To the Plans We Made

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Are you a planner? I am, but I don’t think you have to be one to have some idea of how you want your life to be. Planner or not, we all set goals and have dreams about the life that we are in the process of creating. Sometimes in the process of that creation, life has plans for us that conflict with the ones that we made and the plans that we meticulously created with passion and fever turn into a pile of ash; leaving us to wonder if all of it was really that fragile to begin with.

We make plans to feel some vague sense of control and certainty in living in life that we really know nothing about it. For most of us it’s our first life, so do we ever really know for certain?  

I used to plan my life down to the wire. There were timetables that explicitly stated where I should be and what I should be doing at every moment in the day—sleeping, eating, breathing—you name it, it was on the color-coded chart. I believed that planning every minute of the day could eliminate uncertainty all together and if uncertainty was no longer part of the equation, then I had full control over my life. Holding on to this sense of security, I fearlessly got to work checking off the boxes on my life’s to-do list.

I thought I could control time and in turn my fate, but the truth is I never had control over what had yet to happen.

When I got sick, that sense of security crashed and burned when I could no longer color-code my way out of uncertainty. I entered a period in my life where there was absolutely nothing I could control. Without a set destination to work towards, I felt lost and hopeless for a future that became a big question mark. It was in these moments I realized the biggest problem with living my life relying on certainty: Believing that there could only ever be one outcome because the thought that any other result was possible meant that nothing was certain. This belief was my shield against bad possibilities, but it also closed myself off from all the exciting, heart-fluttering, risky ones.

We initially made a plan to feel certain about the outcome, but there is no real certainty in this life. Nothing is guaranteed. While that can feel completely unnerving, it also can be extremely liberating. If nothing is guaranteed then isn’t anything possible? No matter how hard we try to hold on to certainty,  it will always evade us.

So let’s trade certainty for possibility because if we always bet on what’s certain, we never become open to what is possible.

So to the plans that we made that got changed, burned, or all together annihilated—thank you. You opened the door to an era of possibility.