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Read This if You Don’t Have a Five Year Plan

Where do I see myself in five years? Uh… celebrating the five year anniversary of you asking me this question?

So maybe you know exactly what you want to do with your life… but you’re not quite sure how to start doing it. Or maybe you have no f*cking idea what you want to do, let alone how to do it.

You’ve probably run into at least one of these oh-so-organized people who just seem to chug along from college to internship to job to better job to having it all. HOW DO THEY DO THAT?

But it’s ok to figure it out on the fly.

You know that it’s the journey and not the destination that really matters or whatever, but it would still be really nice to have something to brag about at your high school reunion. (Or to be confident in your ability to pay the rent in the foreseeable future.)

But if you worry too much about hitting certain milestones on a certain schedule, you might miss some of the stuff in between. Like life and experiences and junk. There’s no one path to take, and there’s nothing wrong with leaving room for spontaneous trips and surprises and unscheduled unemployment.

So it’s ok to hop from job to job. Or to accept that the 9-to-5 is just not your thing. It’s ok to date someone you’ll never marry. And it’s ok to change directions or do something unrelated to your major or realize that you’re really into pottery.

It’s the wandering and wondering and feeling utterly lost that lets you discover what’s really important to you. Or at least, it’s trying out a whole bunch of different experiences that makes for the most interesting people.

Nothing goes exactly the way you think it will.

Life rarely goes according to plan. You’ll have to adapt and change and possibly take emergency birth control once or twice, because life is messy.

Even people who have nice, shiny plans will need to completely rethink things at some point. Maybe you had a specific idea of where you’d be in five years when you were 16, but chances are you wouldn’t want that 16-year-old to dictate what you should be doing with your life right now. Remember what you were like at 16? Yikes.

The best laid plans can veer wildly off the rails. Setbacks happen, so you might as well enjoy the ride.

I mean, you don’t want to look back and think, what if? Surely it’s better to think, well, that didn’t work out, but it sure made for a hell of a story.

After all:

“The truth is, most of us discover where we are headed when we arrive. At that time, we turn around and say, yes, this is obviously where I was going all along. It’s a good idea to try to enjoy the scenery on the detours, because you’ll probably take a few.” Bill Watterson.