I’ve spent hours predicting my ideal future and rehashing the past, imagining what life would be like now if only I had done this or that.
I was caught in a rut of studying hard Monday to Friday, drinking hard Friday and Saturday, and spending Sundays wrapped in a blanket on the bed, hung over, laptop open trying to fill the void in me.
However, like so many stories i’ve read, I was only using material goods to fill the gap in my soul, looking for temporary joy while neglecting long-term happiness.
I spend way too much time laying out meticulous plans as if they were exquisite bejeweled gowns. I spread them across beautiful handmade notebooks, trim them with pink and yellow headings and sub-headings, and step back to admire them when I’m done.
They are tomorrow’s plans. Each one more stylish, more elaborate, more organized than the last. Each one the perfect plan. But in reality, not one of them is. Once the latest plan has been printed or pasted or posted, I grow weary of it and want another.
I’m addicted to perfecting my plans, but not actually executing them.
This repetitive crafting of the next best laid plan has me caught in a time warp where I’m forever looking ahead, forever color-coding the future, forever laying out a decorative path that I don’t have time to explore because I’m too busy planning and perfecting.
My perfect plans are nothing more than plastic-sealed sofas no one ever touches or perfectly manicured rose gardens no one ever smells.
I know that being afraid of the future is just as silly as being afraid of my own shadows, and yet I fear it all the same.
The days, weeks and months that followed were a dark and difficult journey-a-journey that made me look back and learn from my mistake. Now, I look back at that journey as a blessing.
The only reality that exists is in each passing second, and yet with each passing second comes the agony of not knowing what will come next.
Fear simply represents what could go wrong. The inability to see -let alone control -my future makes me anxious that the shadow will overtake my well-lit dream.
The difficult part is overcoming that shadow with courage and hope. It’s something I struggle with everyday.
But, when I feel as if the chips are stacked against me, deep down a little voice shouts out from underneath all of that emotional rubble and says, “Don’t give up, keep going, keep fighting”
I attribute this bravado to my parents. My whole life, my dad would say those three words to me, “Never give up,” and my mom would tell me, “You can be whoever you want to be, and you will still be good at it.”