The No Plan Plan

Remember when you were in high school and you thought you had your whole life planned out? Maybe you didn’t exactly have a plan but you thought that upon graduation, you would either start working or pursue further education. At some point soon after that, you would have a real career- an adult job that allowed you to pay all of your own bills and eat cookies for breakfast. Once you figured out what your adult job was going to be, you would probably find a significant other. Hopefully, you would find “the one” and one day you two would get married. Soon after finding the person you would love for better or for worse, you would start a family and BINGO!- you won the life game.

I won’t be ignorant enough to assume that this was everyone’s personal goal or thought process (as it wasn’t exactly mine) but no matter where you went after high school, what pit-stops you made, what jobs paid your pizza bills, what your get rich/famous quick scheme was, there was likely some kind of pressure surrounding your existence telling you that you were doing it wrong at some point or another. You missed a step. You weren’t getting there quickly enough. You failed. You didn’t know where you were going or where you were supposed to be. If this was never the case for you, you may now be excused. If you’re like 99% of my friends, you might want to stick around.

I’ve always joked about the “no plan plan” being the best plan but I don’t think I’ve ever come up with anything more brilliant, although often challenging. It’s no secret that life has all sorts of crazy curveballs it can throw at you. Just when you think you know where you’re headed or where you want to be, something better comes up. Maybe something stops you right in your path. Something happens that sends your roller coaster down an entirely different track. Sometimes it’s thrilling. Sometimes it’s down right mortifying… but the fact of the matter is, you have no choice but to go with it. Embrace it. Stop comparing it to the ideas society has more or less shoved down our throats and most importantly- stop comparing your situation to that of those around you.

Looking at my very diverse group of friends, I don’t know two people in a similar situation. I have friends with unplanned children, friends who are still in a grad school program that they never intended to take so long, divorced friends, friends working minimum wage jobs because they really have no idea what they want to do, friends without jobs, friends who moved back into their parent’s homes, friends with failed businesses and crushed dreams, artist friends flying by the seats of their creativity, friends struggling to get by, friends who have their shit together, and friends with a white picket fence and the whole nine. I’m sure that you do too. While I can’t say how any of us ended up where we are, what I do know is that we have all struggled with accepting that maybe we are not where we thought we end up and maybe are never going to get there.

In my experience, this reality can be crippling and sometimes mortifying. To most onlookers, I imagine I have “the life”. While I wont bother to be ungrateful or say that my situation awful, guess what- I am nowhere near where I planned to be and sometimes, I’m not okay with that. I won’t get into details because this isn’t my personal sob story, journal or therapy session. What this is is me telling you that it’s all going to be okay.

If we’re ever going to overcome feelings of inadequacy, failure or maybe even the sting of uncertainty with a side of where do I go from here, we have to accept where we are, love what and who we have, and most importantly accept the process for what it is- life.

I am not a motivational speaker or any sort of authority figure, I am just a thoughtful person who is sick of seeing beautiful souls get down on themselves. This blog may not change your mind, your life, your shoes or your socks but if you are here reading, I hope it at least serves as a reminder that we are all different beings with different paths and no matter how hard it is at times, I hope you can learn to love yours. In sickness and in health. ‘Till death do you part.

- D

37 Comments

I so needed to hear this today. Very grateful. xoxoxo

This is so true about life. I wouldn’t trade my life but it definitely wasn’t what I planned. I’m thankful for the opportunities and different paths even if they were painful. Enjoy the ride!

Damn girl you have no idea how much your words mean to me right now!!! Bless you!

If I may quote the wonderful John Lennon- “life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” Wonderful post, this! :D

Just lost a job. This was more than timely. It’s necessary.

I’m pretty sure you were speaking directly to me. Why is it so much easier to be hard on ourselves and constantly compare our beginnings to other people’s middles than it is to accept that we are exactly where we are supposed to be? I’m 31 years old and this is something I’m quite sure I’ll never be able to accept. Life isn’t anything like I thought it would be. My hope is that it will one day be even better than I could ever imagine <3 A girl can dream, right?

The smartest thing to ever come out of @dallaslatos mouth is Mat’s dick. Get a job and stop bitching about how hard your life is.

Just stop subscribing already Kelly. Geesh.

Do you really find being so disrespectful and rude awarding? Please do us all a favor and keep your nasty, harsh comments to yourself.

I agree 100%.
The life we always had mapped out in our head, will very rarely come true for anyone. I’ve yet to meet someone in my life whos goals and ambitious dreams were achived in the exact way that they planned when they were naive enough to believe that life was going to give them the easy ticket.
Unfortunately, we have to fall down and pick ourselves up before we can start to realize that even though life has thrown us these obstacles, one day..somehow. .we will all achieve something in our life that was worth the struggle.

Lovely :)

You are wise beyond your years! As one or your fans who is much older I can say that you are right on! My life is nothing like I planned, but I am so blessed and lucky in so many ways. Even though it didn’t turn our like I might have liked there are so many people who would envy my life. It IS all about being grateful for what we have and learning to embrace the moment and be thankful and grateful.

Amen. It’s the sudden curves, blind alleys and unmapped roads that reveal our real lives and our real selves. No matter how carefully you map out your life plans, fate has a way of smacking you upside the head. The way you respond is what writes your story.

Seems as though I am not the only one who really needed to hear this today. Grateful for your words!! Thank you!

So true!!! I live my life thankful for every day! I know life could be better, but I have an amazing son and husband. Life is all about how you handle what’s given to you. I’m too blessed to be stressed :)
Love your blogs!! Your such a “normal” person living a life most of us don’t understand.

Kalimera sas eiste iperoxoi kai eumuirstoaxe pou iparxete kai mas dinete xara se tetoious kairous pou uparxei oikonomikh krish makari na ton kerdisw 8a xaroun kai 4 paidia an to doun giati den pisteuoun se diagwnismous

This blog post couldn’t havre comre at a better time! As I have currently been out of school for a year, wanting to pressure college but also wanting a year off. Since I’ve had my year off I and everyone around me feels its nessary to start school and get a job. While I have a great job opertunity, that job could fall through the cracks and I can be viewed as a failure.. Basically I really needed to read or hear something like this so thank you! :)-L

laura m, I too felt better when I read this blog. It’s been 1 year and 7 months(Dec. 2011) since I graduated MTSU with a Bachelor’s in Electronic Media Communications. I live in Nashville and have no clue what to do to find work that will allow me to escape the trap of 10.00/hr retail work. I have now been working as a cashier at Walmart for 3 years….

So well said & just what I needed to hear! Proud of you Dallas :) P.S. The haters make me sick…

Thanks, this was absolutely what I needed to read.

Thanks for sharing- and so appropriate for everyone- as for me -today marks David and myselfs 28th anniversary – this blog post fits so well for us today-

I got home from work yesterday anrotfeon and mowed the lawn and blew leaves before the rain came today. After I mowed my lawn, I went next door to my neighbors house and mowed his lawn and blew the leaves off his property. I slipped a pay it forward card under his door mat when I was finished. He came over and thanked me for what I’d done, and also asked me about pay it forward. I often do things for other people, but yesterday it felt a little different because it gave me the opportunity to tell him about paying it forward; also in hopes that it would have a chain reaction and many lives would be effected by such a positive and simple notion of paying it forward .

Like a lot of the comments below, this was definitely something that was good to hear right now for me!! Thanks for writing this one :)

Like many of the comments below, this post came at a time when I needed to hear it. Thanks for writing this post :)

How true this is !!! You are as smart as you are beautiful:)

I love, love, love this!!! I couldn’t have read this at a better time in my life….this is some for real stuff….love it!

Good for you and your dedication to writing about your experiences!!! It is amazing to think you could change the title of this to “So I married a military man! Behind a married military man is a woman who didn’t know what she was getting herself into”. I have been in the Navy for 20 years now and I can tell you that my wife is a trooper! She has been the anchor of our home, through the eight moves (& counting) and lonely times while I was deployed. Let me just tell you, you have a very important job at home in encouraging your husband and being the stable force for children, if and when you decide to have them…money is a non-issue! I truly believe you can be a beacon of light to not only your family, but also to other wives, as you minister to their needs as well. Good job and best of luck to you! BTW, yes, I am a die hard Reds fan my whole life. Go Reds!!!

You are correct of course. but we all have an obligation you help those in hard times. I’ll quote from duck dynasty: Wise Man Si @WiseManSi :
Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

I’m going to tell you all the reasons I like this post. The best and worst plans in life are the “no plan pans”. I know first hand becoming a widow at 25. I have learned to love what I have had, hope for things to come and live in the moment. This post hits my heart. I love the positive vibes. Everyone needs them now and again.

Once again Mrs L, you hit me with your best shot. At 48 Ive struggled with where my life was, is and where its going.Two adult sons and now living in AZ taking care of my elderly parents. Feeling somewhat like a failure, no savings, no retirement, whats my passion, whats my purpose, blah blah effing blah. Seriously opening my eyes, I wouldnt change where I am right now at this moment. Every day I get to spend with my parents is such a blessing, we get to make more memories to go with the amazing memories we made during my childhood in San Diego. Watching the Indy 500, all the major golf tournaments and now heading into football season with my Dad is priceless. Mom and I get to hit a casino now and then, while trying to survive the heat we get to spend some of our time enjoying our DVR library of “Hoarders”. As always reading the comments by others inspires me yet humbles me. Mrs L, you’re an old soul, you make me laugh, you make me shake my head and you make me think. Thank you ! SD better treat the Latos’ right this week or I’m gonna crack some skulls.

Thank you for this. I’ll be 26 this month & I’m already going through a divorce. Sometimes life doesn’t seem fair, but there’s always sunshine at the end of the storm. Thank you for these very inspirational & positive words! Xoxo

Thanks Dallas, good summation……………..no one gets out of this alive, my moto, make something sweet and satisfying with the lemons and savor the wellness, happiness and joy when it comes around. Miss you girl!

Remember Gratitude Date: Mon, 29 Jul 2013 00:39:52 +0000 To: nursetiggeroo48@hotmail.com

Great blog, Dallas! We should all just go with it and be a little easier on ourselves. Our lives all work out the way they are supposed to and if something is meant to happen then it will. You are very smart to have realized this at such a young age. It took me turning 40 to get there…lol!

I know you posted this a long time ago but I am just reading it today. For some reason today is the first time I saw this section on the Reds site. I needed this. I am 55 years old and too often lately I ask myself why is my life like this? Why couldn’t it be… whatever?” Don’t get me wrong, I have had good and not-so-good in my life, some of which I planned but most of which I didn’t. Reading your blog today of all days really made me feel a lot better about my life now than I have in a while. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.

great post! thanks fo rthe reminder!

Reblogged this on Karen On and commented:
Dallas Latos, the wife of Cincinnati Reds pitcher Mat Latos (And one of my 3 MLB Wives You Should Be Following on Twitter from my article in The Hudsucker this past May), wrote this very wise blog a few months ago but I just stumbled upon it recently and wanted to share especially with Thanksgiving coming up.

It especially speaks to me, and friends have given me the same insight but sometimes I just needed to be reminded. I’m 25 with a college degree and a pretty damn good resume (IMO), but still living at home and constantly being rejected when trying to go for my dream job. People who know me well know that I have been tough on myself for not being where I’ve “planned” to be. I look too much at other family members, old classmates and colleagues, and my peers and all the awesome things they’ve accomplished and I just kill my soul when I beg the question “Why haven’t those things happened to me yet?” But in reality, there are other people who are in the same position I am, and perhaps others that aren’t so fortunate.

As much as I fall into my dark moments of self-doubt, I have to remember to keep going and in the meantime, be grateful for what I do have and enjoy this thrill ride called life. This is my path and even if society doesn’t think it’s acceptable, I have to accept it and I have to keep working hard to make good things happen. Maybe my life will go in a different direction from where I’ve been wanting it to go. Maybe I will make the decision to go to grad school. Maybe I will embark on a different career path. Maybe I will just go ahead and start my own company instead of trying to get hired somewhere. Maybe I will choose love. Maybe I will start a family. These are all things that I am unsure about and honestly, I’m terrified about them because my mind and heart has been so focused on meeting certain goals only. But if life were to throw me these curveballs sooner or later than my expectations, challenge accepted.

For both you and I: Don’t bring yourself down just because it seems like everyone else your age already has their Master’s degree, a cool job that pays six figures, and a happy long-term relationship. You’ll have that special something in your life too if you work hard for it, and it’s just a matter of time. It’s a depressing and sobering thought that nobody knows when their time on Earth will be up, but that’s why we need to stop driving ourselves insane with not fulfilling these “plans” and hating that we haven’t reached certain points and just take it day-by-day. Make the most out of what you have in the now and you’ll be rewarded.

Anyway, totally do read Dallas’ post. :)

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