"What do you see yourself doing in ten years?" Ed asked me. We were sitting at a restaurant table overlooking the Columbia River at sunset, watching sailboats tack back and forth. Ed is a jovial and gregarious man--a former high school principal working as a consultant for us as we put our virtual schools together in the Pacific Northwest. He is a Friend To All in southern Washington, and he knows to start a converstaion when a deathly pause has settled in.
"Ten years?" I said. "I have no idea." And it was true. I can imagine five years out, maybe. But ten?
Ten years ago, could I have imagined where I am now? Not even close. Ten years ago, I was living in Brooklyn, married but childless, with a withering theatre company and a brainless but pleasant-enough secretarial job. I had left teaching behind three years earlier to focus on theatre, and now that theatre was drying up--or our little company, at any rate, I had no idea what the next step should be. Could I ever have imagined myself with living in Arizona, raising two boys, working in the for-profit education sphere--hanging out with superintendents, writing curriculum, building new schools? No frigging way.
Ten years from now? When I am fifty-five years old? Good God--I can barely imagine next week.