This weekend, sorting through some white cardboard boxes, I came across a manila folder labeled “Five Year Plan.” I remember writing it the Spring semester of my Freshman year of college. Around the time I had “wised up” and realized that I couldn’t keep ending my weekends by cutting off another wristband or scrubbing and “X” from my arm.

My plan was a detailed, step-by-step version of how my life was supposed to play out. Inspired by Tony Robbins, it was meticulously laid out, which makes me think I did it after midterms had ended and summer had yet to begin.

Line by line are timelines for the goals I told myself I would achieve. Law School- Enter with class of 2012. First Apartment- No more than four months after graduation.

I was so driven, so determined and looking back so, so wrong.

I hated every law related course I took in undergrad. My first apartment didn’t come until a year after undergrad. And I mean forgiving the rigid box I has put my future self into, I had nothing on that list that would make me happy after the five years were up.

Today, I have a better sense of who I am and a boldness to chase after the things that make me feel fulfilled. But what if life hadn’t torn my Five Year Plan to shreds? Where would I be?

The truth is, I can’t really do a horror “Where Are They Know” bit because I think I’d be doing ok. I would have been going line by line to my future and not doing too bad along the way. I guess, I’d be doing exactly what I said I wanted and hoping happiness and the rest came along the way.

The life I have now is beyond what I could have planned out. I wake up every morning in a place I that’s beginning to feel like my own, I get to do what I love and study what I care for. I live with laughter in my voice and in my heart and most importantly- I have what I need.

Author C.S. Lewis once wrote:

“If God had granted all the silly prayers I’ve made in my life where would I be now?”

Today, reflect on your unanswered prayers and be grateful for every one.

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  • OSHH


  • This post touched my heart! Thanks x

  • I am currently working on my life plan. One thing that you pointed out in your post is basically that you were fooling yourself and creating an unrealistic life plan (i.e. law school and hating law classes). I am glad that you pointed this out because so often we do this to ourselves.

    It took me a few attempts at my life plan to realize that I needed to create a plan that was visionary and went far beyond what I had been exposed to. Thank you for sharing this as it will serve as a reminder for me as I continue drafing and editing my life plan.

    • I agree, constant revisions to the life plan are necessary. One thing I’ve learned is that you have to plan for your plans to change, because they so often do. Sometimes we have to be flexible and take alternative routes to get to where we truly want to be.

  • Ditto Talia…while we’re planning God’s laughing…Enjoy the ride :)

    • Aura

      Amen amen!! So true!! Best life comes when we open up ourselves to let change flow while persevering for a brighter tomorrow.

  • I heard someone once say “What we think we want, goes a whole lot different when we actually get it.” I don’t mind God being in the drivers seat of my life at all. He ultimately knows whats best. Great article.

    • Fox

      I agree. God knows when to give us what we ask for. He knows when we are ready to appreciate his blessings.