I used to be one of those girls that had a five-year plan, the location of my future house, and all the names of my one-day children lined up in birth order.
And then I decided to throw it all away.
Not because I didn’t think it was going to work out, but because deep down I was really hoping it wouldn’t.
To be honest, I think my obsession with planning every little detail of my life was starting to make me sick. Like literally sick. I wasn’t able to sleep at night, I began to break out in hives, and the anxiety I felt was overwhelming. There was so much pressure to be on (my) schedule, so if one little thing wasn’t going to work the way I originally had in mind, I spent the next two weeks reading countless blogs on advice about life. Which in reality isn’t much of a life now, is it? So even though I have a general idea about what I want my life to look like, I’ve decided to leave it up to fate. Because not having a clue is one of the best things that could happen to you.
Here are some reasons to stop freaking the f*** out about your life and wing it…
1. Having no plan makes you more susceptible to saying yes.
When you don’t have a timeline to squeeze into, it leaves a lot of space for things you actually want to do in your life. Imagine if someone walked up to you a year after graduating college and offered your dream job, but you had to turn it down because you took the first shitty job in the city you could find in order to have something under the occupation slot on your resume.
2. You aren’t as likely to be disappointed.
If you failed one test, got dumped by your boyfriend and haven’t gotten call back from a single company you applied to, it’s okay. Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be… so move on.
3. Discovering who you are becomes more important.
Honestly, at eighteen, nineteen, maybe twenty-two years old, you probably haven’t figured out exactly who you are yet. There is not enough time in those few years to have enough experiences to truly uncover the person you are bound to become. You are probably going to change a lot. When you wear cowgirl boots one day, look like Blair Waldorf the next, and by Sunday look like you’ve spent the weekend at Coachella, chances are you just can’t quiet feel out who it is you want to be. So take the time to do so.
4. Mr. Right isn’t always right.
When you don’t have an age you must be married by or a specific type of guy that is your “perfect type”, you may just meet the man you actually will marry one day. Trying to rush things or settle for a man (good or bad) that maybe isn’t the one will ultimately leave you unhappy, divorced, or heartbroken. If your relationship just isn’t working out, try something new! It’s a crazy thought, I know. To leave the man that looks like Channing Tatum and performs like Christian Grey in bed seems like the craziest thought. But if this said man doesn’t make you smile and wants something different in his life than you, it probably isn’t going to last forever.
5. There will always be planes.
Seriously…just take the backpacking trip through Europe. Explore the outback in Australia, fall in love in Paris, or rebuild a school in South America. Whatever you do, leave time in your life open to travel. See as much of the world as you can, because it’s completely worth it. If you can’t afford it now, but it was your plan to travel after college, just do it later. There will always be planes.
6. Pets are really darn cute.
After high school, my plan was to dorm at college, rent an apartment and then buy a house. Only one of those things happened. A lot of other reasons played a factor, but a big one for me were my dogs. Everyone told me not to adopt any animals until I settled down. Sure, I can’t just rent any apartment because of pet rules and no I can’t just up and leave when I want because I have two fur babies I love more than my life. It wasn’t my plan to adopt them, it just kind of happened that way. But without them, my life wouldn’t be the way it is now.
7. This moment will never happen again.
It sounds super cliché, but it’s true. Life moves incredibly fast. Every second you are getting older and each time the sun rises for a new day means you only get one chance. One chance to do what you love, make bad decisions, let go of guilt, eat a whole pizza, quit your job, move to a new city. This is your own life. Make sure you are doing what you want with it.
I have no plan.
But I am happier now than I ever have been. Maybe I’ll move to Portland this summer. On a whim I may decide to visit South Africa. I dropped out of college (not the plan) and I’m getting married this spring (also not in my original plan), but what can I do? I’m certainly going to toast too much wine to that. And the next day I’ll probably decide no more wine. And then I’ll go out with friends next weekend. We will see what happens.