Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Breaking the Plan

Eight months ago tomorrow, I officially deviated from the plan...

Lately, I've been blog surfing and I've come across some pretty impressive advice blogs for 20 somethings by 20 somethings. My favorites so far: Unlost and Enter: Adulthood

These blog tales by other “people in my boat” all seem to echo the same message: our generation is different! We are taking longer to figure all of this out: life, love, money, careers vs. dream jobs, and that's ok because we are all in this together. It's exhilarating and terrifying! An entire generation of young adults who are not quite sure what's next? We could do anything and anything could mean completely changing the way our society views the world or it could mean the absence of all action resulting in a major crash and burn. I'm voting option 1.

But unlike my blog writing peers, I am not an expert on finding my way through this sea of indefinite possibilities. My story is one of a different breed and I wonder now if my tale puts me in the minority category of Generation Y that I never realized I had belonged to before. 

For the better part of my grad and post-grad life, I've had direction and a timeline and I was well on my way to meeting all of my “before I turn 30” goals. I stuck to my plan like rubber cement sticks to a 4th graders nose as he tries to smell it during art class. And then it happened. I hit a fork in my road and I hadn’t seen it coming: the love of my life showed up at the “wrong time.” My oh-so carefully crafted plan didn’t account for this. I suddenly found that my entire life outline had been rendered obsolete because I knew that there wasn’t any goal I could accomplish that would make me as happy as he does. 

Then it hit me: how could I truly enjoy living life if I only ‘stick to the plan’?

This realization crashed over me like a title wave eight months ago tomorrow when I officially scrapped my timeline by answering yes to the question "Will you be my girlfriend?" Silly, cheesy, romantic, whatever you want to call it, it happened. 

And now? Well now I'm lost just like everyone else in Generation Y. But instead of trying to write a new plan, I'm spending this year listening to me and learning to love myself by doing all the things I never thought I could because my plan tunnel vision had me blinded. 

Mix one cup ambitious career goals, two tablespoons strong idealism, three cups of love (one for my boyfriend, one for my Princess Cat and one for my menace of a dog) and a dash of military life. Stir until they make a smooth batter and you will have accomplished what I have been trying to do for almost a year.

Today's lesson: As the bloggers of my generation all chant in unison, it’s ok to be lost as long as you don’t stop searching for your way. I haven’t and I won’t and you shouldn't either.

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