Unplanned

I’ve talked about this post in similar capacities before, but this is currently on my mind, so I am going to talk about it again. I am a planner. I like to have things planned out of where I’m going and what I’m doing.

But the truth is, things don’t always work out the way I plan. In fact, very rarely do they actually work out as I think they should. Lately, I have had to remind myself that that is okay.

I never imagined myself as a history teacher until I got into high school, and now I only have one semester left of classes and student teaching. Even in high school, I could not tell you where I was going for college. I only decided on Ball State in the spring of my senior year. I could not have told you then that that would be one of the best decisions I made. I have made so many friends and grown so much. Honestly though, Ball State was not my first choice of school; but now that I’m here, I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.

I say often that I believe everything happens for a reason. I don’t know what that reason is most of the time, and sometimes I don’t discover a reason until much later. I don’t always know why things happen, but I choose to believe that there is a reason for them nonetheless.

This is all said to come to my point: life works out the way it’s supposed to. That might be hard to believe, but it’s true. With Ball State, there is absolutely no doubt that I’m supposed to be there. I love the way my program is set up, I love the friends that I have made, and I love what I have learned there. It wasn’t my first choice, but it’s where I needed to be.

It’s a little terrifying to me because there is so much about my life that is currently unplanned. I don’t know where I’m going to end up getting placed for student teaching. I don’t know what school is going to hire me. I could be working pretty much anywhere in the state once I get my license. I don’t know what my future is going to look like in any number of years. There is so much unknown and therefore so much unplanned. I feel like life right now is just a whole bunch of question marks.

I am working on grounding myself in the present and not looking as much to the future. It’s not always easy, and sometimes I get caught up in things I can’t control. I get so focused on reaching the goal that I forget I have to go through the process first. But no goal is achievable without the process. That’s something I have to continually remind myself.

Planning is a nice stress reliever for me. It allows me to understand what I need to get done. Without planning, I just tend to procrastinate and put things off. So when I can, I plan out what I need to get done. But it’s kind of hard to plan if I don’t know what I am planning for. That’s where I get stressed. So, consequently, that’s something I need to work on.

With my different concentrations (history, geography, and psychology), I could theoretically end up teaching any of those subjects. As such, I have to be prepared for all of them. That is why I have taken my fair share of both geography and psychology classes in addition to my history courses. I don’t know what to plan for when I enter my future job, but I can be prepared for the things I can do. That is the kind of outlook I need to have on the rest of my life: “I may not be able to plan for things, but I can be prepared for whatever will come.”

Let me give you an example of what I mean. I went down to Shelbyville to visit one of my friends this past week. I brought an overnight bag with me just in case I ended up staying the night (my friend doesn’t wear the same size I do so her clothes wouldn’t fit me, and I don’t like sleeping in my contacts). It wasn’t entirely planned, but I was prepared for it just in case.

I don’t know what you’re going through. Maybe you’re like me, and you like to plan for things. It’s hard when things don’t go according to plan, and I am still working on being okay with that. I can’t offer any “foolproof tips” to help you get over it. My best advice is to have some good friends who will ground you and remind you of the present. It also helps to remind yourself that things will still work out. It’s not easy, and I’m still working on it myself, but I’m getting there. I want to be better, not for a specific goal set in the future but for the present version of me.

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