I believe that nothing ever goes according to plan.
A plan, whether it be mapped out on paper or merely contrived in my mind, is the order in which I hope a certain course of action will follow. I can sit and think of every possible barrier in my intended affair, come up with solutions to fix them, and when it comes time to act, a smorgasbord of new unforeseen problems will arise.
As far as speaking is concerned, when I have something important to say, I recite it silently a million and one times to make sure it will be said correctly when its spoken aloud. Each word is picked like fruit at the grocery store, tested to make sure it feels right. But no matter closely I scrutinize, somehow at least one rotten word somehow slips in with the rest. Every time I have ever said planned words to a girl, usually reading from the speech practiced in my head, my soliloquy came out botched, often interrupted with stutters and “umms” and blanks where well-chosen words used to reside. This isn’t the result of poor planning or practice. It comes from the unexpected; the look on her face that shifts the tone of my words, often leading them to some place they never intended to go. I can’t say that I don’t think before I speak, in actually, maybe I think too much. I think about what I will say to the point where when a word is said out of place, I lose sight of my entire thought.
Whenever I have had to tell “her” how I felt, and usually a little later on, how I didn’t feel, an unorganized mass of words pour out instead of sticking to the single-file queue I placed them in, sometimes resulting in saying something I never planned on saying or leading to agreeing to continuing something I wanted to end.
That’s just one aspect of my well-planned-and-poorly-acted out life. But this pattern spills into the other areas as well. For example, this essay was originally about music being inspirational, but once the topic met my word processor the subject shifted to how I believe I know nothing. I still stand by the first two topics but somehow this unplanned rant is filling space.
I planned on attending a southern school. I am attending Syracuse University. I planned on studying journalism and geography. I am studying advertising and the music industry. I planned making some decisions I didn’t and vice versa. But I don’t look back at the wasted planning with regret, instead I believe that it only helped me get to where I am now. And I’m happy. If I planned on being where I am now, I can guarantee that I would be somewhere else.
I accept the fact that nothing goes according to plan, and so I plan accordingly. I am not agitated by a surprising turn of events and I know not to waste too much time preparing for something that won’t end up as originally intended. If everything went according to pan then I would already know the future and that would be too boring for me.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.