I’ve recently been coming to terms with the fact that life is a journey, and there are specific points in one’s life when certain events (marriage, choosing a career, finding a “home,” etc.) must occur. For someone like me, a definite “planner” in terms of personality, it has been a bit of a struggle, but I’m getting there. For me, though, the question becomes balancing the desire and need for some kind of plan with an openness to the fact that I am also (likely) a journeyman who surely don’t have it all figured out and needs to go where and when I feel the call. For me, though, the my mantra of “Live Life” doesn’t entail letting the world come to me, as it may for some, but rather making the most of the time I’ve been gifted, and this, very well, may require some kind of planning, right?
Another thing is my enjoyment for spontaneity while still liking to have things on tap to do. Our family’s 3-week trip out west when I was in HS wouldn’t have happened without extensive forward planning (thanks Mom), but there were also some spontaneous adventures during that time which weren’t on the predetermined itinerary which I remember well, like watching the sunrise over the Grand Canyon and a Dodgers baseball game.
In dealing within the dichotomy of plan and spontaneity, though, it has been really helpful for me to have some kind of “plan” in my head to start from, even though I might very well change it later. A recent example: My current engagement with LVC ends @ Thanksgiving, so what was I to do after? It was hard enough for my mind to get all the way to May and not know what I was going to do in August (but I made it), so it was hard for me not to plan past Thanksgiving without losing a bit of my sanity. My longer-term plan was shaping up to entail the Winter/Spring in Ohio doing CPE (clinical pastoral education) and/or make a movie/documentary before summer @ camp (again) and then on to (gasp) seminary in the fall. However, after these past two weeks of thinking about (and experiencing) life, some other options have been thrown into the mix: live/work somewhere totally new for me, like NYC or the Bay Area, Jan-June, then take a 6-10 week backpacking trip across Europe July-July (would you want to come?) before coming back and seeing where I’m at in terms of my life.
Both plans, and a mixture of the two, are now on the forefront of my mind and pretty realistic, I’d say, and I’m sure there will be more possibilities yet to be considered. With my new found freedom to “live and let live” and not feel like I need to have it all figured out by the time I hit 30 or even 40 or 50 (see again my previous blog containing “Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.” ), I don’t feel the need to be contained by some preconceived notion of what needs to happen next in my life, though I should probably start saving a little for retirement one of these days — unless of course I don’t end up doing something to retire from, then I guess I’m OK :)
But this is what freedom is, right? And aren’t we all meant to be free? “Freedom to be you and me,” is a kitschy phrase from some years ago, but maybe it’s what life should be all about. Where this journey will lead me — physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually — I know not, but I look forward to enjoying the experience along the way.