For as long as I can remember I’ve been scribbling memos on post-its, scraps of paper, and when I was an amateur, on the back of my hand. It started as simple ‘to-do’ lists, moving up to the more necessary shopping lists or the whimsical Christmas wish lists and later got serious with the dreaded revision plans.
However, now I recognise that this obsession is reaching ridiculous heights- quite literally, I reckon, if I were to pile up my latest musing memos (perhaps my resorting to electronic notes on various devices or white boards and pens has been a subconscious effort to remove evidence of such lunacy). The problem is that following years of study, my list now seem to be boundless and I find myself trying to plan ‘life’ itself. In moments of quiet, I can’t resist the urge to jot down how I intend the next few months, when I will embark on an another academic adventure or how my so-called career may, or may not, pan out and all the while continuing to organise the minutiae of day-to-day life.
Enough is enough. It’s time to sober up, throw away the papers and get clean of the toxic ink that is staining my present life. Drastic though it may seem, I think I’m going to have to go cold turkey by leaving my life in the hands of destiny.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a strong believer that we make our own destiny; the decisions we make, the paths we go down are what make us who we are, rather than some ubiquitous being pulling our puppet strings. That said, I can’t help but feeling that society places too much emphasis on the end result of our destiny, and as a consequence the journey of experiences that will take us there lose significance. Many friends of mine have their ideal career set out ahead of them, with various loops of study, internships, work experience to jump through in order to get there. Impressively, being the planner junkie I am, have managed to take off the pressure of such specific career decisions, leaving myself some open options, yet I continue to obsess over other objectives such as wanting to be fluent in three languages, well-versed in literature, great at snowboarding, a competent photographer, a hostess who impresses with her internationally inspired culinary creations, an experienced lover…. Once more, the list goes on.
Plan though we may, the truth is that we cannot control everything that life throws at us and though such surprises can be a real spanner in the works, and despite being a maniacal planner, I do also find comfort thinking that everything happens for a reason. So, out with the planning, and in with living for the moments.
My rehabilitation shall go by the name of the destiny experiment. In attempt to curb my planning habit, I shall learn to go with the flow, respond to my impulses and accept what destiny brings, or indeed, doesn’t bring. The irony is that this experiment seems suspiciously like a plan in itself, but I set no time limits, no Blog-entry schedule, nor objectives, other than to enjoy each day and each experience along the road to the yet unknown destination. Admittedly, some plans will have to be made; appearing at my friends doorstep with an empty stomach and a bottle of wine will not be the best approach, nor will turning up at bus stations ticket-free get me very far. However, where possible I intend to leave decisions to the last minute, seeing what happens before mentally psyching myself up for a particular occasion and also saying yes to the spontaneous plans that arise.
So, until next time, I’ll be present in the present and let fate do its work…