Spontaneity comes easily to some, not so much for others. Some can just hop in a car at a second’s notice and are ready for any sort of possibility out there. Others need some pre-planning and a full-out schedule to put into their agendas.
I can easily admit I fall in the latter category. With anxiety, social and general, going with the flow at every moment can feel daunting. I get caught up in my head of what times and places and situations work best, regardless of how rational my reasoning is. I’m not keen on dropping everything I’m doing at a moment’s notice to go do something.
While a part of me is just generally aware of timing and wants to be as organized as possible, mental health can also be a valid aspect of myself that I fear can hold myself back. It’s a difficult line to cross. Certain things have gotten easier with time, but it’s not in my nature to go into a situation without a plan.
When you’re reading this, I will actually be preparing to leave on a weekend in Virginia to see my brother, a decision that truly was spontaneous, a quick question and online search for airline tickets. And, I must say, I am beyond excited for this little adventure.
As much as I love having a clear path of what I’m doing, I can see the thrilling appeal of just going out into the world without a distinct destination, just going and seeing what might happen. Of course you strive for some sense of balance between the two extremes, but you have to start somewhere, right?
Maybe I won’t be as spontaneous as some people are, and I cannot compare my personality with others. But as I make those baby steps to get just an inch outside of my comfort zone, I feel a sense of freedom and gratification that makes me proud of myself, of the progress I’ve made. Of course I still have a nature that gravitates toward a sense of structure and direction, but sometimes it’s important to go against your own grains for the sake of personal growth.
And, of course, life is not short of spontaneity. We cannot by our own limited knowledge predict and plan every detail of our lives, our next steps, the outcomes to our actions. We constantly must adapt to changes out of our control and refer back to the plans B-Z. It takes a degree of grace and understanding to fully accept that life is mysterious and complex, and too much time spent trying to envision it years or even months down the road deters from the now.
We must decide for ourselves what risks are worth taking. When we must really dig deep and research on what the best plan is to make. Or when we just need to take a moment’s notice of our gut instinct and roll with the punches. And somehow distinguishing one from the other is a whole other predicament that I by no means have mastered. I expect to continue trying to bob and weave my way through planning and risks for the rest of my time here on earth.
A big aspect that has helped me in accepting the spontaneous, especially when it comes to twisty turns of events (people who drop in at a moment’s notice still push my buttons), is faith. Personally, knowing that God is in the driver’s seat and I’m a passenger, having somewhat of a hold on what roads we travel but ultimately relying upon the knowledgeable driver to at least have a map or some GPS device handy. In many instances, I don’t know why things happen as they do. No matter how much I had a vision in my head and prepared accordingly, everything can completely fall through in the blink of an eye.
But what feels like a random occurrence, a spontaneous and unplanned phenomenon, is actually part of a larger plan, one that I don’t have right at my disposal. In my own free will, I choose to accept this lack of control in what my purpose is in life and how I get there. The fear I feel when thinking of going into a situation without a plan is, to an extent, a human instinct neglecting my trust and faith that God will take care of me, that things will work out as they should, no matter how shocking or difficult or crazy they feel right now.
So, long story short, I’m a work in progress. I know I could improve upon my willingness to try new experiences, even if I didn’t have it pictured out in advance. The same might go for someone who refuses to use an agenda or think ahead after they graduate from school or make a next step in their lives. As long as I have a foundation of a clear mindset, a healthy body, and an assurance that the universe will guide me if I stumble, I think I can do just fine. And if I can sneak in a quick trip to a new destination? That’s just icing on the cake.
Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie