My Life Doesn’t Match the Plan

I think I should just come out and say it.

Nothing went according to plan and I’m living a different life than I ever thought I would.

Up until college, I feel like my life was pretty much going as planned. I got into my dream school, I graduated high school with honors and as an NC Scholar. I had tons of friends, I was driving and I thought I was going to be a teacher.

Well, that obviously didn’t happen.

I went to meetings with several of my future professors to get a feel for what being an elementary education major would be like when I realize this was not for me. I seriously had been planning to be a kindergarten teacher since I was in the eighth grade and now I had no idea what I wanted to be in life. What was I good at? What was I interested in? What should I do? I was very lucky my mother suggested public relations– a field I had never heard of before in my life. So, before I even got to college, I changed my major.

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The dime piece to the left of me is the one to blame for my career decisions.

Best. Decision. Ever.

So what, college wasn’t already going as planned; in my mind, it was okay. A small little hiccup on the way to my eternal happiness.

Then, I met a boy. At the time, he was a great boy. Finally, this was the way things were supposed to be! Girl meets boy, girl and boy graduate, girl and boy get married and then girl and boy have kids. The end.

Except it wasn’t the end.

After two years together, the boy wasn’t right for me. It wasn’t the happily ever after that a college romance was meant to end in.

But that’s okay! I was surrounded by college boys who would all find stable jobs in the city that I loved and I would live in a small house in the suburbs with our dog-children.

Except, I wasn’t happy with  them, either. They were boring or they made fun of my  major. We didn’t click or we never even made it to the first date through some sort of weird coincidences. I was worried. What if I didn’t find my person while I was in college? What would I do then? How do adults date?

(It’s the Internet, in case you’re wondering. I’ve read a lot of posts about this)

So, instead of dating one person all four years of college, I dated someone seriously for two years and then went on a bunch of first dates. But, I could still find someone who will have a nice, stable job that doesn’t require them to come and go, right?

Wrong. Again.Life just likes to throw curve balls sometimes at even the best laid plans.

I met Adam.

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Pictured: another dime piece

I never wanted to seriously date anyone that’s in the military. The life style seemed so transient and not long-lasting. My friend lived in Fayetteville near the local Army base and the lifestyle was just so hard partying and I didn’t want to get sucked into that. I wanted to live in Raleigh and marry an engineer and spend our weekends going to the flea market and making weird Pinterest-inspired dishes. I thought being with someone in the military would mean an early marriage, having children at, like, 19 and being underpaid and underemployed for the rest of my life. I’m not knocking that lifestyle, by all means, but it’s not something I’m able to do.

When Adam came into my life, he dashed away all  the preconceived notions I previously held. He was supportive of me finishing college, he wanted me to get a job and he was just as comfortable at a party as he was at flea markets and in the kitchen making strange dishes off the Internet.

We met my junior year of college, spring semester. Our first date was March 4 and we went out to First Friday but, due to my inability to read a map, we wound up at a bar listening to dueling pianos, sharing drinks and enjoying each other’s company. It wasn’t even a week later that we went out again. Our second date was on a Wednesday and I drove down to Fayetteville from Raleigh. From there, we saw each other every weekend. Probably around late March/early April, he dropped the biggest bomb on me.

He was deploying.

An accountant doesn’t deploy. An engineer doesn’t deploy. I mean, good Lord, even a race car driver doesn’t have to deploy. But, of course, my boyfriend had to deploy.

We knew we had only  few months together before he left for a year. Every day was a small tick on the calendar, the sand trickling down the hourglass. Seven months away. Joking about what we would do when he left. Five months away. The jokes slowly started to turn more serious. Three months way. It was no longer funny. Four weeks away. Tomorrow. The closer we got to the date he was supposed to leave, the faster time seemed to move. Whole weeks seemed like weekends, weekends seemed like a few hours and every day I knew I was closer to having to watch him walk away.

The day came, I said goodbye and we started to settle into our new routine. He’d call when he could, I’d answer if I wasn’t in class, until finally we realized what each other’s schedule was like. Of course, there was some hiccups along the way and we didn’t always see eye-to-eye on everything but, for the most part, everything went smooth.

I, of course, found distractions for myself. I finished my last semester of college rounding out a so-so college career with my best semester ever. I even landed a job before I had even graduated.

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And, guess what. It wasn’t the kind of job I was wanting. There was yet again another curve ball thrown into my life.

I wanted to work in a marketing or public relations firm rather than a corporate office. The pay might have been slightly lower but they all seemed to offer flexible time off policies for an easier work/life balance. Dating someone in the military, that’s a very attractive policy because you never know when they’re going to come and when they’re going to go. But, here I am. Working in corporate America in marketing, a job my field of study slightly touched on.

Things have a funny way of working out. I’m dating someone who is spectacular in every way and treats me like no one else but he’s in the military. What if I hadn’t given him a chance because of that?

I’m working at a job I love doing interesting and unique projects. It’s a small, very hands-on department where I can get a lot of experience and specialize in something. What if I had never even applied because it wasn’t in my original plan?

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It’s been eight years and nothing is getting rid of these ladies.

Sometimes, even the best laid plans have to change.

 

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