Plans should be written with Pencil not Pen

To The Girl Whose Plan Changed

As it turns out, life is a journey that can't be mapped out.

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One of the scariest parts of growing up is that things change: people change, fashion trends change (hopefully, we never have to say goodbye to leggings), even your hometown will change. I was the girl who had a solid plan from my sophomore year of high school; I was going to go to college, go to law school, and become a constitutional lawyer. Along the way, I was going to move to the east, attend law school, and get married.

For a long time, I actually thought I knew who I was going to marry. But as time goes on, it becomes more clear that it's just another plan that is going to change. I had it all planned out, we would get married right after I graduated from law school, he would propose where we had our first kiss, and we would be engaged for a year (that way we would have time to plan our wedding). It all seemed really perfect. I had made these detailed plans but I'm starting to learn that plans are written in pencil, not pen.

These plans that you spent so much time making aren't easy to accept when they do change. However, these plans might change, because your heart as changed. When I decided that I no longer wanted to be a lawyer, it took me about six months to say it out loud. In fact, I still went as far as studying for the LSAT. I sat in the library all summer staring in the books because I didn't care what kind of argument was what. It's really scary to have things that you knew to be true no longer be what you want.

I also thought I wanted to go to the University of Alabama, and my junior year of high school I packed my life into two suitcases and went to UA on an exchange program. I had an idea of how my life would be while I was there and don't get me wrong, I loved it there, but it wasn't how I had planned. I realized I really missed Boise and my family and UA wasn't the school for me. So partly grateful and partly sad, I decided to come back to Boise State a semester early. It was hard because I really thought I'd love UA so much I would stay, however that wasn't the case. When I got back I felt disappointed because my plan wasn't turning out how I wanted it too. It might be my anxiety and need to control, but I felt like I had lost all control of my life and of my future. However, this isn't true, changing plans is actually a beautiful thing because now you get to change.

I was no longer inspired by being the next Elle Woods. I was no longer satisfied settling for what my eighteen-year-old self-thought was a good idea, I was no longer convinced that was the path I wanted in my life. This realization, it opened up my eyes, because it allowed me to be more than just a plan, it allowed me and allows me to create that plan. First off, ask yourself if what the choices you made four years ago, even sixth months ago, still make you giddy with excitement. If it doesn't, ask yourself about what does. Plans changing means you are free to do whatever you want, whether it be to explore, travel, or do something crazy. Life is a journey and that journey can't be found on a map.

So maybe you decided you no longer want to be a doctor and have to find out what is next. Maybe you lost the job you thought you would have forever. Maybe that guy you thought was your soul mate turned out to not be. Maybe you no longer believe in your happy ending that you wrote at sixteen. That is okay. In fact, it is better than okay, because you now hold the pencil that is going to change your life, you hold the key to find what gets you inspired and what makes you happy. Whether you find it where your car breaks downs or next door, it is going to be amazing because it's your journey, not your plan.

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Everyone Should Experience Working In Fast Food Or Retail

Working in fast food was definitely not sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows, but I'm so glad I did it.

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I know these jobs aren't glamorous. In fact, most days I looked forward to clocking out before I had even clocked in. I always secretly rolled my eyes when an angry customer droned on and on about how entitled he or she was. Though I can name a lot of bad things that happened on the job, it wasn't all horrible. As I reflect on my time working in fast food, I realize how much having that job really taught me and how grateful I am to have had that experience. I really think everyone should work in fast food or retail at some point, and here's why:

You make some great friends from work. I get it, sometimes your co-workers are royal jerks or flat out creeps. You see your name on the schedule next to theirs and immediately try switching with someone else. I've been there. However, I have worked with some amazing people as well.

Every time I worked with one girl in particular, we laughed for entire shifts. One night, we were singing the national anthem at the top of our lungs without realizing a customer had come in (to our surprise, she applauded our terrible screaming). Another coworker and I turned up the radio on full blast when business was slow and had dance battles. We made the most of our shifts, and I still talk to some of these people today.

You learn how to deal with difficult people. It's the age-old story: the uppity customer thinks twelve dollars for a meal combo is outrageous and Where is your manager?!

My friend and I were once called stupid and a customer said he would never come back to our restaurant to eat ever again. At the moment, we were scared out of our minds because we were both pretty new to the job. As time passed, we became more patient and tolerant and knew what triggered these particular customers. Dealing with these adversities definitely helps in the long run, particularly when it comes to doing group work with people who seem unbearable.

Your people skills increase by a landslide. I had always thought that I was great with people before I had a job. However, when I found myself in situations where I had to talk to strangers, I would grow nervous and stumble across my words from time to time. Working in an environment where communicating with others is a driving force helped me not only with improving my public speaking, but also made me more outgoing. In situations where I once backed into the corner to avoid having to talk to someone, I now take charge and initiate a conversation.

You establish a connection with regular customers. My favorite customer was named Jack. He was the sweetest old man who came in every Wednesday and Friday and bought food for himself and his wife. I quickly memorized his order, which impressed him. We shared pleasantries every time he came in, and my coworkers and I looked forward to seeing him.

Establishing a relationship with people who come in a lot helps immensely when it comes to working. It also provides a sense of accomplishment when you memorize an order. Not to mention, the customers start to like you and typically leave a generous tip!

You have stories to tell for a lifetime! Sometimes bad things happen at work. Once I was holding a hot pan and burned my arm— I still have the burn mark on my arm to prove it. My point is, it sucked at the moment, but now I look back and laugh.

One time I asked my coworker how to make soup and she replied, "Slowly, but beautifully." It was so nonchalant that I cracked up for hours. There was also a time when a customer asked me for outlandish toppings and condiments that we didn't offer. The craziest story, though, was the drug deal that went down in our public restrooms. My coworker and I obviously could not leave our station and follow these people into the bathroom, so we were pretty much defenseless. Nobody got hurt or anything, so it made for a great story.

Working in fast food was definitely not sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows, but I'm so glad I did it. It made me more independent and outgoing and gave me memories I'll never forget.

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