Without my Outlook and Google calendars and my nifty black notebook, I’d be a walking disaster, wandering aimlessly through the streets of Manhattan. Though I thrive on spontaneity, my life is often ruled by plans and endless to-do lists.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I’ve been able to be successful because I’m a type-A, structured, organized, and tenacious worker who doesn’t give up. But the reason I’m happy in what I do is because not only do I love to write and edit, but it is my passion and I go after it with an unstoppable determination to do more. Sometimes, to be a force to be reckoned with, you have to make sure your bases are covered with reminders and planned events that sometimes take away a little fun.
But maybe having everything to-a-t isn’t always the best idea.
I can’t tell you what I’ll be doing this time next year (or really even what I want to be doing), but I have hopes and ideas for the way I’d like to go. I’m powerless to determining when I’ll reach the point in my career I ultimately want to be (though I’m not sure if I’ll ever be fully satisfied), or to when I’ll have that lovely brownstone in the Village, and the man and puppy to go along with it. In the back of my mind, though I’m not on deadline and in a rush, I have a tentative schedule for how I see things panning out.
But somewhere, in the middle of all of these plans, all of this structure, all of these progressions in my career, and all of these ideas of what will define my life – something happened.
My plans changed. And actually, quite recently.
A few days ago, while catching the train back to my apartment after a lovely, brisk day in the city drinking coffee and giggling with a gal friend, I looked up and saw a star shining brighter than the rest right above the city tops.
And as if the answer I’ve been praying for all of these years, all of these sleepless nights spent worrying and praying for a future I couldn’t see, came upon me. It was one of those moments where you feel like time stops, where you’re moving in slow motion, and everything seems noiseless to the point you can literally hear your own heartbeat. And even with people surrounding me, passing me, and bumping into me on the corner of Fifth and 42nd – I could hear the voice of peace coming from a far distance, saying:
All is as it should be; all will be as it should.
Maybe I was exhausted from a busy weekend or the cold was infiltrating parts of my brain – but I’d place my hand upon my heart and swear I heard these words clearly and quite beautifully. And in that instance, I felt this incredible urge to just release. To let go of everything I’d held onto, the plans, the frustrations from when my build wasn’t true to the blueprint I’d outlined. I heaved a sigh of relief, out of nowhere, and for once, in a very long time, had the feeling that I was right where I was supposed to be.
I’m not sure if men come in and ruin our plans or we allow relationships to define our plans, but I do know that sometimes not having a plan, is the best plan of all. Though my relationship (or non-relationship) with Mr. Possibility is far from perfect and quite easily could deteriorate very quickly, there have been some unexpected benefits of going into the dating scene without planning ahead. I used to figure out all there was to know about someone by way of Mr. Google’s endless source of knowledge, before even really giving them a chance to prove who they were in person. And if I didn’t automatically, within the first ten minutes of the date, feel that click that I knew was part of the plan of finding Mr. Right – I’d become uninterested. And of course, disappointed that I had wasted another date, when I should be working on my master plan.
It took until the start of this journey to realize…I was.
The way I approached Mr. Possibility was with an incredibly open perspective – and not only just in the bedroom. Instead of judging, disqualifying, or looking for a checklist – I just let go. I stopped insisting on a plan and I let whatever it was (and whatever it will be) just happen. And because I had no plan, somehow, my emotions haven’t been as closely tied as they have in previous relationships. Not having a plan means releasing a pressure that isn’t necessary from day one. Not placing rules or expectations when you don’t know someone, just to make them fit into a corner you want them in, not only suffocates the lust, but also doesn’t allow you to keep your options open too.
Because without set timelines and to-do lists, and the urgency that seems to come with both of those, there comes the opportunity to allow other things, other people, other adventures, to cross our path. I can’t say how long this peaceful, easy feeling will last – I’ve always been a true organizer of anything and everything – but for the time being, I’m rejoicing in liberation.
I mean, after all, I can’t plan to keep this calm, cool, trusting, lovely, and collected feeling around forever. Or can I?
P.S. Confessions of a Love Addict is making Valentine’s Day more about the single ladies and less about flowers that’ll die in a day. Submit your Valentine here.