Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Life is What Happens While You're Busy Making Other Plans

I've spent my life making plans.

As a kid, I read every book I could get my hands on about dogs–– I planned to be a vet. When I was getting ready to start high school, I spent hours poring over all the electives, planning out the classes I would take for the next four years. When it came time to apply to college, I had a strict plan of where I would go and what I'd do when I got out of school–– where I'd live, where I'd go to grad school, how much money I'd be making.

Guess what? None of those plans happened.

I don't say that bitterly–– they didn't happen because for whatever reason, I chose to forge a different path than the one I'd initially planned. I made a new plan, and then another new plan, and then another. And deviating from "the plan" has brought me some of the best people and experiences of my life.

When you're young, people love to ask what your plan is. As someone who's just finishing up my Bachelor's degree now, I can't tell you how many times in recent months I've been asked what my plans are for post-grad. We're taught to have all of our ducks in a row, to always know what's next.

Well, this is me officially throwing plan-making out the window.

I'm not saying I'm going to totally fly by the seat of my pants in life or anything–– I like to think enough ahead to know I'll make rent, thank you very much. But I think there's a difference between having a plan and having goals, and goals are something I have plenty of. Goals give you focus, and they give you an outlet for your passions. All too often, plans are the little things that just hinder growth–– you're so worried about sticking to the prescribed plan that you miss amazing opportunities that lead you away from the rigid path.

So why spend my life making a plan just to change it? At least while I'm young, why not just do the things that make me happy and see where that takes me? It may get me a side-eye from a relative at my college graduation party to say I'm not entirely sure where I see myself in five years, but hell. If you asked me five years ago what I thought my life would be like now, it would probably be a very different picture.

So my plan, for the moment, is to be 22 and to be happy. It's going pretty well so far.

1 comment:

  1. I have been feeling the exact same way recently. I'm so type-A that I can't even handle it sometimes can't even see the forest for the trees (a favorite saying of my mom). This summer I've been a lot less like that, aside from making sure I'm paying bills on time and scheduled for work on time, etc. But I'm starting to be more open about my life! I'm studying abroad in France for four months this fall, and my calendar is basically blank from September through December and it's terrifying but also incredibly liberating. I can be whoever I want to be!
    Thank you for sharing!