I’ve been sharing a lot about my weight gain and subsequent weight loss journey recently and it really drove home how different my life is from how I expected it to be. I honestly never thought I’d be back here, trying to lose weight again after the first time.
But now that I think about it, my entire life hasn’t exactly been going according to plan for the last year or so. And today I wanted to talk about my experience with that…out loud.
Since graduating in April 2015, my life has been pretty stagnant. I had all of these plans about how my post graduation life was going to be. I’d get a job and officially jumpstart my career in marketing. I’d start paying off my student debt. I’d move to Toronto and get an apartment downtown. I’d finally start making money off my blog. Basically, my post grad life was gonna be epic.
Fast forward a year plus and I’m writing this post from the comfort of my bed in Waterloo in the middle of the day, since I’m still not gainfully employed. And I have yet to profit from my blog. So I think it’s safe to say that life didn’t exactly go as planned.
For the first few months, I wasn’t really worried about any of it because I had to wait for my permits before I could legally work in Canada. I spent the time relaxing and basically detoxing from 5 years of non-stop school. Which was great.
But when 8 months passed and I still hadn’t found a job or launched my ever elusive blogging career, I really started questioning my decisions and the motives behind them.
What if my life plan was crap?
Maybe I shouldn’t have dedicated so much time to working on my blog. Maybe I should have looked for a ‘real’ job instead of taking that unpaid position with a startup. Maybe I should have just moved home. Maybe I should have looked for stats jobs instead of marketing. And on and on and on.
There were days when the doubts and second-guessing were so crippling I couldn’t even get out of bed. I mean, clearly the things I was doing weren’t making a difference so why should I bother?
But then I realised that that was a huge part of the problem. I’d spent the last year plus either doing nothing or doing the same things over and over while hoping for a different outcome.
I applied to the same type of jobs using the same resume template that clearly wasn’t working and expected to get a job. I still posted to the blog sporadically and did the bare minimum when it came to promotion but expected to be taken seriously. I stopped looking for paid positions when I took the unpaid one and somehow expected to actually make money.
What I should have been doing was making a change
Whether it was coming up with a new set of goals or new ways to accomplish the ones I already had. Maybe I should have started applying to different kinds of jobs (read: paid) or found new ways to present myself to potential employers and differentiate my resume from the pack. And I definitely should have been posting quality content consistently and really giving the blog my all instead of half-assing it.
What I absolutely should not have been doing was sitting at home and wallowing in self pity. Or hiding my head in the sand and hoping the uncertainty would go away.
Because the truth is, life rarely goes according to plan.
You just need to hold on and figure out how to adapt to your ever-changing environment and circumstances and eventually you’ll find your way.
Now all I need to do is learn to take my own advice.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
- Is your life going exactly the way you planned?
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Julie @ Running in a Skirt says
I’d say life rarely goes as plan and part of getting older is learning to go with the ebbs and flows. It’s all a process. I’m still learning 🙂 Don’t beat yourself up though or worry about the past…. focus on the future.
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Emily Swanson says
Oh boy, my life has not gone as I planned, but I’m thankful that God’s plan for me has been perfect, and that I’ve even learned from so many of my mistakes … Giselle, I LOVE that you used this experience to help and to teach others. I don’t think it was wasted at all, because you learned so much and you’re sharing it to build others up. <3 I don't know if I'll ever make anything on my blog, but I love it, so I'm going to keep doing it.
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Amanda @ .running with spoons. says
Oh plans… I made them once, and then life laughed in my face. Things most certainly did NOT turn out the way I had them laid out in my mind 10 years ago, but now that I’m here, it’s hard to imagine them going another way. I think getting older has taught me that life hardly ever goes the way we want it to, and that the best thing we can do is make the most with whatever’s tossed our way.
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Trish @ The Trish List says
I feel your pain Giselle! I have been out of college now just over 10 years and just got my first job in November using my degree. There have been many ups and many downs but mostly I wouldn’t change it for the world. Plans happen and plans fall though. That’s life. 🙂
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Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious says
Oh girl, my Mom always told me “we make plans and God laughs.” I never understood that until two years ago when things in my world began crashing around me. I had all these plans and expectations yet nothing was working. You know what I did? I harnessed that as an opportunity to make a really big change and now I couldn’t be happier. Am I exactly where I am yet? No, but I’m on the right path. You will find your path, you just need to take the leap!
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Gis I’ve discovered that even those times when life goes roughly how you planned it there is still uncertainty. Until we develop a crystal ball app to see how all options will pan out before we decide, we will always be tempted to second guess ourselves and will succumb to the temptation more often than we like. It was only around my 50th birthday that I finally stopped being so hard on myself and I dropped words such as ‘shoulda’, ‘coulda’ and ‘maybe if’ from my vocabulary. I also gained great respect for the value of rest even when it is caused by a major self-pity binge. If there is any benefit to self-pity it would be that it keeps you snug in bed and out of God’s way. His plans for me have always turned out way better than mine although I must admit to some frustration with His timing. As you rightly said though just hold on, be flexible and you will find your way. With love and pride.
Alysia at Slim Sanity says
My life definitely did NOT go according to plan. I have a PhD I don’t use. People think I’m crazy. I think life is just crazy! And ya gotta go with wherever the hell it takes you. xo
Alysia at Slim Sanity recently posted…Creamy Garlic Hummus
Plans??? What are those? Nope, life did not go according to plan, though I never really had one. I guess I thought I would get married and get a job either in the same town I grew up or somewhere close by.
Well, I got married, but we moved from Ottawa to Austin. Then 6 years later we moved to Seattle, then 10 years later we moved to LA. So here I am, 4 months into our LA move and dealing with the state that doesn’t care that I’ve worked for the past 15 years in the US, only that I went to school in Canada and therefore have to spend all kinds of time and money on jumping through their hoops. So, after a month of wallowing and railing at anyone who would listen, I decided that in the meantime I would do things I’ve always wanted to do but never made time for: creating continuing education, developing a business…
You have great advice…go take it! 😀
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when I was do blogging like u, I also think the same way! what the Heck I am doing? write about this and that, bla..bla..bla.. and etc! but just like Marry oliver always said! you don’t have to be good! just do it!
what I do is test here and there, and finally found something good method and scale up!, basically we don’t know at first but soon or later we will figure it out, just focus, to whats important! in the end, u will got what u deserve!
but to be honest, there is no fair trades! lol!
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Thank you for the discussion. It was very important to me. I’ve drawn conclusions for myself. You helped me make a decision.
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Donald Rain says
You helped me so much as a writer’s conference newbie with the same advice you just wrote. And when I was a college journalism major, our prof told us the same for newspaper writing. Thanks!