I find comfort in a delicately plotted plan. In college I made vision boards that plotted my success from point A to Z. I had a grand plan of attending law school and becoming a kick ass attorney. Plans of traveling the world, building a Frank Lloyd Wright inspired home, and when I felt I was successful I would adopt a child. A child that I would raise alone. I never planned on falling in love or getting married. It was going to be me against the world and if love happened, it happened. I wasn’t going to count my eggs before they hatched, instead I plotted them neatly in my head. I was focused, I had vision, and nothing could veer me from my future.
Nothing that is until a dark-haired brown-eyed boy walked across the parking lot of my dorm and swept me off my feet. In him I found comfort like I had never felt before. I would do anything for him and his son. We date long distance, he didn’t come to my graduation nor did he seem to care that I got my degree. I talked about going away for law school. He told me “I won’t wait for you to finish.” With those words spoken, I put hat dream a side and moved in, by Thanks Giving we were engaged. He told me “when one dream ends, another begins.” Over the next 3 years that became my motto. I set out on creating a new plan, a plan that never quieted my desire for more. I loved Nylan with all of my heart, being a mom was one of my greatest joys, I gave everything I had to my husband, and kept our home polished. Yet, something was missing, it never felt right, and I wanted something more. Durring my marriage I never put myself first. My dreams and desires were not worth keeping, they sank slowly to the bottom as my husband whispered “this is your dream now.”
At 26 I became a survivor and little by little I started putting myself first. I was determined and created a new plan. A plan that would never ring true. I found out I was pregnant in the spring of 2010, I was filled with joy and began to plan for this new life. I spent hours debating paint colors and nursery themes. I read pregnancy books and looked into pregnancy yoga. I was happy. Happy because 6 months earlier I was on the brink of death and here I was six months later carrying a baby. This was my calm after the storm. It was decided that I would have a c-section and that I would take blood thinners during the pregnancy. I didn’t have a say in this and I wasn’t looking forward to twice daily injections for 9 months. However I knew that in the end the reward would be worth it. All of my planning went out the window the day I found out my son no longer had a heart beat. I was devastated and overwhelmed. This was never part of the plan. At that point in my life I knew something had to change. I had to find my way and figure out who I was. I only knew AmandaJean the college student and AmanadaJean the wife. I no longer knew who I was or what I wanted. The death of my son was the turning point in my beautifully broken plan.
Divorce, I never planned on it, yet it became a part of my history. I realize now that my PE and the death of my son were to prepare me for the hardest journey I’d ever take, the journey to find myself. The day I left my ex husband was the day I decided to live an uncharted life. I was terrified of failing, mostly I was terrified that I wouldn’t find myself. Terrified of falling down and that when I did no one would be there to help me up. I trip a lot and lord knows I’ve had my share of face plants. Since my divorce I have fallen more times that I can count. The City of Minneapolis is littered with potholes.
In January I unexpectedly found myself unemployed and without a plan. I was terrified I had never been unemployed in my life and I felt like a failure. I started to question my skills. Tears were heard in my voice and friends, they rushed to my side. Attorneys I had worked for in the past reminded me of how my work helped them and why I love my line of work. Lucky for me I was not unemployed for long. Within a week I was hired on as a temporary editor at a publishing company in the cities. That job ended in early April and I am not worried.
A few years ago I would have been a tearful puddle on my couch and desperately grabbing at tiny shreds of a plan. That was then and this is now, now I find joy in living an uncharted life. I can take this time to find the job I really want and take some time to just be me. Nothing in this life is set in stone. Each day we are above ground is a mystery and filled with wonderous exceptions. I’ve learned that a life lived on a vision board, is not a life lived at all. I have come to believe that fate loves to mess with a perfect plan. Maybe its fates way of giving us a slap in the face and saying “hey, while your planning you are missing out on the good stuff. You my dear are missing out on your own life. So stop the planning, throw the vision board out and just go with the flow and expect a few pot holes along the way.” That is exactly what I am doing. I am finding comfort in the beauty and meaning in the potholes.