The Plan

I’m a planner.

I grew up taking cross-country road trips with a father who had every minute of our drive planned. He ordered TripTiks from AAA six months in advance of a vacation and kept them in a mini cooler (not chilled, just a good container) directly behind the passenger’s seat of our purple Ford Windstar. My mother reviewed the route and itinerary the evening before the next leg of the drive so she could appropriately navigate. There were no unplanned meals, bathroom breaks or souvenir stops.

My job is to plan. Big things, little things, black and white things. I plan them all. I’m good at it. I can sort chaos and prioritize things like few others.

But then there’s my personal life. I had a plan for it once. That didn’t work out, so I planned it again, and again… and again. It has never gone according to those plans.

Here was the plan after high school: College -> Fantastic Job -> Marriage -> House -> Grad School -> Better Job -> Baby -> New House -> Baby -> Much Better Job -> Second House -> Retirement -> Death

But in reality, it has gone something like this: College -> Dropout -> Baby -> College -> Marriage -> Job -> Better Job -> Divorce -> House -> Better Job -> Now what the fuck happens?!?

During each of those stages I re-planned the plan several times. After re-planning so many times I realized that life gets pissed at me when I try to plan it. Life is an independent woman and she DOES NOT want me to tell her what to do. It just happens to us. People die, jobs are lost, babies are born, natural disasters happen, cars are smashed, amazing humans come into our lives and leave.

I sort of can’t imagine the person I’d be if things had gone according to the original plan, but I don’t think I’d like her very much. And I’m fairly certain I’d be bored out of my mind.

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