“If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” -Woody Allen
As a twenty-something, I often feel that I am trying to find a comfortable middle ground between making things happen and letting go. I firmly believe that the universe is working with me to help me achieve my biggest dreams, but sometimes I can’t help but wonder, exasperated, why the universe has to be so slow about it.
I am not a patient person. I want everything done on my schedule, in just the way I envision it, and I want it to happen now. I like things to be done quickly, efficiently, and I like the results to be sparkly, polished, and tied up with a pretty ribbon.
The hard and beautiful truth is that whatever I have planned is most likely not going to pan out the way I think it should. Life does not unfold on my terms, in my time, or in the way I dictate. Life happens on life’s terms, and I am working on accepting that that is exactly as it is supposed to be.
The truth is…sometimes my heart aches. It aches with longing for desired results, the sting of past mistakes, and the desire to know where my life will end up. My heart aches for the things I have not yet accomplished, the milestones I have not yet hit, and for the dreams I have not yet realized.
I watch as some of my closest friends are beginning to get married, with many more in long-term relationships, and I am still single. Please don’t confuse this comparison with some pitiful whining about how I’ll probably die alone- I don’t believe that to be true and I am incredibly happy at this point in my life. I love being single, appreciate my alone time, and it’s nice having only my own feelings to worry about. Most of the time. But, but, a very large part of me is not-so-patiently awaiting the moment I meet the man I will someday marry. Right now, however, I am content with the in-between.
I watch as friends advance in their careers; receiving promotions, celebrating significant work anniversaries, and earning their graduate degrees. I, conversely, am just entering mine. I have my foot in the door, and am focused on working my rear off to see progress and advancement in the coming years. However, my entry-level position rubs my own ego the wrong way. That is the honest truth. I am working diligently to get over this, and to get over myself. I love my job and the company I am working for, regardless of my position on the totem pole. I also would love, more than anything, to be able to go back to school to get my graduate degree. Unfortunately, I cannot fathom putting myself in that much debt from student loans when I am almost, almost, just above water. I am this close, and I am not willing to give that up right now. I have to remind myself that, in the end, the only person I have to prove I am better than is the person I was yesterday. It is not an easy task. That control freak in me wants to go faster. To be bigger. To be better.
This impatient characteristic of mine, it isn’t a positive one. It isn’t helpful, it isn’t encouraging, and it certainly isn’t helping me grow. This is where the letting go comes in. Letting go means turning it over to the universe, to faith in a God of my understanding, and relinquishing control with the belief that everything is going to turn out as it should.
In the past, praying wasn’t something that I did. The only time I turned to prayer was to save my own skin; during moments when I was drowning in fear, hopelessness, and desperation. In making an effort to let go, and have faith in the universe during my difficulties, I began practicing prayer more often. Today, I am trying to let go rather than to control. Today, prayer is something I do throughout the day, but especially before I fall asleep at night. At the end of every day I stop and think about my life. I think about what I have been praying for, and how each step I take reveals more to me about the meaning, and significance, of my journey.
What do I pray for? Today, I pray for healing. I pray for past hurt to be removed from my heart so that I can be willing, and able, to receive love when it does come into my life. I pray for forgiveness, towards those who have wronged me, towards those that nearly destroyed me, and also towards towards myself. I pray that I continue to learn to love myself, because I am just beginning to believe how awesome I truly am. I need to be able to fully embrace this belief, that I am freaking awesome, in order to accept that kind of love from another. I give thanks, a million thanks, for the amazing friendships that life has blessed me with; and for my family that I would not be able to live without. I pray for patience, for guidance, and for grace.
I used to have a life plan. I used to have it all figured out. But then, in a million tiny ways and a few huge ones, the rug was ripped out from under me. I had to learn to change direction, to improvise, and to rebuild. In the most difficult of times, I had to hang on for dear life while the world spun around me. I had to learn to believe that I can become the woman I want to be. I had to learn that life won’t happen on any time, or on any terms, but life’s own. I learned that I have to work, work tirelessly, and in return the universe will work with me.
I still make plans. I still get lost in daydreams. I still envision my life turning out a certain way. I also know that whatever I have planned usually won’t happen the way I think it should. I know that in the end, it will turn out better than I ever could have hoped for. I have complete faith in this. The key is to keep going, to embrace each day as it comes, and to laugh when things get turned upside down.
*This was originially posted on my blog, Twenty-Everything.