Why I Ditched My 5 Year Plan

I am a planner by nature. I love mapping out my days on my Google calendar, using Google Docs to research our upcoming travels and writing down goals for the future. I’m always working towards something to make life better and to be checking that next “box.” College degree, check. Job, check. Marriage, check.

And then after three years of marriage and moving to Germany, I realized that the next boxes to check, like buying a house, having a baby and a booming career, suddenly had to be put on hold. It’s been an unsettling feeling, but I’ve come to the conclusion that life is better without a specific plan and a more generalized view of the future. Here’s why I ditched my five year plan!

goals

My five year plan when I was 25 looked like this:

  • Marry Vinn…which I did on October 26, 2013!
  • Move to the South
  • Buy a house
  • Have a baby
  • Have a career in writing or something that is fulfilling

Of course, these are still goals of mine, but I got rid of the timeframe. A lot can change in five years, hello, like moving across the pond! The other thing is that most of these things come with societal pressures. Oh, you graduated five+ years ago, but you’re still living in a rented apartment? Why? You should have a house by now.

The questions of when we’re going to have kids are happening because we’re at that stage of life, but I honestly don’t have an answer. If we were back in the States, I’d probably be ready towards the end of the year. But there’s so much to experience here in Europe and our apartment isn’t exactly kid-friendly. I know we’d make it work if it happens, but I’m having no plan.

I’ve written about my career questions and I’ve learned that it’s important to be happy, that money isn’t everything and a career means different things to different people. I’m still in a bit of a crossroads, but I am extremely thankful that I have jobs that help contribute to our life here.

People say, “We make plans and God laughs.” I think this saying is so incredibly true! It’s great to have goals and ambitions, but having a specific time in mind is hard. It can lead to disappointment, which has happened to me. I’ve had dark times thinking about not being a marketing manager with a team because I thought that’s where I would be now. But, if I had that, I wouldn’t have this amazing life in Germany.

I can say that I am so happy with where my life is and I think it’s because I let it go, like Elsa says. I’ve released myself from the timeline, the “must-do” list by this time. At this moment of life, I’m getting comfortable with the unknown and that some of life’s best moments are the spontaneous ones.

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