Nothing ever really turns out the way we expect it to. We can plan beyond our present future but in the long run, we don’t have really a lot control of what happens for the most part in the far future. There are many things that intercept what our plans and ideas on how our future will turn out. It has been something I’ve struggled with for much of my life because I am a forward thinker, someone who likes to plan for everything. It got to the point where I was causing myself so much anxiety because I would try to find every possible outcome or every possible issue that might prevent the future turning out the way I would like it. It doesn’t change anything and it didn’t change anything, things just turned out the way they did.
That isn’t to say that I didn’t have some control of what my life has turned out to be and not all of it was what I had ever expected. But the thing is, success isn’t a straight line, there isn’t an A to B linear relationship between where we are in life and where we are going. If some people make their lives out to be like that they are either really lucky or just lying.
I still struggle with just accepting my life on a week to week basis because realistically, it’s only what can be truly planned for to turn out the way you expect it. Months ahead, years ahead, it’ll all be completely different from what you expected or wanted. Unless you made some serious sacrifices and you are incredibly dedicated to those goal regardless of what else comes up, friends, family, other opportunities and so on. But most people are not that selfish to put all of their life goals ahead of what's really important in life.
For the most part we put time into three categories, the past, the present and the future. If we live in the past we are often full of guilt or shame and a whole lot of what ifs. If we live in the future, we are filled full of anxiety and or excitement for things that may or may not happen. When we do this we set ourselves up to either do nothing at all because we are afraid or for disappointment because we expected something else. When we live in the present we live in that moment, that particular space in time where our options are endless in what we can do. Of course it could be something that might be beneficial to an idea you have in mind about your future, but again, accepting that what you are doing in the present may affect your future but your future won’t always turn out the way you expect it to. You’re human, you cannot predict the future or have true control over it.
I don’t know if any of that makes sense at all but in my case I thought when I went into college at the age of 19 that my life would result in a full time job in environmental sciences. Kind of funny to think of that now right? I graduated in 2008 around the same time the world was falling apart, something I had no control over. Ultimately I ended up moving around a lot from job to job, working in factories and getting paid a really poor wage. None of it turned out the way I expected it to but as I sit here today, I wouldn’t change the majority of my past if I could. Reason being, it provided me with a better outlook and mindset to take the good with the bad. It helped me appreciate what I’ve had and what I have now.
At this time I was also in a relationship with a man I met in college who was the same age as me. Of course I had the idea that we’d get married and I’d have 3 healthy children. Turns out I didn’t want to be with him anymore after 5 years because he was an abusive piece of shit. I do regret staying with him for as long as I have and my family often brushes it up in my face for “wasting time with such a dick hole.” But again, if I hadn’t been with this man, as weird as this sounds, I wouldn’t have met my fiancé. My fiancé is my ex’s teachers assistant from university. I would have never moved to Nova Scotia if my ex didn’t get into university. Of course my first year out there was absolute hell, I became unemployed in a matter of months, treated like shit by my employer and eventually drank myself stupid every single day.
This was probably the lowest point in my life because I wasn’t expecting my life to be the way it was. But the thing is, you do have current control of how your life will somewhat turn out, you just need to pick a direction and try to follow it as best as you can with what knowledge you have now. Kind of like if you were holding a compass full of all of your knowledge and experience, the greater the amount, the better your compass will guide you through the dark to your destination. You know what a good decision for you is and what a bad decision is, drinking myself stupid everyday was a bad decision for me. It took a lot to pull myself out of that rut, pick up my "compass" and move on. We're all aware of how our present choices might affect our future but none of us can really predict what will really happen in the long run.