Well, the summer schedule is finally here! This means I'm down to working a measly 35 hours a week and have time to breathe and enjoy my beautiful life again. I haven't had it this easy since 2007... and guess what? It feels real damn good. And the best part is... I'll be continuing this lifestyle for the next (at least) 14 months. YAHOO!
With extra time on my hands comes forced time at the gym (and believe me it IS 100% forced). It's forced to the point of me whining the whole way there, sitting in the parking lot for ten minutes debating whether or not I should go home, and then bitching in my head for the first 45 minutes until I finally find my groove. Trust me, I'd rather be on the couch watching the bachelorette and eating ice cream too. Actually... who am I kidding? I still do that. Unfortunately for me (and maybe you), gym time allows me to totally disconnect from the world and get stuck in my crazy head for awhile. This leads to way too much thinking and thus more blogs. Sorry :)!
Today I had a few mini revelations. They are much less drastic than the many others I've had lately, but definitely important to note. Ready?!?!
1. Today I learned that it's impossible to be in a bad mood so long as you have one of these things around: children, puppies, and/or good friends. Good beer NEVER hurts either, of course. Some people don't believe in universal truths, but this is THE exception. This year hasn't been the easiest, which isn't saying much considering I've had such a wonderful and blessed life. But if I had to rank the best years of my life, this wouldn't be near the top. I'm not giving up hope yet though... I am moving to a beautiful house in Australia, after all. Never once though, have I ever been depressed while in the presence of the aforementioned things. So what am I saying exactly? If you're sad, get your ass to the humane society and pet some puppies. You'll feel infinitely better in seconds :).
Another thing I learned today was to never EVER pass up a good opportunity, especially if you only stray away because it scares the living hell out of you. Today, I met an elderly man who told me all about his chance to move to Australia for work after graduate school. He turned it down only because it was too far out of his comfort zone. He also said that he's regretted it every day since. I felt so much sadness for him just knowing that he'll probably never get the chance to make it there now. What did I learn though? That I never want this same feeling for myself someday. After all, what's the absolute worst thing that could happen to me? I hate the beautiful men with accents and living 5 minutes from the ocean? So what. Then I book a ticket home and do everything I originally planned on doing this year. At least I know I'll never have the chance to regret not going.
Most importantly, I realized that the best plan is really to have no plan at all. Find the courage to burn the 5 year plan that is consuming your life and learn to "roll with the punches"! (This is coming from the person who spent her lunch date with a friend pencilling in every plan for the summer, by the way). But just hear me out. First of all, you're not guaranteed to even be around in 5 years. I hope you are, but it's not a given. Second of all, I've had 5 year plans, and guess what? I'm not doing many of the things I said I'd be doing! At 18, my 5 year plan was to be graduated from college, married, and starting a family. Say WHAT? who the hell was I? At 22, after becoming a little more realistic and grounded, my 5 year plan was to graduate college, get my masters, land a great paying job, buy a house and get married (ok, still doesn't sound much like me anymore). After realizing that getting my intended masters degree would not be financially beneficial, and only instead put me an EXTRA $40,000 in debt, I decided that would be a no go. Buying a house and getting married requires an awful lot of commitment and I am far from being ready to put my roots down anywhere (or with anyone). So again, the 5 year plan was shot.
So, what's my 5 year plan now? I DON'T HAVE ONE! And that's the way I like it. Essentially, few of the plans I made have worked out the way I expected, and that's OK. I think things have worked out infinitely better than expected, in fact. And this similar scenario is true for the majority of people I know. So what to do you say? STOP FRICKEN PLANNING. It's not good for you, and it's certainly not necessary. Yes, you should have goals. But don't let them define your life for the next 60 months. A few months ago, I NEVER would have guessed I'd be moving to practically the furthest place on this earth. And that's what's so incredibly amazing about not predicting what you'll want your life to be like in 5 years. Because truthfully, you could be potentially closing yourself off from so many other amazing opportunities. The single best thing about this experience is not knowing what I'll be doing a year from now. In my mind I picture moving to Minneapolis and starting a life closer to my sister and friends. Will it happen? Who knows. And actually, it's one of the most liberating feelings in the world.