the planner without a plan
I am a planner.
Which means that
every surface area of my Google Calendar is time blocked down to the minute I shower, colour coded by areas of work, life, play.
You want to go on a walk? Let me check my schedule. What will my life look like in 5 years, you ask? I’ll reference the sheets upon sheets of goals and reflections I have documented in 1 of 10s of Notion pages I manage for my life.
“You’re so organized” people say
“I wish my time-management was as good as yours” they roar
But little do they know
any miniscule disruption sets me ablaze.
My day is designed to the T not because I am more productive, organized, or particularly great at time-management
In fact, it is the opposite
My desire to be in control so desperately renders me paralyzed in the face of distraction. An unexpected (and esp. If unpleasant) experience will consume my mind for the entire day, an ask from someone will throw my schedule out of balance, little things that force me to context switch—and at the end of the day I find myself asking why I’m like this. I beat myself up, wondering why I didn’t do what I said I would, then promptly angering myself more for beating myself up when I also told myself I would stop beating myself up for just being human.
I am a ruthless planner not because of ambition (although that plays a factor) but because of a need to be in control. Because the one thing that I feel like I can control in this crazy world sometimes is silly little coloured rectangles on my screen-and even that can get moved around by the beck and call of some other matters I perceive as important at the time.
Sometimes though, I’d like to give in to not being in control all the time. To enter situations, experiences, places, without needing to have it figured out all the time.
And that starts today with this blogpost.
It’s 11:21pm on Friday, January 7, 2022, and for once in my life I don’t have a plan. I don’t have ideas sitting in the backlog on what’s to come, what I should write about, how I want to be perceived, or what I want my ‘brand’ to be. I didn’t write an outline for this piece as I would for my college essays, or a plan like I would for producing a video. I don’t even know where I’m going to be publishing this, but frankly I don’t care right now.
All I know is that I’ve always loved writing. Every year, I tell myself I want to write more, but fail to have anything tangible out for others to see. It’s only recently when I had to write the essays upon essays I did for my Sociology classes that reminded me how much more in tune I feel with the world when I am reading and writing.
And about an hour ago, I decided I wanted to write something and show the world. And in normal conditions, this thought/idea -> conceptualization -> execution pipeline would take weeks, sometimes months, and sometimes never seeing to the final stage. That’s because so much of me putting stuff out in public rides on my pride - as much as I tell myself I don’t care what others think, I truly am concerned with how I am perceived sometimes. I constantly defend my own opinions with the opposite point of view just to make it seem like I am thoughtful, but really I am just scared of what other people might think of me so I inject more points to make my argument seem more whole. Even as I am writing this you can see that I am rambling on and on to speak on multiple perspectives, ironically proving the very point I’m making.
Point is, I decided that this is something I want to do (among Nth other activities) that I realized by continuously putting off under the excuse of “I need to finish X project or wait Y time first” before I can start would have meant never getting around to it as evidenced by my failed attempts in prior years.
So here I am. For someone who craves structure as much as I do, today I am giving myself the space to give in. To let myself feel. To open my heart and speak my mind – and see where it takes me. Is writing my top priority right now? Maybe not. But does that matter? Not really. Because to me, it is the most important thing I could be doing for myself right now in this very moment.
Will this Substack (or whatever I end up posting this on) see the light of day tomorrow, a week from now, months, years into the future? I don’t know. I don’t know how long I will continue writing - if this is motivated by sheer midnight willpower, true intrinsic desire to be better, or simply emotional pendulums.
Normally, every blood cell in my body right now would be itching to edit what I’ve written so far. To wrap these thoughts up in a neat little bow, before it ever reaches any other eyes. But for tonight, at least for tonight, I am not. I am letting you take a peek into my raw, unedited thoughts, the ones that might go on and on without ever reaching a conclusion, perhaps bordered by fluff, but in all honesty is probably the most truest representation of me as someone who is working on being more concise and articulate but knows it is not programmed into my default settings yet. (ok this just sparked a new blogpost idea but i am refraining from exploring that further right now because like I said, tonight is not the night where I have a plan.)
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading. I’ve always struggled with putting my work out in the public eye but hope this is the one thing that sticks. Or not. Like we’ve established already, I don’t know what I want for the future of this. But I’m glad at least one person thought my scrambled thoughts were worth sticking around to gaze upon.
Till next time, maybe?