At the age of 20 I sat down and wrote down a five year plan for my life. Since I’m the type of girl who normally plans everything in detail, it should have come easily for me, but I seemed to have trouble with planning or predicting what I wanted to do five years down the line. There were a few things I knew though: I really wanted to travel as often as possible, I wanted to do more volunteer work, I wanted to progress personally and professionally and I wanted to meet new people and make new friends.
My plan went a little something like this: at the age of 21 I would intern at a reputable company in Cape Town for a year; at age 22 I planned to take a Gap Year and go to India; at age 23 I’d be working full time and studying photography or social work part time and from the age of 24, up until about 27 my life would pretty much follow the same routine of work and studies, aside from the one month every year that I’d take out to do some volunteering abroad.
Well, I’m happy to report that I’m precisely 47 days away from my 24th Birthday and my 5 year plan has been chucked, unceremoniously mind you, out the window. It all started out pretty well though, with me landing a job at a huge international publishing house, thinking that my plan was right on track. But then, at the end of a year long intern-ship and after turning down a brilliant job offer, I boarded a plane to London England and my entire life changed. I took a job in a field completely unrelated to PR and met some amazing people and before you knew it a gap year turned into two years and now here I am back in Cape Town finishing my PR degree at the age of 23.
When I look back at my five year plan now, I find it laughable, because the person I am now is so different to the person I was nearly four years ago. My life experiences have changed me and the people I’ve met and befriended have also influenced me. I’m not certain of the direction my life is going in right now, but I find the uncertainty comforting and exciting.
I’m still figuring things out along the way and I plan to wander around for a good deal longer, knocking into obstacles I couldn’t predict, taking a wrong turn every now and again and changing direction whenever I see fit. Some might say it’s a reckless way to live your life, but for me it’s thrilling and what fun would the ride be if you didn’t have a few bumps along the way. I’m a firm believer in the journey and not the destination and since this is my journey, I plan to live it by my rules, at my speed and with as much enthusiasm and Oomph! as I can muster.
Picture Sources: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4142/4792488512_1d444f01a9.jpg