It strikes me that life is a balance between schedule and spontaneity.
As a fairly organized person, I like to have a good idea of how my days will play out. Looking into the future to generate a plan often helps me find solace.
But 2020 really said, "Planning ahead? Never heard of her."
This year's topsy-turviness has caused me to embrace a new style of living- one that is rooted solely in spontaneity. And I have to say, it has allowed me to experience some of the best adventures to date. The story I'm about to tell is only one of many.
I've wanted to get a tattoo since I was sixteen. I think they're an incredibly beautiful art form, and as an artist myself, I always adored the idea of surrendering a tiny portion of myself for this purpose. In old journals, you'll find hundreds of little drawings and designs under the scrawled handwritten words "Tattoo Ideas". But they were just ideas, and I never followed through.
As the years passed, I realized it was more than just a naive phase. I continued to hone my artistic talents, and the designs got cleaner, leaving recent journals splattered with the same pictographs. This year, for my 21st birthday, was the year I decided to go for it.
Naturally, though, COVID stepped in. The pandemic has caused the majority of tattoo artists to alter their scheduling, postpone, or cease appointments altogether. I emailed just about every studio on the Main Line, wondering if I'd be able to get in before we leave campus for the semester. Every single one- booked- until February.
...Until the gods of spontaneity acted in my favor. Two days ago, I got an email from Black Moth Tattoo in Ardmore, saying that their afternoon appointment was cancelled at the last minute. It was now or never.
I took a deep breath and wondered, Am I actually about to go do this? Yes, I reassured myself, but first: pizza.
Three slices and a few hours later, I was smiling ear to ear. I'd done something that, for the past five years, I'd been dying to do. And I had done it confidently, safely, happily, and for myself, with no hesitation. I couldn't help but feel accomplished; I could finally cross this off my lifelong "bucket list". For once in my life, I feel the sweet release of the constraints of schedules and plans, in favor of the wild memories that are waiting to be made.
So, if you're looking for a sign:
Whatever it is that's been on your to-do list, do it.
Whatever it is you've been meaning to buy for years but keep putting it off, buy it.
Wherever you've been meaning to go, GO GO GO!
In the wise words of my all-time favorite fictional character, Donna Sheridan:
"Life is short. The world is wide. I wanna make some memories."
It's okay to plan. But it's important to make room for spontaneity in your life. You will be so much happier for it.