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Other Plans

November 17, 2009

I make plans. I list. I organize goals, priorities, action-steps. I always have a five week plan, five month plan, five year plan… ten year plan. I calculate course credits, finances, time. And then I dream… in the recent years it is in the form of craigslist.org apartments, realtor.com properties, google maps of cities, potential weekend activities and evening events. My ten year dreams usually include furniture, travel, financial investments, clothing…

At fifteen, my ten year plan included an office with bookshelves from floor to ceiling and a desk with student midterm papers dispersed among my own research.
At twenty, my five year plan included a gorgeous condo in southern CT and an office with views in Manhattan. A publishing hot-shot, I intended to split my time between the states and London.
At twenty five, I spent most of my time in sweatshirts carrying heavy books, drinking too much coffee, cherishing the time spent with friends, and proudly walking across a stage, diploma in hand.

Sometimes my plans unfold as orchestrated. Often my plans meander and morph as new opportunities emerge. Occasionally I run face first into brick wall. Ouch. Although the brick wall collisions don’t occur frequently, I have hit them enough to know that I’ll eventually get my breath back. So, I still run full force ahead with plans, knowing that the fork in the path and the brick wall emerge eventually.

In the past year, craigslist and realtor searches have spanned multiple cities, and calculations have accommodated many altered finances and time frames. Five week and five month plans remain in tact, but the one year plans change and fade… The one year plan fades, and the ten year plan becomes abstractly more vivid – a comforting occurrence. The forks in the road, the detours in life, the brick walls – they may change geographical locations, budget restrictions, and short-term time frames, but they do not change goals, priorities, or dreams.

I plan. When life directs me, I readily alter my course, but I plan again. I will always be a planner. My dad constantly tells me, “Emmy, life is what happens while you’re making other plans.” And I’m okay with that.

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