I plan. I plan my workouts a week in advance. I plan when I need to read what assignments and study for what tests for the week. I have daily schedules. I make lists. A list of to-dos. I keep a planner. I am organized. I am a planner.
So it is no surprise I like to plan even farther in the future than just a week. I have a tendency to stress about what my summer will look like…Will I be able to have a job between my month studying abroad? If not how will I make money? Will I be able to take summer classes? What research am I going to do before I graduate? Where can I find an internship? How am I going to be able to submit my thesis in the time I have left here at college?
Plan. Plan. Plan.
What will I even do with this major? Do I plan on going to graduate school? If not, then what? Where will I live? How will I make money?
All of these questions tick through my head and about a thousand possible situations and plans will go through my head in a given week about all of these life choices I will make within the next two years.
The thing is these questions create more stress and anxiety than they do problem solving with my method of planning…because honestly, planning isn’t everything.
Having a plan does not mean that there is greater success. Lately I feel like having a plan for a set future within the next 5 years at my age (early 20s) is useless. Yes, goals and ambitions are key to success, but looking back within the past year I realize just within that single year my life has taken a drastic turn and I am in unchartered and unplanned territory. I have gone through successes and have obtained great achievements, I have experienced so much joy, and I have gained an amazing community of friends that have shown me how to love well and hard. I have also experienced failure, rejection, condemnation from my closest of friends, lost friendships, and tough personal lessons that have challenged my character.
I have goals. I have ambitions. I have plans. Yes, they are there, but they are tentative. Everything is changing around me at such a fast pace. The people. The classes I am taking. The opportunities I am offered. The personal growth I am experiencing. All of these things have displayed immense change in a short period of time.
Who knows where I will be in the next five years. Married. Single. Having a bachelor’s degree or graduate degree. In school or out of school. Living on the east coast or out of the country. Who knows if I will be a school counselor or getting paid for professional research. I do not know.
What I do know is no matter where I am, what I am doing, and who I am with, I desire for a character that is full of grace, patience, and selfless love. I want to be someone who loves hard and loves well. I want to have a passionate heart with a gentle spirit. So instead of getting worked up, anxious, stressed about things in the future I cannot possibly know in this moment…I am choosing to focus on building my character TODAY, so I can be transformed into the person I need to be to be successful in the future, no matter where I am or what I am doing. So instead of getting stuck in the future with a bunch of ‘what-ifs’ and a thousand possible ways my life can turn out, I am choosing to be okay and at peace with not knowing while investing in building good character in the present time of NOW…TODAY.
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