Monday, 12 August 2013

Planning to plan

I was innocently walking the dogs when I first noticed it, the change.

Seeing the leaves turning golden, I felt a rush of nostalgia. For years the signs of Autumn and September have meant a new school year, a fresh start but in a familiar setting, with new goals and timetables but with your old friends, building on already established blocks. I've always liked that feeling. I was good at school.

This year, seeing the orange-tinged, red-tipped leaves brought upon a feeling of dread. Change was upon me and I don't know if I can cope.

Whilst everyone else is off back to university, and my dear Heath is fleeing off to Canada for a year, I'm once again facing a year of the unknown. A year of desperately clutching at job opportunities and work experience or anything that might help me not go insane with restlessness. Unless you just disappear off travelling, a gap year is anything but relaxing. You have to apply for so many different things, in case a few of them don't happen... sometimes all of them don't happen and you're just left with nothing. Left falling down your deep, dark Gap, invisible and inconsequential.

It makes my head hurt thinking about it all, and I get that heavy lump in my throat which warns me that tears are imminent. With all this tumbling in my head, I decided it was time to have a plan. One of the many 'inspirational' quotes we had plastered around the school was 'FAILING TO PLAN IS PLANNING TO FAIL'. Fear of failure is one of my biggest issues.

The only problem is, planning is hard, especially when your head can't think straight. After only a couple of hours my computer screen was swarmed with internet tabs for various travel companies, work experience web pages, job search sites and all of them sent me in circles with false hope and bitter disappointment. The internet can be a maze sometimes.

Planning what to do for a year was not going to plan.

I needed to plan how I was going to plan. I needed a diary... yes, that'd motivate me... a cute little diary with dates and separators. And maybe a noticeboard as well! With goals and tasks pinned on with cute little pins and I could decorate it with stickers and stuff. Stickers and stuff fix everything.

So, I pulled myself together, put on a pretty pink dress to make me smile and drove to town. Now I had a plan.
Jack Wills silk dress, I adore it

luck necklace

Pretty, expensive diary from Paperchase? Check.

I chose this one because the fabric reminds me of Thailand.

Cute, little noticeboard decorated with glitter glue. Check. Thank you Wilkos.

I even got some star stickers to stick next to the goals I achieve.... you know, when I decide what my goals are...then actually do them...

And these super cute pins are amazing. I bought the bunnies ones in Paperchase for far too much, only to find Wilkinsons did the ladybird ones for £1. Never mind, live and learn.

The only issue now is that I should actually plan what I am going to do.

I like plans, I like itineraries and I like timetables. I like when they tell you what you are going to be doing, and then you do them, simple. But what am I to make of a plan full of 'what ifs' and 'perhaps'. A plan full of 'Well, if I have enough money', or 'Well, if I can get a job' or 'perhaps an opportunity will come up here'. Life has too many uncontrollable factors. Too many unknowns. My own state of mind being one of them.


That quote is all good and well, but to be honest, I didn't get good grades by planning to revise, I got good grades by revising.

Plans mean nothing without the action.

What if all these things I plan don't happen? Then my plan is just a reminder of all the things I failed to do, a glittery cork board full of failures hanging on my wall laughing at me.

That's the problem with depression, sometimes I think I am just planning to fail. If I plan to fail then I can't be disappointed. Then with my mind drenched with negativity I end up making no plans at all and I go back to being panicky and confused. It's exhausting.

I need to learn that happiness doesn't come from having every detail of your life planned out. It doesn't come from checking off to-do lists and following a preordained set of rules that give you a 'perfect life'. Life is too unpredictable to plan it all.

I need to learn to chill out, but I don't know how yet. Maybe I should make a plan...

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