The Day I Stopped Wanting Plan A
On a sunny Friday morning i stood in my kitchen sipping my tea and staring at the wall directly in front of me. The sound of the kettle startled me, breaking my concentration and turning me away from the wall. The wall, the one i passed before leaving my apartment, and the one that i had to look at when leaving my kitchen hung a carefully curated vision board. One one side of the board was a women wearing a beautiful white dress, samples of flower arrangements, and quotes about love. The other, destination spots that i had long dreamed of, Paris, London, Dubai. Sprinkled around were bible text, fit body inspiration of Jennifer lopez and Ashley Graham (curvy and healthy for the win), and enough motivational quotes to remind me to keep writing. My vision board was created months ago on a saturday night while watching my favorite Halloween movies (Ghostbusters anyone?). I spent hours picking the right pictures from pinterest, and even longer printing and cutting them out. To me it was worth it. It was worth the time, and effort put into something that would hopefully manifest my life back into my Plan A.
Fast forward to a new month and a new decade and the picture hung seems like someone else's plan. It's a strange feeling to wake up and suddenly want something different for yourself. Especially when you've held onto a belief, a dream, a desire for most of your life. I remember being twelve and completely enamored by Jane Austin's pride and prejudice. I remember thinking that if a boy couldn't challenge me the way Mr. Darcy challenged Elizabeth Bennet then they weren't worth my time (i apologize to all the boys i gave a hard time to from age 12-17). I remember being in highschool and not taking boys seriously, after all i had time why would i need to consider anything as permanent. I was carefree, ambitious and naive to what was ahead. And at that time there were no dreams of a white dress, flower arrangements or a dashing groom. I wanted to explore the world, tap into my wild side, i wanted to travel and as most seventeen year olds i wanted to get out of my parents house and be independent. Now as i inch deeper into my thirties i miss that girl. I miss her outlook on life and the lack of worry about anything. Life has added too many responsibilities, aging parents, frequent wedding invitations, and a society obsessed with dating. Even if i wanted that part of me back, that girl would never survive today's world.
That seventeen year old girl resurfaces from time to time. Her voice loud with snarky remarks about love and romance, and every now and again she questions me about what i've become. Too many therapy sessions about hopes and dreams, too many sob sessions alone in my apartment, and the recent addition of resentment and comparison has made me unrecognizable. My grasp on plan A is loosening. One by one my fingers are letting go of what i've learned to hold onto so tightly. Looking at my vision board, that life that i so carefully fashioned is the ideal that causes me more distress than inspiration. It doesn't afford grace and flexibility it demands, it compares and it points a finger of disappointment.
You can not live a plan A life if your already living in plan b or c, time doesn't allow us to go backwards and make changes. My life stop looking like the life i thought it was meant to be a long time ago. Those dreams of independence, travel and freedom that my seventeen year old self was wise enough to know would be great for me is where i am today. Somewhere along the way those dreams, that connection with myself got lost amongst the voices of other people's ideas for me, and other people's dreams and projected insecurities that propelled me into ideas about myself that was never mine to adapt. It's too easy to turn dreams into obsessions, and obsessions into anxiety, and anxiety into reckless decision making. Every twist and turn in my journey, being recently wrecked with disappointment, staring my tear stained cheeks in the mirror far more frequently than i care to admit, has pushed me to abandon it all and finally, finally settle without fear.
Settling without fear looks alot like a plan z to me. It the last on the line, its the one you didnt think youd even see the side of, but it ultimately becomes the best damn thing ever. Its utter freedom and a breathe of fresh country air. Its alot less sleepless nights of anxiety, a lot less what if's, and alot more sprawling on a queen size bed fully ready for the next day. It's a lot less self induced disappointments from too high expectations. Its alot less anger and frustration with a God who never meant for you to be in such anguish over something that was not meant to take his place. Its peace, grace, prolonged joy, and totally adaptable no matter the season in life. Its a life where good enough is the outcome searched for, flexible and forgiving, it recognizes that grace is needed on each step taken, its non confining no matter the outcome.