I’ve spent most of the summer trying to figure out where I will be in 6-9 months. I’ve actually spent most of the last 6 months trying to figure that out. I love to plan things. I like to make lists of what I need to do, or buy, or who I need to talk to. So where has all of this planning gotten me? I’m not really sure.
I’d be lying if I told you that I had my life together. Heck, I think that if anyone tells you they have their life together they are lying. Everyone always has something they wish they could change, whether it’s how much money they make or the color of their hair or wanting to change paint the bathroom. I know that you might think, well these are such minor things Victoria; if those are a person’s biggest problems then they must have it figured out.
But here’s why I don’t think that anyone can have it figured out – you never know what the future holds. You can do all the planning possible. You can make budgets. You can map out every decision. You can have lists that go on for days. You can have charts, and ven diagrams, and pros and cons lists. You can have folders full of pamphlets and information. You can do all the research. However, all of that panning can’t account for the future. One day you may wake up to find the roof of your house gone, or to hear that a loved one has passed, or you could go to work and be laid off. None of those plans that you had could have fully accounted for any of those things happening. The future can always throw a kink in your plans, IN YOUR LIFE.
I’ve been struggling a lot lately to accept that I can’t control the future. Or the present. Or the past. I make lists on lists on lists. I have notebooks full of lists and plans and things to be done. However, I can’t always control what’s going to happen. I’ve always been an anxious person. When I was a child and people would ask how old I was my mother and godmother would say “Oh she’s 5, but she’s going on 30.” And it’s true, I’ve always wanted to be older than I was, because I thought that with age you have things figured out. You turn 16 and you have a driver’s license so now you can get places. You turn 18 and you can vote and you’re recognized as a legal adult. You turn 21 and you are old enough to get a hotel room and buy alcohol. You turn 25 and your car insurance rates go down and you can rent a car.
At each step in our lives I saw people as gaining things; independence, freedom, material goods, money. However, what I didn’t see was the struggles that come with these new found gifts. With freedom comes the necessity to learn how to use that. With independence you have to learn to be alone. With material goods you assume the costs that come along with them. With money you have to learn how to use it correctly.
So now that I’m 21, a senior in college with only 2 trimesters left until graduation, I feel like I NEED to have my life figured out. What would 5 year old me think if I told her I didn’t know what was going to happen in my life tomorrow? I’ll tell you what she’d do, she’d probably cry and then retreat to her room, or make a big deal about it – it would really depend on the day. So what have I been doing? I’ve been planning. Making lists. Looking for jobs. Checking qualifications. Calling my mother and crying. Hiding away in my room. Talking to people about what I want. Doing research on salaries. Doing research on certifications. Going to the career center. Because as much as planning can be in vain, I don’t know what else to do. If I don’t have the information now, when am I going to get it?
Long story short is that I’m extremely stressed about the future. In 17 days I start my senior year of college. In 55 days I leave for Brazil. In 198 days I graduate from college. Things are constantly changing. I’m not making near as much money this summer as I anticipated. I’ve changed my potential career path 3 times this summer alone.