With my fast approaching birthday I've been retrospective about the past years and also about the plans I made for myself as kid. It feels odd to say kid because in my head I don't feel that fast approaching thirty, but nevertheless at the age of eighteen I now realize I was in fact, a kid.
At eighteen I was completely immersed in a four year tumultuous relationship, it was that crazy all engulfing young love that takes us and drags us into the current to be lost in hormones and promises of lasting forever. My plan at that age was to go to college, then to grad school, then apply to the FBI where I would be a criminal profiler, but I would write on the side. Before that relationship ended (one year later) I had written a story for him of how (premonition?) we would break up, but find each other ten years later (because true love is forever) where I described myself as an Adderall popping grad student finishing my masters in clinical psychology. It's been more than ten years and we did not look for each other. I am in grad school, but not for psychology, and I am not on Adderall.
Then I thought back to five years ago and I remembered that I was completely engulfed in work. It was my hearts wish to be a buyer for Nordstrom. The job seemed completely glamorous. The idea of traveling and purchasing next seasons fashions seduced me. I was a slave to Dior, Prada, Gucci, and any other brand that the company had to offer. I was a slave. Where had psychology gone? Out the window because I realized (not really) that when you adhere so strictly to a plan you can miss opportunities. On lunch breaks I would scribble in my journal, story ideas, thoughts, vents, dreams, but I wrote.
Then I thought back to two years ago. I was no longer seduced by Nordstrom. Fashion and shopping were my salvation from the constant 60+ hour weeks. I no longer knew what I was doing there and I viewed each new employee as a pain in the ass I would have to train. Still I smiled and nodded and feigned enthusiasm. What was I going to do? I had spent 3 years selling, training, planning, to be in a glamorous position that had now lost its glimmer. Psychology seemed so far away from me now. But writing, writing was something I had always done, so once again I planned. Planned to move to somewhere I had never been, as long as it was somewhere new, be a writer, and pursue my masters. I realize, now lucky for me, that I voiced this plan to the wrong person and it began my spiral toward realizing how unhappy I had become, quitting my job without any thought and packing my stuff to drive ten hours.
Now a little more than a year ago, I came home (something I had steadfastly refused to do) without certainty of what the hell I was going to do. I came with my fashion, my furniture, and a journal. A journal that had always been a staple in all of these plans, and I waited on the verdict of whether I came home to be a grad student for Creative Writing or a waitress. Suddenly the lack of thought caused me complete anxiety and I no longer viewed myself as spontaneous but as stupid. How could I have quit a career, left a boyfriend, friends who had become my family, to come home without any certainty to my future. WHAT HAPPENED TO PLANNING??
Now, I am home, trying my hand at this writer thing and I'm happy. Who would have thought? Am I good? I think, I hope. So, now more than ever as I approach this age that everyone assures me is the best decade, I realize that planning really doesn't work. There are moments when I catch myself trying to plan, trying to figure out what the hell I'm going to do. Then I have to stop reflect and remind myself that planning is like putting up blinders at times. Almost every life milestone I have tried to plan has fallen through and taken me on a different path. Would I change any of these experiences? No, without them I would not have come to these conclusions. Will things change? Most certainly. Five years from now will I read this and think I'm full of shit? Probably, but for now these are my thoughts, and I rather enjoy them. So, lets see what these thirties bring and where I end up. Worrying so much about tomorrow wastes today, and I don't want to waste anymore todays.