Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Change Of Direction

I am a planner. I love making plans, picturing where I'll be in ten years time, daydreaming about what I still want to achieve. And lists. I make lists every single day, for the even the smallest things, or else I become an unorganized mess. I even sometimes make a list of lists I need to write. I guess this makes me a total control freak.

And it also makes me pretty darn naïve. I start picturing my life a certain way, and for some reason think that it will turn out just like that, when this couldn't be further from the truth. Granted, some of the plans I have made have come to fruition exactly as I imagined, but life throws at us all kinds of loops that make us change direction and completely redraw our life plan.

My mom always told me that I had to be a lot more flexible and less "square"; to stop planning so much and be more spontaneous, but it was never easy for me to do that. Last year, however, I learned that lesson the hard way.

Sean and I always had this plan that as soon as I finished my university, we would go back to New Zealand and settle there. Exactly one year ago, we did. We left our apartment, my family, my friends, Sean's job, and the three of us set out to start our lives there, convinced that nothing could go wrong.

We got there and immediately started applying for jobs. Sean got a job easily. Within two weeks he was already working. I on the other hand, wasn't so lucky. I was so sure I was going to take no time for me to get a job, and that anyone would be lucky to hire me. Why, only because I got good grades in college? because of my "awesome" cover-letter writing skills? Ugh! Guess what Veronica? Hundreds of other people have a ton more experience than you, got better grades than you and write better cover letters than you!

After five months and at least sixty job applications, I got the much sought-after job, only not in New Zealand. This job meant great opportunities, financial stability (which we were lacking), and kick-starting my career. And it also meant packing up and leaving everything behind all over again. It wasn't an easy decision by any means, but in the end we decided that we had to do it. The events that teach you the most in life are never easy: this decision taught us that "failure" is only in our minds. I did not fail only because I couldn't find a job in New Zealand; we have grown and learned and become more mature. We appreciate our jobs much more now. We know that sometimes life doesn't go to plan and that it's not the end of the world. I for one, know myself a lot better thanks to this experience, as I know that what defines me is not a job, but my whole set of qualities, skills, flaws and decisions. More importantly, I have finally figured out that writing is what I want to be doing every day and I am working towards it, which probably would have taken a lot more time to figure out had I gotten a job straight away in New Zealand.
In the words of a Disney character (again, forgive me for this, but cartoons constitute pretty much 80% of your life when you have a toddler):

"Well, that's the good part, I guess. You get to go find a new dream". And you know what, I definitely have found my new dream now...

Flynn Rider,  in "Tangled"



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