Over the weekend I hung out with Tara, a local teenager I met at my local coffee shop. Tara and I were talking about her dating life and she said that she can’t settle. She’s a planner and she knows what she wants. Tara wants to have 8 kids and she has 8 names picked out, but the idea of physically having a kid herself is daunting. So, this man she’ll marry needs to agree and understand she wants 8 kids. Then she started elaborating more on how she’s a planner and after awhile I had to interrupt.
“Tara, can I share something with you that most people don’t know about me?”
“When I was your age, my childhood best friend and I had our lives planned. When I say ‘had our lives planned’ I mean we had it written in a book that we were going to go to these colleges, major in this and that, graduate, share an apartment together and then meet our husbands, get married, and have our kids. We even had all sorts of details between those milestones planned. We left, what we thought at that time, was wiggle room for other events, but we had serious plans for our lives. About 2 years ago we talked about this book and what we wrote down and how NONE of it happened. Not a single thing happened how we planned, but we agreed that if it did happen as we planned it would have had potential for being boring and frustrating. Frustrating with trying to keep up to expectations we made for ourselves while listening to the Dave Matthews Band on my stereo and eating fried raviolis. In short, don’t plan too much, but don’t settle for anyone or anything.”
“I don’t think I had that much planned.”
I’ve been thinking about that conversation for several days now. I really planned a lot and I’m thankful that none of those things came to pass. Boston had too much snow this winter and that was where we were going to end up.