The Beauty Of Broken Plans

Today is my 27th birthday. I was writing in my journal recently about what a strange feeling it is to not be where I thought I would be by 27 but to also be in so many wonderful and amazing places I never dreamed I would ever be. Does that make sense? We all have had that conversation with ourselves at some point: the 10-year plan, the life goals or the “timeline.”  We will graduate college at 22, run up the professional ladder by 25, marry at 26 and have kids at 28. You know, the “plan.”

Well I am 27, and I am not there. And, a lot of women I know are saddened by the fact that they are also not there, wherever their “there” is, by a certain age. Sometimes, I am sad too. I wonder why my professional life has always been so perfect and my personal life has carried the burden of so many complications. Why didn’t God get the memo of my plan?!

And then one cold and cozy morning last week, with my sleeping dogs, my steaming coffee, my quiet house and my journal, it all made sense to me. The reason certain things have not happened yet is because other wonderful and life changing things have happened.

My “plan” didn’t account for the addiction I developed toward professional success and goals. Where I envisioned purpose coming from a family, I got it from landing jobs, interviewing well and being the youngest and sometimes only woman in a meeting full of men over 40.

One of the hardest things to manage for a woman is a career and a family. If you are a woman in your late twenties and you’ve focused on your career, don’t beat yourself up. You are no less of a woman than your friends that were mothers of 2 by 25. Your time isn’t up and you’ve created a strong and stable foundation to provide for your family. The “plan” doesn’t take into account drive, motivation and how good accomplishing professional goals feels.

Despite planning for marriage and children one day, I never really accounted for falling in love. Falling in love with my boyfriend was like lighting a bomb on my life’s timeline. Before him, I had never really been in love. I didn’t realize the time it would take to work out the complicated nature of our relationship. I didn’t realize the sacrifices we would both make or the way time actually flew by us. One second we were defending each other to our families and the next we were celebrating our 6th Christmas together.

The timeline of my life never accounted for my passions, my hobbies and my need to make them significant and all-consuming. Throughout my early 20’s my life found purpose in a way I never envisioned. I found God, where was he in my timeline?! He should have been the center of it but I had no idea who He was or the beauty that comes from spending time investing in Him.

I became independent, purchasing my home at 23. I started writing publically instead of privately and I invested my energy into pitching and sharpening this craft. I found my way to the homeless shelter and the ALZ association. I grew my passion for outreach into a commitment to make my community better, to be an advocate for Alzheimer’s.

I say all of this to end with one thought. You are where you are supposed to be. The most visible way to see that is to think of all the stunning things that you’ve experienced that derailed the “plan.” Whenever you might doubt that, or feel sad you’re not at a place in life that others are, think about all the things that your timeline didn’t account for. Think about those trips you took or that interview you rocked. Think about the surprising things that have happened that you never expected would. In that thought, you see the real purpose of your life. It isn’t to have what everyone else does; it’s to see beauty in broken plans. The purpose of life is to embrace the unexpected side trips and to know your journey is far from over.

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Life Update

Hi readers & friends-

I wanted to write a short post giving a little personal update on my life since I haven’t posted any of my writing lately. This is my first post that feels a little “Dear Diary” but I felt it was important to just check in, say hello and let you know where I have been.

The short and sweet of it all is simple: my POS chromebook is broken and I cannot write anything decent while I am at work because my job offers little downtime and during lunch I am the loser type that reads her book while eating. So, until I get my computer working again or get a new computer (read: please let the computer God’s align so I can get a new baby) my words have all been handwritten in my sacred little journal.

I am writing and reading constantly so once the computer issue is resolved, I will be publishing tons of content on a number of different topics. I am also taking some writing classes this spring and I am going to some really fun workshops centered around writing and creativity. I am really excited to see the words that 2016 holds.

Other things you might like to know-

The one great love of my life and I have rekindled our romance and decided to stop over complicating life and just love each other instead. Which means, after 3 months of being apart, miserable, sad, heartbroken (hello, just read anything I have written in the past 3 months) and unhappy, we gave up trying to figure it all out and gave in to our type of perfection: being together. Sometimes things have to shatter so they can be rebuilt better and stronger and I think that is what happened with us. We needed to be shaken up a little, we needed to be uncomfortable and we needed to come together on things we both didn’t think we could come together on. Love is strange and complicated and has its own magical method for finding its way with two people and that is what happened with Tim and I. We found our way back to each other and for once, in a really long time, we are on the exact same page heading in the exact same direction.

With that, a small little note to my wonderful friends who loved me through the end of last year. I know I was an emotional roller coaster, I know you wanted to hug me and punch me in the face simultaneously. I know that I was a little crazy and sad. Thank you for loving me through it.

I cut my hair short for the first time since, oh, 8 and I am in love with it. It makes me sassier so if see me you better watch out. #TwoSnaps

I am turning 27 next week and I can’t deal.

My dogs still drive me insane every day. Nothing has changed there.

At the end of this month I am taking a trip to Richmond with the ALZ Association to speak to my district delegate about ALZ reform and bills currently going through congress. This is going to be the coolest moment of my life so please pray that I remember how to form words during this very important meeting.

Oh, and I am going to my first ever winery/wine tasting this weekend with Tim. He planned it, he set it up, I am just along for the ride and I am so pumped. I love wine almost (read: as much) as him.

And with that I will stop this very weird, overshare of a post. Please come check back in with me in a week or so when I get my computer up and running. I love to write and I have felt such a hole in my life lately not being able to share my words with those who enjoy them.

XOXO- R