I don’t know why I’ve been in such a hurry for my career, for my life. I think that when I put everything into perspective, I’ve been doing just fine, and that what may seem slow to me is really just life catching up with the pace I’ve set for myself.
It seems to me that for our whole lives, we’re put on the fast track – you get a brief break when you’re born, but you don’t get to appreciate it because 1) you’re not really fully conscious of the world and 2) your daily routine consists of eating and sleeping…
Let’s take a moment to relish that thought.
Then you’re moving full steam ahead — forced into schedules filled with play dates and activities and 12 years of school before you’re encouraged instructed pressured into making a decision: jump into a career or go to college for more schooling.
So your life is moving forward, with expectations and goals and plans, and when an unexpected lull like this occurs, you somehow think that you’ve fallen behind, that you’re failing. And you’re left wandering around thinking, what the hell do I do next?
Make a plan.
For me, it’s the best answer. I’m a planner, I always have been, which is probably why this situation has been so difficult for me.
I’ve tried throwing my hands up in the air and exclaiming, that’s it! No more planning; things will happen when they happen. But that theory lasted about two days before I looked for another course of action.
Other times, I’ve made plans only to have them change in ways I never expected. This I can handle. The wandering, the wondering, I cannot.
There are so many changes coming up in the next few months – positive, exciting changes, but additional stressors nonetheless. My lease is up, I might be going to France for a month, and I want to move to another city so that I can begin a career. While I’m grateful to have these opportunities, they have presented me with an array of questions that I just don’t know how to answer at the moment: Do I move now? Do I save money and then move? Do I settle down where I am and forget about moving? Do I forget about my dream entirely and forge another path for myself?
I’m having a really difficult time accepting that the last two are even options, but there they are, questions that I have to ask myself, regardless. Things that I have to plan for.
I was talking with my parents’ neighbor yesterday. He asked me what I was up to and I explained that I was trying to figure out what to do and where to move. His face kind of lit up with enthusiasm for me as he asked where I was planning on moving. I told him I was thinking of Boston or New York – I wasn’t sure which city yet, but I needed to go to one of them for a career in publishing.
“Do you have friends in New York?” he asked.
“How about in Boston?”
“Wow.” He sounded surprised, and truly, when I really step back and think about it, so am I. “You’re going to love it up there.”
Hopefully, once I figure out where “there” is. He continued to ask me what I planned on doing in the meantime, and I explained that I may have the opportunity to go to France.
“Do you have any friends over there?”
He grinned, and I laughed at how ludicrous and exciting it all sounded. But this is the best way to do it, he said – move and travel and explore your options now, before you become attached and tied down and have a family.
His wife came out then to tell him that their steaks were done cooking, and he wished me luck and said that he needed to get back “to do the family thing.” But as he began to cross the yard towards his house, he said that if he could do it all over, he would. Those words resonated with me more than anything else.
It has taken me a long time to get to this point – to the point where I’m ready to move forward with my dreams. I’ve said time and time again that I don’t want to have any regrets, and I’m afraid that if I give up on my dream, that’s exactly what will happen. Do I want a family? Do I want to be settled? Absolutely. But I’m young, I’m single, and as much as I’d like to imagine it, I’m really nowhere near the point in my life where I actually want to be settled.
All this time I’ve been rushing to get my life started, never fully realizing that I’m right in the midst of it. I might not have achieved my success yet, I might not be where, years ago, I had imagined I would be, but I’m headed there. Slowly, but surely, I’m getting somewhere.
And that makes it all worth it.
Coming Soon: Make A New Plan, Stan