I am a planning fiend: Type A personality, green minded, structure oriented, etc.

I think it dates back to my years on a high school dance team, where we received a minute-by-minute agenda of every single competition and trip we attended: 7:30-8:42 AM–Transport from condo to Disney; 8:42-8:45 AM–Walk into Milkhouse; 8:45-9:52 AM: Scope out the competition arena. I keep a Google calendar AND a desktop calendar (color-coded, of course), filled with every single event, meeting, assignment, and appointment I may have. I know what my entire weekend will look like by Tuesday, and, if I don’t have anything planned, I slightly freak out and start making plans. And, did I mention these are planned out at least three months in advanced? Like, I am already starting to work out my calendar for my life in May…

I like consistency, structure, and predictability. I don’t like surprises. And, now that I am 23 years old, I am finding myself at a point in my life where there are too many “unknowns”. How long do you think you will be a teacher? I don’t know. When do you want to start a family? I haven’t thought that far in advance. Do you want to stay in Colorado forever? That is a really great question. You see, up until this point, I had my life perfectly planned out. My goals were to get into college, get into a teaching program, graduate, and get a job, because that was the prescribed structure. Up until this point, I had four-year increments of high school and college to set my goals for. Now that I am “an adult”, the set points are endless; they could be two years from now, five years from now, thirty years from now…

For someone who is such a planner like myself, this is a very uncomfortable position to be in.  Teaching, especially, has caused conflicts with this part of my personality. Discussion is a crucial part of an English teacher’s curriculum. However, in a discussion, I have little to no control; I don’t know how long the discussion could take, I don’t know what kinds of points are brought up, I don’t know if a kid will drop the F bomb (which, actually did happen during my evaluation one time…). So, for a long time, I cut discussion out of my teaching because it was too uncomfortable and too uncontrollable.

But, I think in this discomfort, we find growth. One of the aspects I have especially struggled with in this “growing up” atmosphere is letting people go. I have worked at the same golf course for six years. I hang out with many of the same wonderful people I met in high school and beyond. I check in with the same students. And now, I am entering a time in my life where it might be time for some of those people to move on. So, instead of looking at this as “a loss”, I am looking at it as a part of life. People come and go all the time; you may not have contact with them each and every day, but they still exist, just in some other place.

One of my goals this year is to live more in the present; to give up a part of my need for control and let life present itself the way it is supposed to be.

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