MONICA: Do you have a plan?
PHOEBE: I don’t even have a ‘pl’.” – Friends
Those words have never rang truer in my life. For those of you who have not seen this episode, or worse, are not Friends fans (smh), in this episode Rachel freaks out over how unaccomplished she is compared to her college friends. She then brings down Monica and Phoebe with her, leading to all three of them getting sad about their ‘floopy’ unplanned lives. They compare Rachel’s situation to Jack’s (from Jack and the Beanstalk, obviously..) but they worry that in life they’ve just been handed plain old beans, instead of magic ones. The three of them proceed to eat cookie dough and depress each other over not having a life plan.
Every adult in the world has probably had the exact same thought. Even if you’ve been dreaming of the same goal as a kid, there will inevitably be a ‘what now?’ moment in your life. This is where you’ve come to a bit of a standstill. You reevaluate decisions you’ve made that have brought you where you are and you try to figure out the best path for moving forwards. Sometimes it’s really hard to find the path that feels right. You feel like maybe there is no path for you. Maybe this is all that life has to offer. You overthink it. This would be a good time to listen to this advice:
Plans are overrated. Even ‘pl-s’. I understand how comforting it is to have a plan and to know what direction you’re headed in, believe me I do. I’m a ‘check-list’ kinda gal. I have a never-ending list of things to do on my phone, on my ‘reminders’ and ‘notes’ section on my iPad, on my ‘notes’ section on my phone, and even on bits of scrap paper or used envelopes. They’re not just lists of chores, but also books I want to read, places I want to travel to and things I want to try out ! I like to plan. I like structure. I like to know what I will be doing tomorrow, who I will be seeing next week, and where I will be in a year’s time. But life has a different idea. Life doesn’t always allow you to have your own plan – it gives you one. It’s like being assigned a seat in a classroom. You don’t have a choice, but you need to remember that every seat is temporary. Because different teachers assign different seats, in the same way life assigns you different life lessons.
So at the risk of sounding cliche, it really is all about the journey and your outlook. I feel a bit lost right now and my mum is constantly reminding me to enjoy this time. It’s the perfect opportunity to try new things and figure out your passion(s) in life. Personally, I find it hard to feel motivated when my life is lacking stability, but I know that it’s a good opportunity to explore something I’ve added to one of my many lists. One of which was writing.
If you’re dying to know what happens to the three girls in the Friends episode (*spoiler alert*), they end up having a really fun night in together and it ends with Rachel admitting that she’s got her ‘magic beans’. The magic beans being her friends. I warned you that cliche was a potential risk here. Now I’m sure you’ve heard it all before and you know that life has a way of messing you around regardless of how well you’ve planned or how prepared you think you are. And I know you know that it’s the little things that count, that it’s the small precious moments that are of most value. I just wanted to remind you (and myself) that it’s okay not have a pl- sometimes. Actually, it’s okay to never have a pl-. As long as you don’t mistake your magic beans for typical ones.
I’ll just leave you with one of my all-time favourite quotes, from a great TV show.
‘Life asks of you what it thinks you can handle’ – Martha Kent, Smallville. Listen to Martha – she knows.
Just a thought…