I had it all figured out. I would go to Kenya and 6 months later, I would come back to my old life in San Francisco – my friends, my apartment, find a rich husband to marry, stay in the SF Bay area, have two charming children, and live happily ever after.
But something happened. I fell in love with a Colombian in Kenya. I loved the way he saw the world. I loved how he fully embraced live. I loved the way I was able to love him. And I never wanted to let that go.
But it wasn’t part of the plan, and I was afraid of what this new plan with my Colombian would entail. Where would we live? Would we get married? What about the big, house, car, and two perfect children? I felt like my flawless Monet painting of a plan had been transformed into a modern Warhol piece, which I couldn’t quite figure out.
The uncertainty of what life would be like without the plan worried me. I worried where I would live, where I would work, what I would eat. I worried what my parents would think and what they would say.
But even with the uneasiness I felt about giving up my illusion of the perfect life, my heart felt at peace. I knew my heart was with him, and I was beginning to understand how life could be without making all these plans. And thus, began my journey of living life in the here and now.
When you stop planning out every detail in your life for the future, you can beginning living in the present. I know that some days going to an office and working may not be the most exciting, but it’s important to find joy in the day to day, not just looking forward to a future plan. Find happiness in the little details of life.
We are so afraid of letting our plans go, even though we know that most of what happens in the world is out of our control. In that grey area of uncertainty is where life happens, where opportunities pop up, and where you can be present in everyday.
Take an extra 15 minutes for a lunch break, because you are having a nice conversation with a friend. Hop in the car and drive to the beach after work on Friday, because it’s predicted to be a beautiful, sunny weekend. Stop planning out your whole life, and give space for uncertainty. Because that’s where real living has room to grow and flourish.
And while I’m in Rio, here are a few images below of a spur of the moment bike ride to Parque Lage. Wandering through old buildings, underground aquariums, and whimsical caves, I felt a deep admiration for this world and this one life I was given.
Life can feel dark and scary sometimes, like walking through a cave without a headlamp. We don’t know what’s going to happen, so we should find joy in the unpredictability.