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.