Point/Counterpoint: My Future



A world of possibilities or a world of responsibilities? Here we have two sides of the same coin weigh in—Young Sara will be taking the side of the road most traveled (she’s a dreamer with a backup plan), while Old Sara is a bit more…scattered (but she’s still practical and responsible, ok?). Here we have the great debate over what the hell I should do with my life.


Sara Roan, age 11

Longmeadow, MA

My future is looking bright. I get really good grades and I have this feeling that I’m just a little bit more special than most people, so everything should work out pretty well.

One of my main goals is to get a nice singing voice. Mine is a bit flat right now, but I think that if I just keep making up songs about the objects around me it will work itself out. That way all the career options I like will be open to me: actress, teacher, and singer. Actress and singer are pretty similar in that they both require a lot of talent. The plus side is that they bring you a lot of attention—if you get famous, then everyone knows how special you are. Plus your job is basically playing around. Your work is to have fun.

I’d say it’s much more likely that I’ll become a teacher, which is fine with me. You get to tell the kids what to do AND use the teachers’ lounge. I think they have coffee and the really nice scissors in there. You know, the heavy, metal ones with the black handle. Plus, you get summers off, so you can go to the pool and eat ice cream and not go to an office.

Regardless of what job I choose, I want to go to a good college with a big, green lawn and people who talk about important things: politics and literature. Then, I’ll get a modestly decorated apartment in New York City. In the mornings I’ll sit at the breakfast table wearing my boyfriend or husband’s work shirt while I read the newspaper and drink coffee. And wear glasses—I’ll definitely wear glasses by then. Square, black frames.

Yeah, I guess if I’m being honest all I want from my future is to be able to wear a button-up shirt and glasses and read the paper while drinking coffee in a bright, fresh apartment. That, and an unlimited supply of yogurt and pudding, would make me very happy.

First though, I’d like braces and freckles and to get my period. That last one means that I’ll also get boobs, which I’ll need to fill-out that button-up.


Sara Roan, age 27

Brooklyn, NY

Oh man, the future. Mine is in flux right now. I had a full-time job at a literary agency that enabled me to buy venti coffees at Starbucks every day. Then the daily blahs got to me and I decided that, since I’m almost thirty, I should really take control of my life and find something that makes me actually happy. So I quit and now I’m a dog walker. I’m not sure what I want to do for work after this, but hopefully I’ll figure it out soon.

My dream is to have a good singing voice, but I never learned good technique so I sing from my throat. It’s my Achilles heel. I also can’t play an instrument, so I guess starting a band is out.

What I really want is to be able to wear a kaftan/muumuu at all times, drink coffee, write when the notion moves me, and read Martha Stewart Living magazine. My grandmother gifted me a subscription to MSL when I moved to Brooklyn seven years ago. I guess she decided that if I was going to live in the big city, I should learn how to keep house. Little did she know that, as a temporary college dropout, I was really entering into a phase where I would live like a semi-bum for a while. Regardless, the pictures of really good food and flower arrangements in MSL have gotten me through some tough times over the years. They’re so pleasing to the eyes.

But I’m straying from the point. The point is, I would like to figure out a job I can have that gives me enough time to write more debates with myself and fake encyclopedias. That job should also be low-pressure and low-responsibility so that I can be in the right brain space when I get home from it to write said debates and encyclopedias. Also, it should require little interaction with other people since they can be rather annoying. You’re probably thinking that dog walking fills all of those requirements, but you’re wrong. Dogs can be assholes too.

Perhaps I spent too much time when I was younger thinking about the teachers’ lounge and sipping coffee in a man’s shirt, and not enough time figuring out the building blocks to a career…

Someone bring me a kaftan, I’m going to have to lounge and think about this.