It was just about exactly a year ago I moved away from Michigan, back to Wisconsin, and then fairly quickly to where I am now, Minnesota. Three different states in a matter of three months. I’ve confused a lot of people trying to tell them where I was, what I was doing, and where and why I am where I am now.
I think what I take away most over the course of a lot of change within the past year is that there is absolutely no exact plan for anything. You can try and plot out the way you want things to go and no matter what, nothing lines up exactly according to plan.
As someone who’s always looking for some “bigger and better” idea/plan (true life: I’m addicted to self-improvement books), as well as someone who’s a creature of routine and habit, the idea of allowing for flexibility has proven rather difficult to grasp. When I got the idea in my head that running more often automatically made you a better runner, it evolved in to “more is better”– and where did that land me? Overtrained and consumed by unhealthy habits. What do you mean I can’t always plot out how many miles I’m going to run? I have to learn to listen to my body? What a novel concept.
I’ve learned that same logic applies to jobs, love, overall happiness… to life. Goals are good, but they don’t need to be achieved with your head down and blinders on. Highs come with lows, your body and heart may not always mesh well– adjustments are going to need to be made.
There were times over the course of this past year I thought it sounded pretty nice to have some sort of “prescription” for life. But then, as I thought about that more, I realized how the best things to ever happen to me have come as a result of other plans falling through. And that usually means going against what I perceived as the “norm.” But, especially over the course of the last year, I’ve recognized that really, isn’t there a perpetual need to redefine what is normal anyways?
As I move forward into my next year of life as a Minnesotan, I am learning to live and be with plenty of uncertainty. I have goals, but they’re short-term, less rigid, open to being modified. After all, who could’ve predicted my first winter in Minnesota would be one of, if not the worst they’ve ever had? And just about the time I was ready to pack up and move away, the trees became luscious and green and now beautiful summer has about arrived. Such is life- not according to plan. I’m finding joy in being able to look around, try new things, and be patient with where I’m at, setting up small, achievable goals that leave me more content, and less stressed and overwhelmed. I hope I can inspire others to do the same more often. It’s great to finally take some time to smell the roses.
“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” -Joseph Campbell
“It is a mistake to look too far ahead. Only one link in the chain of destiny can be handled at a time.” – Winston Churchill
“Most plans are just inaccurate predictions.” –Ben Bayol
“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” -Lao Tzu
“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” -John Lennon