If you had told me five years ago that I'd be sitting in a restaurant in Charlotte snapping photos of food for my freelance gig and eating grits (and liking them!), I'd say you were out of your mind.
Five years ago, I was living in Upstate NY, where I was finishing up my Master's in Accounting. I had a plan. New York and accounting were my five year plan.
What I didn't plan for was that the company I worked for would close it's office where I interned and started my career.
Moving down the east coast to North Carolina wasn't part of the plan. Disliking the career I went to school for wasn't part of the plan. Buying a house in Charlotte wasn't part of the plan. Freelancing in the creative space wasn't part of the plan.
On paper, nothing was going according to plan. That's because there was something I didn't plan for. Opportunity.
I've been blessed to have opportunity knock at my door over and over again. While now I can recognize opportunity, at the time it looked like a scary man dressed in all black with a hood over his face. It looked like a huge mountain covered with boulders and sharp edges and an impossible climb.
At the time, it looked terrifying. Like an unconquerable challenge.
But now, I can recognize opportunity. Instead of seeing my degrees as useless and a waste, I see them as a learning experience. Instead of thinking of shifting careers paths as an impossible and foolish task, I see it as the road less traveled that I'm willing and eager to take.
If you had told me five years ago that I would have started a blog or started to freelance, I would have laughed at you. I would have said you're crazy. I would have said that's not part of the plan. That won't help me to have a thriving career in corporate America that's going to get me to that corner office.
Change wasn't part of the plan. Growth wasn't part of the plan. But it is now. I accept it and I welcome it.
I wouldn't be where I am today without it. I won't be where I'm going to be in five more years without encouraging it.
Life is a funny thing. No matter how much we plan or calculate, what's meant to be will find a way. Most of the time we just don't know what that thing is until we're already in it or through it. But that's part of the adventure, isn't it?
If you had told me five years ago that my five year plan wouldn't go according to plan, I would have freaked out. I would have tried to plan more. Calculate more. Control more.
But now, if you told me the same, I would laugh and say I wouldn't expect it to. How boring would that be if it did? The funny thing is now, five years later, I don't have a five year plan.
I don't know where I'll be or what I'll be doing or who I'll be doing it with. You can't predict the future, so why try?
Right now, I'm focusing on being here. In the present. I'm focusing on what feels right and feels good, now. Not what will be right five years from now. Not what will be worth it in five years. I'm doing things that are worth it right now, in this moment.
If you had told me five years ago that I'd be where I am today, I would say it was a nice dream.
But it really is, isn't it?