There is one question, asked to me and my fellow students during my university days, that I will always remember. All students were asked this question during a job-application training session.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
The technically correct answer is obvious, even if you have no clue what you will be doing: "I will be working for your company and I will be managing a group of people after being promoted a couple of times". Or something similar. That is what companies want to hear from you. Most people answered the question similarly. Some were a bit more honest, but most of them did not even think twice about this question. They would be working in the Netherlands for some company related to ICT. I didn't know the answer to that question myself, but I was sure of one thing: I would definitely NOT be working in the Netherlands at some boring job at some boring IT company. I was proud of myself that I did not know the answer to that question. It was something that defined my personality. I went to Japan and had the best three years of my life. Moving away from the obvious path made me happier than I could ever imagine.
Right now, three years later, I still don't know the answer to the question. My life has not been boring. I have had a great three years here, both in the company and socially. I met interesting people, I grew a lot socially, I learned to trust people and to distrust people, and I learned to live for myself and make my own goals. Life goes on, and so do people. Friends finish their internship and go back home, and even long-time colleagues eventually move on to greener pastures. Everyone has a life of their own and goals of their own, and they move away from here to fulfill them and live out their life.
This morning I went to Yokohama to make the final steps to renew my Japanese visa for another three years. It's quite possible that I could still be here five years after I graduated. The answer to the question for me would have been: "still at my first job". Is that the answer to my question? I would not like it to be. I am still proud of myself for not knowing the answer to this question right now, but I fear that the answer to the question asked to me three years ago will not satisfy me. I think I can finally answer that question. I will not be here two years from now. Five years after my graduation I will be somewhere else again, with a new life, and a new answer to the question that people will undoubtedly be asking me again. Let's see what answer I can come up with in the future.
Proudly going where no sane man ever went before!