Planning With The Flow - London Lessons
By day, I am a senior strategic planner. By Night I am a content planner. In life…I am an over planner.
Every single detail of my life is planned ahead, scheduled, written down. If I am happy I give myself an hour to dance about. If I am sad I schedule out cry time (which usually means I call Ellis, or Dee, or Afua or Adele or Sam Smith).
More recently I have been toying with the idea of living a less planned out life and “going with the flow” or sticking with my planned out life in an attempt to weave my way around uncertainty and failure. Well the truth is, both have failed me recently.
In my Literature class, we wrote several papers that resemble this blogpost. And the more concise your exploration of the argument…the higher your grade. So here is my thought process.
Ps – If you are here for the link to the outfit…save yourself and scroll to the bottom.
Go With The Flow.
I have very few times in my life actually gone with the flow. I am too scared to live a life that just runs its course…I mean …what If I die? But I have come to realize that the extent of my mental ability does not allow me to live an emotionally planned life. I am a trained artist. They told us to dip our brushes in paint and trust the brush to put color where it needs to go. They told us that when the paint went over the lines we initially drew…it was to be considered art and we would have to derive a new meaning from which we first intended.
Buddhism has attempted to teach me to live a life that does not depend on an outcome…and that fucks with my mind bigtime. In a world where the one thing I hold dear, and fear at the same time is my heart…going with the flow has been a poisonous recipe that I am addicted to. The words “we will see where things go”…always rests uneasily on the tip of my tongue…looking for an ear, a heart or a text to make its new home.
(Ps- When I am emotional I can only express myself in metaphorical ways…also I am African…we don’t know how to get to the point…that’s why we are always late…and why lots of politicians fall asleep in Parliament).
So the argument I state Is that my heart does not like to plan any sort of outcome…its deeply rooted in my fear of rejection. I don’t fear death, or snakes, or planes… I fear being rejected. And to avoid that fear, I do not set emotional goals…because when things don’t go my way…I like to feel like I can fall back knowing that I had no plans. But lets be honest, I had several…not firm…but several potential outcomes. All of which have a high chance of never going as planned.
To plan everything is to leave no room for a plan B. To plan your actual life is to expect no surprises. But my planned life led me to a bar alone in London, at 8pm thinking about why I had plans in the first place.
I am the kind of person that makes devoted plans with people and never likes to sway. I plan against my moods. Eg. After 8pm there are only certain types of conversations I like to have and for that reason will only allow myself to be around certain types of people. Between 6 and 8pm I actually prefer not to speak or have human contact at all, and you will find me with a book or literally in silence. Something I really quite enjoy…a little too much.
So basically what I am honestly trying to say is that I love to be alone when I have the option to be alone. When I have planned control over the circumstances of my alone-ness. I also like to be alone the most when I am surrounded by a ton of people. Their voices sometimes serve as white noise for me to steal away into my thoughts and continue to plan my life. (You would never know because I am a mental multi-tasker and half the time I am engaged with you, my mind is engaged elsewhere).
But tonight, after almost 72 hours spent between two different hotel beds and several unwelcome hours in Ubers, I felt discomfort with being alone. We all preach this idea of learning to enjoy being by ourselves. But I realize that I cant do it if I don’t chose to do it.
I tried to sit quietly and people watch…or walk the streets…or window shop and that shit hurt my soul. I hated it.
Why? Because this wasn’t by choice…it wasn’t planned.
I have none.
Actually I do.
Maybe it is time to role reverse. Flip my way of life like it is a coin.
Today I sat on the phone with my sister for an hour. And if you know our lives…between blogs, careers, travel and style gigs….an hour of uninterrupted sisterly time is worth its weight in gold. I cant divulge what we spoke about because it would weaken the sanctity of sisterly bonding….but what I got scolded for…is not having control over how I structure the schedule, work nature and actions of my heart.
Tonight I talked to myself about being alone. Simply because my roster of people I could call, were not available (time zone issues). And what I realized was that I can no longer live my actual life planned. Lack of control of the outcome should be something I embrace in areas of my life that have room for control. I should find excitement in taking turns in life that are unexpected and be readily equipped to understand and maneuver as life comes my way. It sounds really confusing as I write it out…but that is meant to be the joy in it.
Ultimately the only thing I can plan, is to learn to control my ability to go with the flow.