I woke up the other morning and did the first thing I always do, checked my phone. I was looking on Snapchat and saw that little red dot that means "you have memories to look back on", so I clicked to see what funny or sad things I had thought were valuable to save on December 1st from the past few years. To my surprise, I saw a memory from four years ago today of a whiteboard with a list written on it. This wasn't your average list though, it was my life plan. To a tee. Ages, dates, places, and names (yes my CHILDREN'S NAMES) all listed out exactly how I thought my future would lay out. For your own amusement, here it is:
I don't know what's more embarrassing - the fact that I wrote this for everyone to see on my math class desk, or the fact that I thought I could get into Tulane.
Now if you've read any post before this, or know me even in the slightest - you know this plan could not be further from where I am in my life. I think the only thing that actually happened is that I graduated in 2020, and that was hardly even a graduation. (high school parking lot drive-by say what)
I didn't apply to a single school I have listed of "where I was going to go", I'm not going to graduate college in 2024, I didn't major in Journalism, and in the one semester I did spend at college - I did nothing close to "meeting someone" that I would spend the rest of my life with. I likely won't write for a magazine, getting married at 27 sounds terrifying, and surely my kids won't have those names.
I often think about an "assignment" my therapist gave me over the Summer of 2020, I was in a super unsure place and she said "how about you write a letter to your future self". So, I did, but I know for a fact that when I wrote this letter I looked up the graduation date for Ohio University class of 2024, and made it so the letter was sent to my email on that day. Do you know how I started that letter? "If everything went according to plan, you should be graduating from Ohio today!" (it kind of ruins the point of the letter that I can remember exactly what I wrote, but this awesome memory is a curse I don't know what else to say). How silly and naive young Georgia was! Nothing ever goes according to plan!
It's funny though, the one thing I haven't mentioned that I did write on my list is traveling. Sophomore-year me carved out time post-grad to "Travel and write for a magazine". Well, how about traveling, doing seasonal work, and getting my degree online post-high school grad rather than college grad. That's the reality these days.
Though my younger self came about it in a different way, I've always had the desire to travel. To be somewhere else, experiencing new places and people.I think all along that was my plan. What I wrote on my desk in 2017 was my life plan because that is what I was conditioned to think should be my plan. The one "out of the ordinary" thing on that list was the traveling part, and that's the only part I'm interested in pursuing. A lot of times what we think is going to happen isn't even how we want it to happen.
I'm a huge believer in the fact that everything happens for a reason. Sometimes this bites me in the butt, sucky things happen and I think about what-if they hadn't, but I have to remind myself the bad I wouldn't be as appreciative of the good, and without that I wouldn't be where I am today.
So now it is a great thing to laugh about, how I had everything planned out exactly where I would be, who I would meet, and what I would do. But that plan didn't happen for a reason, because now I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be, doing what I want to do. It's a hard pill to swallow for a planner like me, that things don't always go to plan, but what if it is going to plan, just a different plan than what we had anticipated.