OPINION PIECE – By Jeff Barnes

“Where will you be in ten years from now?” “Where do you see yourself?” These questions are asked all the time in interviews, by friends and family and even work mates, and my honest answer still is, “I have no idea!”

It is not that I have no goals or a greater vision for what I want in my life, at least I do not think it is. It is deeper than that.

As I ponder these questions, I find myself reflecting on the last ten years of my life and for some strange reason a smile comes. I have pieces of paper, pages in books, reminders in drawings all stating the same repeated hopes and dreams.

“I will eat better, exercise more, manage my budget” and so on. Different years, different pages, same mindset and I guess, also the same results, and feels like I am not making progress at times.

But beyond the plans, through the twists and turns, some how here I am, doing something that I never had even considered, I am now a writer.

It is not a huge publication, and it is voluntary, but I get to do something that not only brings me joy to write, I get to share my experiences, no matter how small I feel they are.

My community has also grown in ten years. Community groups are amalgamating and working with common purpose, there is pride coming back to the place where my kids are growing up. Parades and festivals celebrating all of the positives of a thriving community whilst respecting and engaging in sharing the rich history.

Guess it just goes to show, that while it as happening in the now and it is tough, or not interesting or things are not changing as we expect them to, that is Okay.

We may feel like we are in a loop or holding pattern, but when we get to a place of reflection, a place where we can look openly at the past and appreciate the huge differences from where we were, we can see that “where we are in ten years” may guide us but by no means diminishes what we will become.

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