I’ve never really been a planner. At least not long term. All the big events and choices I’ve made in my thirty odd years have just sort of happened. I took the route laid out in front of me. When there was a fork in the road, I did what felt right at the time. I’ve never sat back and thought about a ‘5 year plan’. I tend to float from month to month really, which used to suit me.
I found out I was pregnant at the age of 18, and had not been in my relationship with Mr P, for very long by this point. I made the decision to continue with the pregnancy even though I knew at that time that the future of our relationship was uncertain. We’d not even gotten to the ‘L’ word and I was suddenly announcing I was up the duff. Thankfully we are still here, now happily married with 2 more children 15 years on. Was I prepared for a different outcome though? I am very grateful that things worked out the way that they did, but I think that I would have coped either way on some level.
At the age of 26, I was diagnosed with Burkitt’s Lymphoma and for 6 months our life was thrust into doubt. Well my life to be specific. Throughout my treatment, I simply blurred out the world, and simply lived from treatment to treatment. I lived in the now, and even through my recovery afterwards, I didn’t make any plans. There was no bucket list, no remorse of things I hadn’t achieved. I even grieved the fact the chemo was killing my eggs and a future child, rather than deal with what was happening to me and my family. I remember, it was Christmas and my doctor sat me down and told me that it could be my last. He was uncertain. I was certain that it wouldn’t be, and thankfully I was right.
I was uncertain about whether leaving my job and going to college was a good idea, but even then I chose to enrol on a whim. I didn’t give the practicalities that much though at the time. Looking back, I can not believe that I did that. What would I advise a friend to do? I blame the fact I was newly in remission and living in the moment, but it’s scary to think about. Even my choice to go to university was a whim too. I was set against going to university and only went to the open day because I was tagging along with my friend Jessica. Before I knew it I was in a blur of applications and portfolios and then interviews. Suddenly I had a place at the University of East London and needed to sort childcare. I tend to do things slightly backwards. It was never a conscious choice to do things this way, however it always seemed to work out that way. Don’t even get me started on trying for our third baby…The one we were told would never happen who is happily sleeping my my bed as I type.
However as I have gotten older (gasp), I have realised that I need a plan in order to have something to look forward to. Maybe I need to start a 5 year plan in terms of my photography business and in order to fulfil my dream of moving out of London, or for clearing some debts. I find the whole process rather daunting however.
Do you thrive on the uncertain? Are you more of a planner? Do you have any words of wisdom?