While rocking in the recliner and nursing my baby, I glanced over to see a stack of notes. On those notes were thoughts and ideas to expand on. Like a bunch of little nuggets that couldn’t be forgotten. You see, I have probably close to 30 notebooks bursting with “Ah Ha” moments, new concepts of thinking, and ideas worth expanding on. My mind has soo many ideas of what to write about or business adventures to start, that there isn’t enough time in my lifetime to pursue them all. I realized how cluttering it was. To live with all of these thoughts and ideas hanging around. To have so many plans for where I want to go, that it’s actually suffocating and daunting. It feels as if I can’t trust life as it unfolds. That I must store up all my ‘goodies’ and plan for the future. All of these plans and storage for the future makes it challenging to enjoy the new shiny inspirations in the moment. I feel like a squirrel hiding all of his nuts for winter, while I’m currently starving in the fall.
All this saving for the future and planning makes me feel weighted down. I’ve got so many plans for tomorrow and who I want to be that it’s hard to just be. This also leaves no room for inspired living. Ya know, when life happens (as it does) to change your desires and gives you a new life direction. Having all these plans, doesn’t leave much room for the ones that God may have for me. What is even more overwhelming, is I carry all the plans I have with me, as if I must do them all.
I have goals from high school and my 20’s that still reside in my mind, as if I must accomplish them as well. I may be the only person who tries to become all the things she had hopes of becoming, and if I am good, because damn it’s exhausting! I still need to become the girl who can wear a bikini to pierce my belly button. (That one is a high school goal/plan obviously, I would never pierce my belly button now that’s so 2000’s). I want to have a collection of my art be on display in a gallery. I want to backpack across Europe. I want to be a published author. I want to write and illustrate a children’s book. I want to own a salon and spa. I want to be a life coach. I want to be a photographer. I want to be an interior decorator. I want…. I want… I want….
All of these ideas and plans for who I am supposed to be is totally robbing me of enjoying my life. It feels impossible to be and do all of these things. It may not be impossible, and perhaps I will accomplish them at some point, but I need the freedom to choose them again. Right now, in my season of life as a stay at home mother, I wake up feeling like a failure. It feels like I am failing myself and my dreams. Every day. Keeping all of these plans and ideas that I had for myself and my life at one point in time as ‘must do’ in my mind, doesn’t allow me to evolve and just be the person I am now. It doesn’t allow for new dreams and new plans. It doesn’t allow for me to be the person that life has shaped me to become. All of these rigid plans for myself, while originally constructed in love, are now hurtful. Those plans and dreams used to feel exciting. Now they feel like promises that I couldn’t keep to a girl who had big big dreams.
I am still that girl. That girl with big dreams and big plans, only life has shaped me in unplanned ways. By letting go of who I thought I needed to become, and allowing myself to be and do what I have chosen now, I can be happy. Life feels lighter, and less cluttered. It’s as if I am free to wake up tomorrow and live a day unplanned. To let life inspire my direction and let myself choose where I am going in the moment. I feel like I have faith again in myself and God’s direction for me. Living without a pre-routed trip could allow for some really fun detours on my destination to nowhere.
As a recovering perfectionist and control freak the idea of living without a plan seems irresponsible. When I ask myself, have long-term plans been good for me? The answer is, No. I can plan ahead, wayyyy ahead all day long, but when I get there it’s never how I planned it. Reflecting on the evolution of my career as a hairstylist, nothing I did ever aligned with my long term plans. Yet, I ended up having a very enjoyable career and loved having my own business. My plans were to become an educator and travel with a company to teach other stylists new techniques. Those plans never panned out. When I moved from MN to ND, I never planned on booth renting and starting my own business. I ended up being (not so gently) guided to doing so as a ‘last resort’ option. It became a journey that I truly loved and enjoyed. It ignited a love for web design, branding, marketing, and business while I also learned many new skills. If you were to ask me what my plans are now, it would be to go back to styling hair when my children are older. But I know better now. Perhaps it is true, God laughs at our plans.
So, is it actually irresponsible to live without a plan? I feel more responsible to choose to live in a way that is good for me and brings me joy. And that is to let go of my long-term plans and live inspired. I have no idea how the next 2 years will shape me and what I will feel inspired to do, let alone the next month. All I know is in the moment it feels good to write this and share it with you.
Happy trails! – Chelsea