Tuesday, February 27, 2007

"I've been sitting, waiting, wishing...."

Not just a sweet Jack Johnson song, but something that applies to me very well.

I have been just sitting, waiting and wishing lately and that is what has lead to my stagnant frame of mind.

I came to some pretty life-altering desicions today, things I have always known in the back of my head but what I have been unwilling to examine because I've been afraid of what it might mean.

But now that they have been uncovered, there is no going back.

Today I was asked a very simple question (or three): What do I want out of my life? What is my five-year plan? Where do I want to be in the future?

It took me awhile to come up with the answer. I had several attempts but the answers what weren't I wanted but what I thought I wanted. What I thought I had to wait for. What I thought would happen if the stars aligned, etc.

I've never believed in a five-year plan because over the last five years my life has changed so much, there was no way I could ever prepare for it.

But having a plan doesn't mean you can't or won't be open to change, because, let's face it, the plan WILL change. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't have a goal to work towards. And not just a short-term goal like getting fit or getting a job but your future in total.

Adult life begins at 26 (according to most Americans). Maybe it begins at 18. Maybe it starts at 30, I don't know. But what I do know is that I have to start planning for my future, for what I want to get out of my life. And I haven't been planning a thing, I've been unable to. Everything has been short-term because I haven't been able to look at the long-term.

Because the long-term has been completely dependent on other people* and not myself.

This is why I have been feeling stuck. This is why I feel like I have no control over my life because I have handed my control over to others and have essentially began to plan my life around them. Not the life I want but a life I am settling for. My dreams, my future, my goals for the years ahead are all dependent on everyone but me and this is such a slap in the face for someone who considers herself "independent."

Because I'm not.

I could be, but instead I am waiting for things to happen.

I am waiting for my life to start.

And all I have to do is start it myself.

I don't have to wait for other people to do this for me.

I know what I want from life. At least, I have ideas. I know that I won't be in Vancouver forever but I think I may be leaving sooner than I thought. I feel obligations to family, friends, boyfriends, my apartment, but in the end I know I must go and find out what else is out there. I have to do this for me because this is my life I am living and I am going to have to live with it if I make the mistake of waiting for something that might never come.

To put it in other ways, I feel a calling and a beckoning to travel and explore this world (yes, STILL) and find my place in it. Deep down I have known that this city is not the place to do it in. This is why I can't even commit to a pet, like a hamster, because I know I won't be here long. This is why when I am looking for jobs, I know in the back of mind that there is a good possibility I'll leave after a year or two. My long-term is not here, it is out there and I must start planning for that.

So what does this mean? Nothing too drastic.

Oh, except that I am going to start planning to move out of here next year. I'll lease out my apartment. I'll sell my car. And I'll take off, where I am going I have no freaking clue. Australia? Europe? Africa? Who knows?

In the meantime, in this year I have left, I am going to finish my schoolwork, I am going to get a job and make and save some money. I am going to continue to take classes in other areas to further my fields of expertise.

And if I stumble upon myself and my dream job in the process and decide to stay in Vancouver, then whatdyaknow! Good for me! Problem solved.

I just think that once you have a plan and you start working towards that plan, you gain control in your life.

And when you are finally in control of your life, everything else just falls into place**.

(I realize that this all seems very irrational and sudden but I can assure you, it's not. I have been thinking about this for a long time but just didn't want to accept it as something I really wanted because it would mean a great deal of risk and change. But I can't be afraid of those things. Life, in general, is a risk.)

*Just to clarify, other people is just what it means. There is not one person who contributes to this but many, most notably "parents."

**OK so I know a lot of you have told me this yourselves so it's not like I just came up with this, but hey, at least I agree now!

"To change one's life: Start immediately. Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions. " ~William James

On a lighter and less life-changing note, I don't feel too sore today. Well, not a sore as I thought I would. My pecs are hurting, as are my arms and legs. But I can't be doing too badly since I went for a jog already.

OK, I didn't purposely go for a jog, but I decided to walk to my therapist's and when I realized I completely underestimated how long it would take (the walk involved taking a wee ferry to an island) I ended up running there in order to make it on time. Hmmm, maybe that's the motivation I need? Anyway, so while I wasn't too sore before...I sure am now.

But man, I feel good....

duh na na na na na na na....

I knew that I would.....


Hoosier Joe said...

Hey, I saw your blog through like two others. I really enjoyed your writing. OK, enough of that.

Congratulations on starting to plan your future. I need to start figuring out what I want to do with myself too, but I'm way too lazy to actually get off my bum and do it.

If you're thinking about Australia, read "In A Sunburned Country" by Bill Bryson and you'll fall in love with the place. Trust me.

OK, really long comment. Just wanted to say congrats on the planning.

Wanderlusting said...

Hey thanks Hoosier! Guess your name means you are from Indiana, huh?

Thanks for the suggestion, I have read that book and thought it was hilarious.

I've also traveled around OZ in 2000-2001, living for three months in Sydney. I really liked it, however, it wouldn't be easy for me to work there since I was already granted a work permit for the country and you can only get one in your lifetime. Boo.

But on the plus side, I have found a whole list of countries in Europe that allow Canadians to work there for up to two years. I'll post them later.

BTW I like long comments...sorry for this long reponse!

Kass said...

I understand this. I dont know what the hell I'm doing, where I'm going. And there definitely are things that I know I should be doing, but instead I'm just sitting around for that life altering moment when I wake up and finally DO those things.


And quite frankly, unless you actually do something about it, thinking about it, its fucken pointless. SO fingers crossed you do something, instead of sitting around and thinking about it like the rest of us! lol.

Good luck :D

And we still need to go out and get sloshed. Damnit.

Wanderlusting said...

Kass - I agree!

I feel so much better now that I have a plan and am doing something about it.

Even if I don't end up leaving, I think just being open and wanting to progress with life will lead me in the direction I need to go in. If you build it, they will come...or something like that.

OK. Sloshed sounds good. What's about next weekend? Even weeknights work for me hehe

Kass said...

Precisely :) As people say (and I agre with) one cannot change without wanting to or believing that they need to or should. Yes, very wise, yuuus lol.

Weekend of 9th & 10th right? Sounds like a good idea to me :) Weeknights just seem strange, even tho I dont work either..Its just..wrong or something..Dirty..Yes, dirty is the word I was looking for.

Altho, I guess being dirty isn't so bad..

Unless you also smell, which isn't so cool..

Hmm. Yes.

M said...

The problem with plans is that I want to do every thing. It's a bit depressing when you want to be both stable and settled by buying a house but at the same time just bumming around visiting different countries.

Congrats on your plan! Sounds very awesome!

Wanderlusting said...

Kass - Yuuusss. That is the weekend!And we can still be dirty...ish.

M - Yeah see owning my place is kind of making want to, have to, settle. But the fact is, I own it and can rent it out and have someone else pay for the mortgage. Yay.

Kass said...

yes, lets get dirrty like xtina lol.

mareGa said...

Can't believe I stumbled upon your post, at this very moment, when I am too thinking about my future. What I want to do. Because the very same doubts and questions that you describe, are the one I have...

Markbnj said...

Gotta Tell you.
THIS is what growing up is ALL about.

Figuring out the answer to these questions, and starting to understand that your mum and dad WANT you to succeed, and DON'T want to be your protector are the first steps in growing up.

You'll see that now that you have a plan, it'll be lots easier!

(btw, saw the pic of you/her on her boat.)

What a spitting image of her are you.
and I would be proud to have you as a daughter...

like hoosier joe said,
Go to Oz, (or New Zealand), and start to raise goats/sheep, and make goat/sheep cheese and milk...
I'll buy it!
Markb in nj

PS: Housing in NJ sucks, otherwise I'd invite you over here.
But if you ever swing east-wards to NY/NJ area, I'll be happy to have you visit here for a bit.

Dan said...

"boyfriends"? As in plural?!?

QueenBitch said...

I have plans... so many plans... im such a planner i plan everything!! Nice blog btw

Lulu's Lost It said...

I can relate very much to this.
Its good to have a plan and if anyone can benefit from moving to another country it is you. You are brave enough to do it - as evident in your travels and your crazy bootcamp!!!

simon said...

I am glad you are not selling the apartment.

(sorry for the REALLY short comment) :o)

Rachel said...

i think this sort of decision is really good. it's good that you're sure enough of what you want to make these plans.

i applaud you.

Charm School Reject said...

You are so lucky to be able to have a free form generalized plan on what you want to do and who you will be.

Just because you have to "grow up" doesn't mean you have to do it conventionally.

Good luck!

Wanderlusting said...

Kass - I don't think we'll get THAT dirty :P

Marega - I'm glad you are a kindred spirit. It is always so humbling to know that someone on the other side of the world - a place I would love to be - is feeling the same way I do. Hang in there! I am.

Mark - Thanks for the invite! I will be over to NY one day, I know it. And I do feel better for having a plan...and whatdyaknow, my mum totally supports me on it!

Dan #1 -Lol! Shhhh, don't tell Ross. I mean, that was a typo.

Queen Bitch - Thanks Queenie (can I call you that? Or do you prefer Bitchy?), I love the name at any rate! I love planning as well and it amazed me that I hadn't been planning anything. No wonder I felt stuck!

Lulu - Mmmm. Yeah. Brave? Or crazy? That is the question.

Simon - I dont think I could sell anyways on account that I co-own with my dad but hey why not lease it out and have someone else pay my mortgage? Plus, when and if I return, I'll have a place to go!

Rachel - Well, I am not that sure of what I want, still. But I feel like I have to go elsewhere to find it. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong but at least I tried.

Charm - aww, thanks. I don't like convention. I never wanted to be average and do normal things. I want to stand out...at least in my own head!