I keep daydreaming about my future when I should be sleeping. I’m excited, and nervous, because I’m old enough to have accomplished something and young enough where anything can still happen. (Within reason, of course–I’m not likely to become a model, athlete, or stunning musician.) I have no idea exactly what I want to happen next, which is a sensation that is both freeing and absolutely terrifying. I have always had a plan. Always. And now…I don’t.
Well, of course, I have the outlines of a plan–graduate, find a job–but it’s all so sketchy. Quite the opposite of concrete, truth be told.
But isn’t that when the best things happen?
I keep having flashbacks to me at 20, a badly dressed student running around the U.K. and Europe without much of a clue. I had the best time in Florence with friends. As soon as we got there, we ran into our other classmates from school, who told us that our hostel was too far away. K. preemptively canceled the hostel, before we found a new one, which left us homeless for a few hours. We found an internet cafe, looked up addresses, then hopped on a bus with no real clue of where we were going.
And after a series of slightly sketchy negotiations, we found ourselves in an amazing hostel. I’m pretty sure the hostel was illegal, but we had a view of the Duomo–a cathedral which is central to Florence. I still remember the way the sun came into our room through the shutters in the afternoon.
It was all a good lesson for me: when I let go of my own plans, something better came along.
I learned that lesson again just 2 years ago. I had a dissertation idea, and I started working on it. After writing about 70 pages, my computer crashed. I couldn’t find the copies anywhere. No one could restore my hard drive.
I cried as though someone close to me died.
But somehow, in the midst of the wreckage, I developed another idea. This project, everyone agrees, is far better.
I will take delight in uncertainty, rather crawling up and being fearful of an unknown future. As a girl I longed for adventure; as a woman, I long for stability. My life is a negotiation between the two, but this year, I have no choice but to wake up and see what the day offers. I will treat each day as a gift from God which is full of good and wonderful things.