I hear sheets of water hit the side of my house in sudden waves, and then fade to soft clicks and thumps. I can’t wait to fall asleep. I love sleeping during a storm. Every once in awhile, lightning silently illuminates my window – thunder is the only thing I’m missing right now. I’m so happy this storm is hitting on a Saturday night. I’m turning my alarm off and letting the storm transport me to other eras, different places, as I fall asleep.
I just slipped between my cool sheets and piled my blankets over me, tucking myself soundly in bed with my MacBook and a glass of wine – something that i feel has become a bad habit of late (sleeping with both MacBook and wine). I remember the days when I would physically write in a journal before falling asleep at night. I don’t even remember the month of my last paper journal entry. I’ve been moving faster lately. I haven’t stopped to think or ask myself any important questions like “What are you doing?”
Part of me wants to scream – I’m doing, ok? Does it matter what? But the side of me that fell in love with Dr. Zhivago tonight answers back – yes, it matters. What you do matters. How you do it matters. Simply doing is not enough – you must be purposefully doing. But I don’t want to go there, not yet.
“Where are you going?” comes more naturally to me. I move from different points along the alphabet d-g-a-s-k-w-v-q-i-x-c-o-v-a…I will eventually hit every letter, but not in the order anyone is expecting. I can always see the end goal, the full alphabet, but I’m never quite sure which letter is going to come next. And frankly, I don’t really care. To me, that seems like one of life’s pesky little details. I think that’s why writing a Life Plan seemed like such a joke. How much of life can you plan anyway? And who is to say that your plans are going to work out?
People can get so wrapped around this idea of planning things that they either forget to go out and make them happen, get overwhelmed by the epic task of planning anything beyond “what should I buy at the grocery store today,” or they put so much into their perfect plan that they are unable to cope when something they couldn’t have planned for happens – so they crash.
I know there’s a beautiful balance between making plans and being adaptable. I don’t care to ever go there.
I tend to tip the scales towards epic adaptability – (don’t ask me to plan much more than a dinner party next week).
Part of me feels like I’ve always been this way. I tend to completely overestimate myself and my abilities. I tend to think I’m smarter, prettier, more charming and capable, and faster than I really am. Which really just means I’m always late and still surprised that I’m single.
Whatever percentage of nature made me this way, my life experiences have only reaffirmed it. I graduated from a college to which no one thought I’d gain admission in the first place. I came up with the idea to move to Mexico when I was 20 and work at an orphanage for a year and I made it happen. I made a decision to go to Puerto Rico for a flower festival and was at JFK airport with a ticket in my hand 7 hours later. I don’t just love jumping off the figurative cliffs, I live for it. I think that’s why I get so defensive when people ask me annoying questions like, “How.” If you want to do something, the how works itself out. You just have to be unstoppable and flexible. You just have to flow with it. And you’ll get there.
Another argument against planning is the lack of certainty in life. My dad died unexpectedly three years ago this month. He was 52. IRAs that keep my money until I’m 55? Hm. Not interested. OK that’s not totally true, I do believe in being responsible and keeping a safety net , but I also believe in living and enjoying what you have while you have it. While you’re alive. Instead of saving all of my money to go to Europe when I’m retired, I’d rather scrape together the trip right now, while I’m still young and beautiful and more likely to fall victim to the romance of it all. There are some things that are just better to do before you get “old enough to know better.” There are some mistakes that you can only reasonably make under the guise of youthful ignorance – I want to suck the marrow out of the bones of my youthful ignorance before I become too wise.
People call me a freaking hippie. They call me foolish. They call me a free spirit. They call me a flake. Some people call me Erin. Some people call me Maureen.
What they don’t see is that I can be incredibly grounded. When laden with heavy responsibilities, I can keep my wild adventures in my mind and be happy with it. That’s why I think falling wildly in love would be incredibly inconvenient at this point in my life (which only increases it’s chances of happening, thank you St. Murphy). I’m looking forward to my solo adventures. I’m so happy not having to take anyone’s opinion into consideration except my own. I know that I can function in a relationship, obviously being epically adaptable, I can go from wanting to live on a boat in the Florida Keys to wanting to stay at home and raise some kids without much effort, but still feel that I was made to be on my own. I was designed for it. And unless I find someone who can keep up with me, falling in love will only hurt my awesome “plans.”
But love is a part of life. You can’t plan for that shit. It just happens.
In the end, things always seem to work out. Granted, I might feel like some awesome navigator because I was meandering with neither destination nor deadline – but, I somehow found the place I wanted to go. The lack of focus in my trip is just another detail I won’t abide.