Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hey You, Stop Laughing At My Plans

Little girls dream of being princesses, growing up and marrying princes.  Boys dream of being policemen and fireman and army rangers.

Then we get a little bit older and we make more "serious" plans.  You know, great Rabbinic scholar, CEO of a fortune 500 company, stay at home JAP mom who gets her nails done every day and goes out with her friends for fancy lunches (just kidding Jewish ladies).

When I started my path to "recovery", I made a plan for myself.  I had a name for it.  It was the Roadmap.  And the road map was my bible.  It was my master plan for showing them all that i could beat them - that even though I wasn't going to end up like they wanted me to, I was going to be a success. 

(Who were them and they?  The usual suspects, the teachers, Rabbis, my parents, everyone who ever spoke bad about me, anyone who ever used me and threw me away, the guy who once laughingly told me to my face, after I did certain things for him, that someone like me could never amount to anything.  Oh yes, them and they are a nice big list).  But I digress.

My plan was very simple.  Go to college.  Graduate with honors.  Get a job in finance.  Devote every inch of my being to that job.  Skyrocket through the ranks.  Become a corporate bigwig by age 30 (oh 18 year old me would have rolled on the floor laughing if you suggested to her getting married at 21 - ROTFL I tell you!).  Find a nice non Jewish boy, get married.  Have one kid (a girl, of course).  Die with a half page (at least) obit in the New York Times lauding my great accomplishments in the world of finance.

Sure, scoff.  Laugh if you will oh you doubters.  This was the Roadmap, and i was going to follow it to the very last detail.  Honestly, nothing would stand in my way.  And I used to repeat the list in my head every night before bedtime, much like Arya Stark (the Tickler, Prince Jeoffrey, The Hound, The Mountain, Raff the Sweetling, Polliver, Ser Merwyn).

Over time, it changed a touch - about two years ago I decided I'd get married at 25 to a non-religious Jew and have two kids (either two girls or a boy and a girl), but otherwise the Roadmap was the solid road map of my life.

And I did finish college, and I did well.  Step one of the Roadmap complete.

And then the wheels came flying off.

Let me make one thing very, very clear.  This post is not a complaint about how my life is turning out.  I couldn't be happier.  I love how my life is turning out, pretty much all of it. 

It's just I was thinking yesterday that the Roadmap is in complete and absolute tatters.

We dream, we plan.  We get it all figured out.  We tell ourselves that it's in our control.  But truthfully, it just isn't.  And on top of that, there is no single point in your life where you can make answers that will serve you for what's to come.  Everything changes.  You adapt or you fall behind.  People who are too rigid to adapt are going to be unhappy.  Because let's face it, "man plans and God laughs". (No, sorry guys, that's not original.  I've heard it once or twice before)  And this is one of the reasons why this journal is so helpful to me.  because I'm able to record snapshots, how I'm thinking at a certain moment, or time, in life.  Then I can look back and see how things, or my ideas, have changed.  Go my therapist!!

So here I am - 21 closing in on 22, already married.  Seeing the possibility at least of more than two kids (though not too soon!) and seeing the further probability that my days as a corporate bigwig are not only numbered, but may never even happen - a combination of a truly shitty economy and a truly shitty economy. (It seems that even with pulled strings, my value to most companies is as a pretty face in reception.)  I'm left with the probability that I'll be taking my fallback job (a family thing) right away.

Again, this isn't a complaint.  It's actually an observation.  Mainly that we have to be flexible.  We have to adapt.  We have to be willing to change.  There is simply too much outside of our control.  Yesterday I was looking at the ripped up Roadmap and feeling as though I had no control over my life.  But some smart ass pointed out that things ended up pretty well for me.  So cest la vie, in a sense.  You can't cry over what you can't control.  And to be honest, I'd prefer that my biggest accomplishment in life are the children I bring into the world rather than the billion dollar deals I've closed.

So there you have it.  Everything changes.  It doesn't mean you shouldn't plan - you most certainly should.  But you have to be flexible with your plan.

Now excuse me while I try to plan lunch with a friend...


  1. the economy has required adaptation - it's brutal, it's darwinian, and it's not going to change. kol hakavod for recognizing that and trying to come to terms with it.

  2. All of us have some sort of road map, even if it might be a bit simpler than yours. But, as an old lady, I can look back and many people have lives that actually follow that road map?

  3. I thought "Hey You" was a reference to PF, but I think it's only me...

    1. And *I* thought PF was a reference to, but that's definitely only me...

  4. Gelt - I'm pragmatic and realistic about the economy. And I read through the sugar coating

    MW- So what's the answer?

    COJ - Not EVERYTHING comes back to Roger Waters u know....

    1. Not very many. But that's life. We're not in control.