Monday, February 18, 2008

We Try to Plan it All Out

In life it's so important to learn to take what you get and run with it. I guess it can depend on what you "get," but you might be able to look at it as, "roll with the punches;" if you're given lemons, "make lemonade." Thankfully, it's not always that we are faced with rough times and asked to overcome the obstacles. Sometimes we are just given a line-up other than we had expected (or possibly even hoped for) and then we are left to decide what to do with it.

I've always been a person that likes to plan things out and know what I'm going to do. I remember when I was preparing to call a guy I liked in college to ask him to a social event, I was so nervous I wrote out what to say on the phone--planned out the whole conversation (I say this with no shame, because whether you've done this before or not, I KNOW others have, so it's all good...HA!). Several rehearsal run throughs later (yes, including running through what he would say), and some deep breathes, I had dialed his phone number and waited anxiously for him to answer. He answered. Thus the script would begin...

Three seconds and two lines into the script things were already off course! How could this be!?! What would I do!?!? I mean I can't be mad at him for not following the script seeings how he'd never even seen it, nor had any idea I was holding it and reading it for that matter...HA! Yet, I so desperately wanted to get back on script. How could I make sure I was able to "ask" him to the event in a "cool" manner, so I wouldn't come off sounding like I really liked him!?! How was I going to get to that GREAT segue from simply shooting the breeze to nonchalantly asking him to the event if everything is off mark now?!

Though I was panicking on the inside, apparently I remained calm and undercontrol sounding on the outside...phew. Though it's been years ago and I can't remember exactly what mastery of the art of communication I resorted to in that situation to get the final result of the date for the event, all I DO remember is that my preplanning and script all went right out the window and I realized in the end all it had done for me is possibly gave me enough courage to make the call because I THOUGHT I knew my way through it and that it'd be "okay" because I knew how it was going to go.

Now, I'd like to say I've never again gotten to the point of where I've gone over, line-for-line, how I expected communications between myself and another individual to go, but I'd be lying if I said that. But what I have learned over the years is that more than likely, preplanned conversations, or even encounters, with individuals seldomly ever go as originally thought out. So NOW when I still find myself preplanning a situation, I'm quick to remind myself WHILE I'm planning that it's VERY likely that this is not how it's going to go and to not allow myself to feel as if I'll be devastated or freaked out if things go "off-script."

Thank goodness, I don't grade my life on how often it follows my "scripts," because if I did, not only would I have flunked, but I would have been forced to give up by now.

Sometimes it isn't necessarily a word-for-word script we have designed to depict the future, but rather an outline. It's as if we have envisioned the generalities of what should and hopefully will come about for us, and along with that, normally is a status of time. It's as if we are trying to write our story before it happens--sometimes in what I think is our response to the fear of the unknown of what's to come, but also as a form of motivation for something to work toward.

The most common example of this is the "what are you going to be when you grow up" question. I dare to say there's a single individual in this world that's cognitive enough to comprehend that question that has not been asked it. Thus, we all have had to respond to it. Sure, we might have outwardly said, "I don't know," but inside we have given thought to our lives ahead. Depending on our point in life when asked that question, some of our answers might be more researched and educated and closer to what we truly have interest in "being" than others. Nonetheless, it's something we find on our "outline" at that current time.

The outline is almost expected for those individuals in college. I mean, you can't reach the accolade of graduation without having a major, which is believed to be "what you want to do when you grow up," right? It's almost assumed upon graduation that that individual persue the career within their studies. Even the majority of the individuals graduating with a degree in a specific area will tell you that's the area they want to go into for a career. So at this point it's almost like the outline is no longer a guide, but rather writing in stone. How could you do anything other than what is "written"?! Jump to it! Put your studies into practice immediately!

...or so the outline of life says.

Do you want to know the #1 question asked of any individual that does anything other than working "in" their degree following graduation? "So, when you going to put your degree to use?" From what I hear (tee hee hee), it's about the 99th time you hear it during the first month following your graduation that you begin to get past the bitterness of people asking it. [Sidenote: I hear "the bitterness" starts about the time that the first person follows up the first question with "I mean you spent so much money on it, shouldn't you be using it?"] ;)

So what if you don't go directly into your field of study following graduation? Or what if you do, and it's only a matter of time that you find yourself wondering if that's really what you want to be doing as a career? Is it the end of the world? Have you failed?

It might be deemed that way by some of the previous question askers, but they haven't walked in your shoes; they don't know where your priorities lie and what's most important to you at that time. They have no rights to your outline. YOU are the one that gets to write and revise and decide how the outline goes, including the time status.

Maybe your outline is changing up some. Maybe it's been written for years and unchanged and now is the time. Now you find yourself revising. It could be the time table that's "off" or it could be the specific points. Whatever the revisions, make them and stand tall knowing it's your outline and it isn't always going to go as we have it planned out...

...but that's okay!

[To Be Continued]

1 comment:

kilax said...

I would be extremely pissed off if someone had the nerve to ask me when I would put my major to use. How is it your business anyway?