I graduated from college not so long ago (less than a month actually). A few weeks before I walked across the stage, I took up the past time of imagining what could possibly be next for me. First, I pictured living on my own in a small but quaint apartment with exposed brick walls and hardwood floors (money is not an object in my imaginings). Second, I was putting my hard-earned-very-expensive-but-better-be-worth-it degree to work in my chosen field and had a crazy, but oddly enjoyable, schedule. Third; I was single (aside from my German shepherd companion). Fourth; I owned a really nice coffee pot. Fifth; I had affordable cable. Let me tell you friend, only one of these things actually turned out the way I planned and let me tell you, it is a really nice coffee pot.

For obvious reasons, my imagination failed to materialize my ideas into reality. Consequently, anxiety struck me like a bug in the eye on a fast roller coaster. Now, I get that some of those plans are a little far fetched. I mean, c’mon, exposed brick and hardwood floors?! That is sincerely out of my budget y’all. But, in my stubbornness, my heart was set on making some part of the master plan happen. How? No clue. By what means? Good question. I do know one thing, those were the plans I felt comfortable and safe in and wouldn’t it be nice to have it happen that way…

Here comes the cliche quote of the day and/or the biggest spoiler alert ever: Life doesn’t always go as planned.

“Doesn’t always”, states the ancient saying, implying that sometimes it goes as planned. How about this; I can’t remember the last time I made big life plans and had them follow my detail oriented, careful step-by-step, fail-safe instruction guide! You would have thought I learned my lesson last time. Nope. I have not. It’s not that day dreaming, imagining, and planning is inherently bad. On the contrary, it is necessary. The bad comes in, I’ve learned, when we obsess over the outcomes of our planning and place our security in something, someone, or somewhere that doesn’t exist yet. We hide in the future instead of living in the present.

I know that I have carpeted floors right now and I can’t afford a four legged companion yet. But I do have an incredible job that will challenge and mold me in ways I never could have imagined. I am grateful for it. There are folks in my life that are here, right now, for an intentional reason and how dare I imagine away that opportunity. They’re special to me and I am honored to have time with them, investing in who they are as they invest in me. Also, let’s be honest, cable will always be expensive.

The reminder of this sarcastic and (hopefully) charming post is simple:

Dream big dreams. Ok? Make plans and challenge yourself to make them a reality ( I WILL get a dog). But don’t forfeit the here and now. I promise looking back at what you had but neglected is not nearly as rewarding as looking back and knowing you took advantage of whatever the heck kind of plan that was supposed to be.

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