In a previous post, I mentioned how I am using writing to reflect on the changes I'm going through. Below is something I wrote at the end of June when I was feeling down and being a bit hard on myself for not having found a job yet.
Waiting on One Step
I enjoy feeling prepared, to plan, and to execute steps. I think of multiple ways for plans to go awry and ready any detail to bring plan B, C, or D into action. My mind is like a web; thoughts open into multiple directions and lead me to the best decision. I can back up and start over or change direction from a previous step. In the end, if the execution of plans that I’ve completed were mapped out in my brain, I’m sure it would look something like an upside-down tree.
My mother taught me how to navigate bureaucracy, fill out documents, and how to ask the right questions. She showed me the importance of completing something immediately because not only is that more efficient, procrastination is anxiety inducing. My father taught me how to light a fire, the importance of maintenance of all things mechanical, and to care for plants. He showed me how to figure things out on my own on a very intuitive level. Together, they taught that preparedness is a form of taking care of one’s self.
In theory, this is highly efficient. In my mind, it is difficult to separate when this is a necessary tool and when it is not. Yes, it is great to be prepared while going to the DMV by reading over and gathering what is needed, bringing precautionary documents to prove I exist. No, it is not so necessary to feel overwhelmed for a spur of the moment one night camping trip because you have had less than 24 hours to plan and are afraid of forgetting to bring forks, because good lord, how would you survive without them? Less planning or more planning, it doesn’t matter because I am a clever human being and can devise a fork from whittling a stick if need be or just eat with my hands. Clever is a backup plan, but it’s never fool proof.
So I created a plan to move to a new state and I have flown through each step with flying colors. I was on top of everything that could possibly be done before my arrival. Laying out the steps and reading them as a list is incredibly easy and fulfilling: change car insurance, health insurance, tune up car, change addresses for everything, load items into car, drive to new state, claim residency, change license and registration, find a job, create a budget, find a place to live, get a dog. I excel at making the plan and going through with the plan, but I am impatient when it comes to waiting. Yes, I completed all previous steps, but that doesn’t mean the “find a job” step will come quickly solely because it is next. I can not estimate how long things will take and it bothers me immensely.
The conflict of future plans vs. present patience is an ongoing battle. I work with all the fears I have from this conflict through writing and other creative outlets. However, the releases of these frustrations are very short bursts. I just want, so badly, to release it all with the security of reaching the next step. My plans are consistently getting in the way but are also so necessary that it’s difficult to determine what I should do to keep balanced because one step can make me feel simultaneously miserable and excited.
I keep moving forward, but what am I if I only think of the end goal? It could destroy me if I don’t get there. It could create an unfathomable determination. I could miss present opportunities to improve myself as a person because I am waiting on things to happen. I want to reconcile the many steps and things I have done to get to where I am today with what I want in the future. That reconciliation will give me the peace I need to enjoy everything in between.
Since the writing this reflection, I've received a call back for an interview and I've been doing a better job of enjoying the present. Yay!