Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My Plan

These days, I frequently get asked, "So, what's your plan?" It's a rational enough question. I'm 24, graduated from college, returned from worldly gallivanting, working in a coffee shop, and living with my mom. One would think I should have a plan to use my education and move beyond my current casual lifestyle. But my answer to that question goes something like, "I don't really know," or "I have no idea whatsoever." Right now my life is a blank slate--a table rasa, if you will. It's the first time I've ever experienced this. I thought I did after I graduated, and while I was traveling, but in both those cases I had plans. I had either a plan to travel, or a plan to go back home, and as vague as those are, they provided comfort. I remember people talking about the post-graduate blues or angst, trying to find their way through the world and find gainful employment. I thought I was immune to such afflictions, but now that I'm trying to find my way through the world and find gainful employment, I see that I'm not.

I have a feeling of anxiety, or restlessness. At first I thought it was from not making progress toward some larger goal--we all have to plan for the future, after all. But when I thought about it, I realized the same feeling of anxiety/restlessness has been with me for as long as I can remember--it's only the apparent cause that's shifted. When I was in school, the cause of my restlessness was to graduate; when I graduated, the cause was to leave Boulder; when I was traveling, the cause was to go BACK to Boulder. Now that I'm back, I'm restless to have a plan, because part of me thinks that will cure me of my restlessness. But it won't. Once I'm onto a new thing, I'll be anxious to move onto the next. And the next, and the next, and the next, until there aren't anymore nexts.

I don't think I'm unique. I think 99% of the population (At least In America, though I have my suspicions about the rest of the world) has this same feeling for their whole lives. Why else are people so driven, and our society so goal oriented? America was founded on this restless feeling. Just look at manifest destiny. It's like we have someone standing behind us, prodding us with sticks into the next moment, making us feel guilty when we fail to make progress.

Well to hell with that. The cat's out of the bag. I'm wise to this affliction and I'm not going to let it follow me till I die. For now, above all, my plan is to work on getting over this anxiety. To outsiders, It may seem like I'm doing nothing with my life, but by doing nothing, I'm working on one of the greatest somethings of life. Now all I have to do is figure out how to explain that when people ask, "So, what's you plan?"

4 comments:

  1. This is brilliant. Dare I say wisdom. Can't remember who said it but it, was this: "if you can't be happy here, you will never be happy anywhere" ; that is, and it's not even a cliche: The wisdom of NO escape! So, as my erstwhile daughter says: Bravo!

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  2. Thank you. If there's one place I can be happy, it's under the compliments of a Walter.

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  3. Dear teague,
    my feelings exactly. I get asked this question at least five times a day and every time find myself trying to answer the way that particular person would like best so they leave me alone and don't offer advice that I really don't want. The struggle to be "productive" but also maintain some dignity has become quite a conundrum for me.
    So as you pull shots at your shop, just know I'll be doing the same! I say it's a good plan for today!
    Boulder weekend this summer, ps.
    Love you!
    Dagny

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