decade from know, maybe think about it in this sense…Where will you let life take you? Because life happens. But you can steer it toward that horizon – to that door in the distance. And when you get there, and that door finally opens, you’ll look back at the journey it took to get there and you’ll know that it all happened for a reason as you step through and on to the next playing field.    

Stay observant, 

- Jared C. Shumate