When it comes to the future, I see two streams of action: indecisiveness and investment.
But what do those terms mean, exactly? We are told to invest in our futures.
“Have a stake in your own lives!” guidance counselors shout at us. Investment is the way to assure us that there is something to meet us when we get there—the future, that is.
Invest time in a coffee-fetching part-time gig now and soon you’ll be the newly hired full-timer. Invest in your studies now and you’ll come out with a scholarship. Invest an hour each day to work out and you’ll live to be a hundred. It’s all that extra-mile stuff come back to haunt us.
Hell, invest in a pair of hundred-dollar pants now and you’ll be laughing as you rock those skinny jeans well into your 70s.
But that’s not how I feel most of the time. I’m one for the indecisiveness camp. You know the feeling.
I can’t secure a house to live in next year because I won’t commit to signing a year-long lease.
I can’t get the schnauzer puppy I’ve always wanted because I wouldn’t be able to travel if the opportunity comes up.
I don’t bother starting a garden because I’m almost positive those poor petunias wouldn’t follow me to my unorthodox future.
It seems to me like those who have the ability to turn indecisive situations into opportunities for investment have a one-up on the rest of us. I used to tease my boyfriend for buying expensive L.L. Bean jackets. He’d look at me and say, “Oh, you’ve got it wrong. It’s an investment! This is going to last me my whole life!”
Was he right to invest in every purchase he made? Is it wrong that every year I return to the Sally Ann to spend my hard-earned cash on new jackets and boots, knowing full well that both are already on their last leg? My in-the-moment action leaves me feeling as though I’ve found great bargains, but is that the case?
You can see it now, the two camps of indecisiveness and investment.
Perhaps investment is for the things we are the most sure about, the things we are the most passionate about. But it doesn’t always have to be the obvious stuff, like a job or a workout.
Invest time in long-distance relationships, not just the “special someones.” Invest in your grandparents, your brothers or sisters, old friends or teachers—call them. Give them those minutes in your day. Build those relationships now.
Even here at the *Gazette* we have a wavering vision of what our future will look like. It’s hard to invest money in a paper whose revenue depends on the ever-declining advertising climate.
So we invest in what we can—talent, passion and curiosity. We invest in the writers and journalists who make this paper bleed life out of every page.
It doesn’t come easy though. True investment is no cakewalk. But if you’re pitching your tent in the investment camp, you better make it last.