If 12-year-old me could see 22-year-old me, I am pretty sure she would be utterly disappointed.
I have always been one for making plans, always knowing what’s next and having it all mapped out.
I imagined myself living a successful life; finishing school on time, landing the perfect job, getting married, starting a family and living comfortably, all at a young age. I set dates, gave myself a five-year plan by which to live and thought it would stick.
But, life doesn’t work how 12-year-old me thought it would.
The unexpected has happened a lot and I’ve had to deal with way more than I imagined. Life dealt me cards I was not prepared to accept. I have done things, been places and felt feelings I never thought I would.
The plan changed, and so have I.
I wanted a perfect ending. I wanted my beginning, middle and end to go exactly as I planned in my head.
But, as my life progressed and things got real, I learned there is no such thing as a clear beginning and end. The middle is just a vast, dark, unpredictable blur.
Although, at times, I feel lost, I learned not having a plan is the best plan of all.
It is okay not to know what the hell you’re doing, what you want or where to go next. But, I refuse to make another plan or set up anymore timelines. I refuse to set myself up for disappointment again.
I do not know where I will be in a year, and I am fine with that.
I have learned to appreciate all the uncertainties in life. I am enjoying living in the now instead of living according to deadlines. I am constantly learning more about life, myself and what I want.
Life isn’t about knowing anything for sure. It’s about change, taking what you have and where you are and making the best of it, without knowing what will happen next.
It feels amazing to have escaped the clutches of “the plan” and the imprisonment of timelines, deadlines and the fear of falling behind. My main goal in life is to obtain happiness, to live in bliss and be loved.
But, there isn’t a road map to get to that place; we all take different paths, our own paths. We’ll all get there at different times, by different means.
You might have “failed” at making the plan happen. You might not be exactly where you thought you would be by now. You might not even be the same person you thought you would be.
But, all that's happened — the good, the bad and the ugly — has made you who you are. Take those experiences, learn from them and move on.
The more plans you make, the greater risk you take to fail. Instead, take life day by day and figure out who you are and want you want as you go.
People are constantly changing, so living by a plan doesn’t seem fitting.
Without a plan, I am happy, scared and nervous. I have no idea what will happen next. It’s exciting, kind of like living in a movie and feeling that the good part is about to start.
Remember, it is okay to admit you don’t know what you are doing because it opens doors for adventure, soul searching and working to get to the place that makes you happy.
Take chances; say yes to things that scare you and change. You aren’t the 12-year-old sitting in the front of class, playing by the rules anymore.