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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