Saturday morning Jordan and I lazily made our way to my favorite brunch spot (Bounty Kitchen) for a leisurely egg sandwich before taking on Saturday adventures. At the time we didn’t specifically have any plans for the day, but Jordan was itching to get out of town after a stressful week at work. While I hoped more for a weekend at home in Seattle, I knew Jordan needed a change of scenery to ultimately feel relaxed and refreshed. After a bit of debate tossing around destination locations we decided to meet one of his oldest friends in Portland, Oregon.
We stopped at home after brunch and threw together weekend bags without so much as looking at the weather or booking a hotel. I generally take a calculated approach to packing with organized lists and pre-planned outfits however due to the impulsivity of our getaway I didn’t have the time to do anything but throw a few pieces into a duffle and run out the door!
Our mini-getaway was not the most structured adventure we have experienced. Everything from booking our hotel, to finding a restaurant for dinner to dressing appropriately for the weather was a bit of a struggle. Why did I think packing ballet flats and sandals would work well for a rainy weekend? Why didn’t I pack a proper jacket but somehow remembered not one but two pairs of earrings? A simple weekend trip reminded me of one of the core traits I lack-spontaneity.
I often become frustrated when day to day activities do not meet my expectations. Though I may impulsively pick up a pair of sassy heels or a bright new shade of lipstick I rarely order meals off of the menu that I haven’t tried and easily become overwhelmed when thrown into unexpected adventures.
Rather than focusing on my distaste for the unplanned and unregulated I want to draw attention to a larger parallel. A recent heart to heart with my Aunt reminded me the spontaneity and unexpected surprises life in our twenties often brings. Though I am still a naturally goal oriented person over the past couple of years I’ve slowly realized how silly it is to expect myself to stick to a rigid one year plan let alone a five year plan. So I’ve started to focus on one month or sometimes even one day at a time.
Most mornings start with a grande peppermint mocha and a to-do list. I remind myself that the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time (though the thought of eating an elephant is rather disturbing no?). Whether I am making a list of tasks to complete each day, or outlining my goals for the month I’m trying to embrace the components that are calculated and the random quips and quirks that were thrown in to the mix.
Thrown together-both the contents of my suitcase and my life are approximately one part calculated and two parts entirely spontaneous. At twenty-four I can’t always control each portion of my career, my secular life or my relationships…a perfectly calculated life is both impossible and improbable. I can choose to control my reaction to the unknown, the unpredicted and the spontaneous. Whether it is a new career opportunity, a whirlwind weekend trip or a new shade of nail polish, the un-calculated path may be intimidating (and occasionally overwhelming) but that sure of heck doesn’t mean it isn’t worth the ride.
Instead of feeling guilty for all the ways I don’t have “it” together (currently: my messy hair and cluttered office) I’m attempting to focus on dancing in the wonder of chaos while simultaneously satisfying my inner need to plan and calculate by conquering obstacles bite by bite.
I can’t tell you whether this week will be influential or entirely forgettable but today I am choosing to tackle my life with intention and purpose.
Happy Monday blog friends! How do you battle anxiety and days that don’t go as planned? Do you prefer a calculated life or a spontaneous one?