I was a planner even as a child. Whether of my own doing or the instigation of others I grew into the role of “Family Cruise Director” on vacations, holiday gatherings, family birthdays and even sunday afternoon lunch. I was in charge of everything.
I have moved through my life in a way that has allowed me to maintain complete control of my circumstances - or so I thought. Carefully plotting and researching far in advance; scheduling the rest of my life.
I enjoy planning. I like research. I make lists. My lists have lists. Along with all of those lists and plans comes expectation. One doesn’t put time into charting a path without expectation of how things will turn out. And, by forecasting future risks and planning ahead I was ahead of the game. My life was all set. While I never considered myself a control freak, I knew that veering off of the list equaled a kind of failure. It meant opening myself up to the fear of uncertainty. It meant a loss of control.
Sometimes life knows more than you do: I’ve lived most of my life with blinders on. Unconsciously moving through moments focused on the outcome and the reward of checking something else off of my list. But this year my life became a sea of obstacles, detours and pot holes that forced me to take off the blinders, be present, and become aware of myself.
At first I was defiant. I knew things were not right, but true to form maintained my position and stood the course. I didn’t want to give up control. I didn’t want to let go. I didn’t want to give in to uncertainty. I didn’t want to fail. My resistance turned into pronounced fear displayed through anger and resentment. Resentment of the situation, resentment toward others, and resentment of myself for allowing this. After several months of an exhausting cycle of resilience, frustration, resentment and anger I had to make a choice.
I let go. I gave into the unknown. Career, location, relationships, family, and the certainties I so tightly held onto falling away. Every aspect of my life changing. I am out on a limb without a list. But something amazing is happening. My life is coming into focus. My present is expanding.
I’m learning that it isn’t necessary to know what comes next. The unknown deserves a space equal to the planned. The unknown creates the opportunity for inspiration and clarity. Focusing so intently on what “will be” keeps me from participating in the beautiful moment I have here in front of me.
I know the journey ahead will contain both calculated plans and uncertainties. Letting go has revealed experiences and opportunities I could have only imagined. My direction has changed, but I have no fear of the unknown. I have faith. I believe I am headed in the right direction and my life is open to beautiful surprises, unknown opportunities, and a lightness of being.