Lately this has been the most awful question people ask me, and to be honest it’s kind of a terrible question. Why do we ALWAYS need to have a plan, and further more, when plans change why do we immediately need a new one?
I have had a plan since I was in the 8th grade. Get your Psychology degree. Graduate. Get your masters. Start a family. Do all the adult things. The weird thing about having a plan then, is no one tells you how life is going to take your plan, rip it into tiny little pieces, then you have to spend your time trying to tape it back together and salvage what was once an idyllic vision of how life is supposed to be. I am about to turn 25. I am not where I thought I would be at 25. I can look at that in a negative way or I can look at it in scenic detour kind of way. When I graduated high school and turning 18, I was the manager of a hair salon. No matter who you say that to will tell you it’s a lot for someone that age. Truth be told, it is. Especially when the job requires too much of you and turns you into someone you don’t want to me. I was at that job for 5 years of my life – withstanding bounced paychecks, awful management politics, and taking blame for things that I was never responsible for or involved with. Skip ahead a few years, brushing past destructive relationships, unemployment (not including a horrible job in retail for 2.5 minutes), and the extraction of horribly toxic “friends”. Oh, I was also trying to complete my post secondary bachelors degree. This period was when I had a plan. Pure chaos.
I spent YEARS in post secondary education thinking I was going somewhere but was constantly being held back by administrative mistakes, unexpected unacceptance of credits, and course redundancies. I can not express how hard I tried to get my degree but at the end of December 2014, I came to the realization no matter how hard I tried and no matter how long it took, I would never be happy doing or finishing this degree. Myself and my family has sacrificed so much and in the end, it didn’t and wasn’t going to make me happy or leave me in a better position than I went in.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a knock on post secondary education. It’s one of the most important things you can do with your adult life. There is much to be said about striving for a wider understanding of the world around you, but don’t do something if it doesn’t make you happy. The same goes for work, relationships, and any other thing in your life. Yeah, sometimes we have to do some things that suck or do things that aren’t are favorite in order to achieve something greater. But if you think about the long term – will you still be doing this in a few years? Will you still be unhappy in a few years? Will you look back and be happy you did it? Are you doing this for the right reasons? Weigh your pros and cons. I honestly couldn’t see myself ever being happy continuing to fight for a degree when all I felt like I was doing was drowning and failing myself.
So. I withdrew. I thought about what my options were. I had more options than most. I have a steady job willing to give me more hours and opportunities to grow and I have ZERO debt. A decision I made when I went into post secondary was to go in and come out with no student debt. It is too expensive and stressful to get yourself into a hole you can’t afford to be in. I still believe in completing school without debt, that’s just a personal opinion; it’s not for everyone. I cut my losses and left school without a definite plan. I did research other degree options, landing on the idea of a business degree with a major in marketing. I needed a break. I wanted to move on with some other things in my life that I couldn’t do while I was in school. I moved in with my boyfriend. We got a cat together. I got a car. I started a hair extension business. I’m exploring other avenues of growth at my job.
So, what’s the plan? Who freaking knows. Why do I have to know? Why do I have to explain it to people? Why does everyone need to know? I don’t know what my plan is. I have a general idea and know what needs to be done for it but I’m not going to know any better tomorrow than I will today. I will have a plan at some point but the whole purpose of withdrawing was to take advantage of being in the moment. The more stress you incur the less you live in the moment, it’s simply a fact of life.
What do I want? I want to grow my at home business. I want to grow the success of my YouTube channel. I want to grow my knowledge of skincare and cosmetics. I want to be a strong cruelty free advocate. I want to be better at appreciating others. I want to be able to see my hard work yield income and feel fulfilled by it. I want to re-learn how to take care of myself and remember to appreciate what I can do instead of seeing myself negatively. There is so much I want for myself in the present that I don’t need a definite plan for the future.
Yeah, I will go back to school. I am not someone who can lay idle and just stop expanding my knowledge – there are too many things in this world I want to know about and want to be good at. For now, I am ultimately plan-less and that’s ok. Baby steps. I’m just happy with moving day-to-day, which is something I have never done before in my life.