The best laid plans

I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together. –Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn isn’t remembered for her intelligence, but she wasn’t stupid.

  1. I do believe, with all my heart that everything happens for a reason (but I won’t call it fate).
  2. People do change. People outgrow each other. This is okay.
  3. Your highs wouldn’t feel so high, if your lows hadn’t been sooo low.
  4. Trust yourself. You have your best interest in mind.
  5. Things have a way of coming together, but it rarely happens over night.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s funny how things turn out… or don’t, as it is.

plan (ˈplan) n.

a : a method for achieving an end b : an often customary method of doing something : procedure c : a detailed formulation of a program of action d : goal, aim 3: an orderly arrangement of parts of an overall design or objective 4: a detailed program (as for payment or the provision of some service) <pension plan> (plan. 2013. In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved February 28, 2013)

At my ripe young age I have learned not to spend too much time or put too much stock in plans. I’ve never been very good at planning anyways. It’s simply not in my nature. However, on the rare occasion that I do make plans, I don’t just dip my toe in the water, I throw my whole self in. I suppose that’s why I’m so completely and utterly crushed when they don’t work out.

Have you ever made a big decision based on how it would make other people feel?

Did it make you miserable?

It made me miserable.

Failed plans

Film star Helen Twelvetrees, Rutland Gates, Bellevue Hill, Sydney, early 1936 / photograph by Sam Hood

My name is American Burd, and I am/was (still trying to work that out) a people pleaser. I got engaged to please everyone but myself.

Then one day I made a decision. I had thought about said decision for a long time, but I never thought I’d actually go through with it. One day I did and it surprised everyone including myself.

The consequences of this decision were huge:

Everyone I loved was crushed.
My mother, she cried.
My father, he cried.
A few hated me.
Many were in shock.
Many more, to my surprise, were not shocked.

Disappointment, anger, and sadness ran rampant amongst my family and dearest friends. But, I am happy to report that I know now that

Everything. Happens. For. A. Reason.

I turned down the opportunity to teach a study abroad course in the UK because of my wedding.

One month after my breakup: I met some lovely people in Brussels who
Three months later: Offered me funding (I didn’t apply) to conduct research in ANY country in Europe
One month later: My research proposal was accepted by six countries. One of the countries had a faculty member researching my exact topic of interest… in the UK.
One month later: My ticket had been purchased.
One month later: I was settled in my cute little flat up North.
Two months later: I met someone.
A few days later: Was my (un)wedding day (a day I had been dreading since before I broke off my engagement).
BUT… it was the best wedding I never had. 😉

I drank champagne with my Scottish mom. We talked about life and love and all things that were good. Merida came home from work and joined us. I told them about the wonderful man who had stolen my heart. Someone who made me forget so much of the hurt that had been plaguing me for far too long.

Life is truly a series of fortunate events, which are rarely planned, often dreaded, and completely unpredictable. But honestly, what fun would it be if everything went according to plan?

I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit lately, the things that don’t turn out and the things that do, but that you never actually planned. This is likely because of where I’m at in life. I am no longer capable of thinking about what the future holds. It’s too overwhelming. Plus, if you’re always looking in the future, planning for the future, what do you do when the future becomes the present? I can and will only take life one-step – or semester – at a time. I’m excited (and a bit terrified) for this next life chapter.

What about you? Do you live in the present? Plan for the future? Know where you’re going?

 

Thanks for coming along for the ride

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