Last week a friend I greatly admire told me she's proud of me. She said she's proud of the work I've done through See Jane Write, the success I've had landing new freelancing gigs, and my efforts to grow this blog.
This really meant a lot to me because she is a very accomplished journalist and a social media guru.
Then she asked, "so where are you going with all of this?"
I had a very profound response to this question: "Uh, I dunno."
And it's true. I have no idea where I would like all this to lead. I have no grand goal in mind. There is no 5-year plan. I wanted to be part of a networking group for local women writers so I started one. After leaving my full-time reporting job for a new career in education I missed seeing my byline, so I started freelancing. I love blogging so I blog. But ask me what's next and I've got nothing. I often talk about making my writing dreams come true, but at this point I'm not even sure what that means.
After our conversation, after this revelation, I proceeded to have a come-apart once my friend and I went our separate ways. "You're 31, Javacia! That's way too old to not have a clear life plan!" I told myself.
Enter U.S. Olympic swimmer Brendan Hansen. (Yes, I'm writing about the Olympics again. We only have one more week. Indulge me.) At 30, Hansen came out of retirement to compete in the London games this year. In an interview with Glamour he talked about the importance of appreciating the journey when you're training for the Olympics:
"I swim four hours a day for two years to prepare for one race that's 59 seconds long and another that's less than two minutes. People are like, 'Why would you do that?' But to me, it's not just about the outcome. When you're in a sport like this, so much of it is the journey and so little of it is the race."This quote brings me comfort even though swimming has very little to do with writing. I'm enjoying blogging. I'm enjoying organizing events for See Jane Write. I'm enjoying reporting and writing. I'm enjoying this journey.
This doesn't mean I don't need a plan. I still think I need one and hope to figure that out soon. But in the meantime, I'm going to keep having fun.
Do you have a life plan? What are you doing to enjoy the journey?