A change of plans
Published: Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 01:10
In life, as in chess, one must have a plan of sorts. An old chess proverb states, “A bad plan is better than no plan,” and in both the aspects of life and of chess I’d have to agree with the proverb. I’ve never had a solid plan for my life. In my short 23 years on Earth I’ve found that having long-term goals is a smart idea, but I’ve also learned that you need to leave those long term goals flexible. What I mean by this is that one must have a destination planned, but one does not have to have the path planned.
Planning a path is folly. Out of high school, my planned path to my destination was going to pastry school, getting a decent job in the pastry field and living in Chicago. Unfortunately, the pastry path didn’t work out quite as I would have liked, so I decided to go to a traditional college. I altered my planned path to fit in with going to a university in Alabama, then to apply for a scholarship to Loyola University in Chicago, then to attend the University of Chicago, but for one reason or another none of these paths worked out. I had become quite frustrated that I was nearly 22 years old, and I felt as if I hadn’t accomplished anything with my life. Then I realized it isn’t the exact path I should be planning, but a general plan to follow to achieve my goal.
It took me nearly three years to find a university to call home, that home being PUC, and in those three years I’ve done a lot of everything. Despite having jumped around from being a pastry cook, to a volunteer, to a student at X, Y and Z universities, to finally being a solid, dedicated student here at PUC, I never lost sight of my goal. I learned to allow my plans to be flexible to account for anything that I might encounter on my way to my goal.
The same idea should be applied by any one of you reading this column. Don’t become discouraged because you’re not where you thought you would be. The truth is that very few people are exactly where they planned to be a few years ago. Life happens, and when life happens plans have to change. Enjoy what you have now, come up with ideas instead of strict plans to help you achieve your goals and take everything one step at a time. Those steps might be down the path you’ve foreseen, or they may lead you astray into a dark forest, but such things are not to be feared or disliked. It’s the adventures we encounter while walking away from our path that lead us to what we really want.