blank'/> A LITTLE BIT OF LACQUER: Planning Out Your Life

June 22, 2015

Planning Out Your Life

Happy Monday all! Sorry I've been a little MIA - things have been crazy (although crazy seems to be the new norm) getting ready to start intern year - we just wrapped up orientation last Friday and today is my first day! More like tonight is my first day, since I start on night float! A little terrifying, but then again every first day is!


But new job aside, today I wanted to talk about something that I've been getting emails about nonstop - planning your life. It's all too easy to look at somebody who is now at Point G and assume they've had it all planned out that way since Point A. People look at the graduation photo with N, me and Liv and assume we got there in some linear fashion - wrong! Now don't get me wrong, I've always known I wanted to be a doctor, to be a wife, to be a mother, and more, but I really think people (especially young women) need to be a little easier on themselves when it comes time to getting those "boxes" checked off.

Now the medical school part, that obviously takes a lot of planning. And that is where all of my focus went throughout college (I went to Smith College by the way, have been getting lots of questions about that too lately)! At that time I had a boyfriend (a horribly controlling emotionally abusive coward of a man who I spent seven years with and have never ever mentioned on this blog until now) but was never worried about the marriage and kids part, those would come on their own time. My days were spent carefully planning out my time between a full-time course load, 2-3 jobs, and hanging out with my girlfriends. Thankfully I finally got out of my crappy relationship (after finally escaping off to Europe for a month) just in time for the next milestone - graduating college and starting medical school!

By the time I started medical school I was fresh into a new relationship too (this time with a friend from high school who I reconnected with shortly after college). But the goal at this time was to survive medical school. To get to know a new city and figure out living on my own. Although this time, feeling a little older and little more ready for the next step, I also made plans for the future - I got an apartment instead of living in the dorms, thinking he'd eventually move in, I rearranged my work/study schedule to have my weekends free to spend time with him. I was really thinking about the marriage checkbox this time. But thankfully, 7 years of a horrible relationship taught me a thing or two about what I deserved, and when I realized he wasn't changing I moved on. Many people don't like to admit it, but once you get to know someone, you almost immediately know if they're the right person or not. We tell ourselves "they'd be perfect if they just..." or "once he does xyz then..." And we stay in relationships, for years, waiting for those things. But not me, not anymore.

Not too long after N and I were closer than ever. He was my closest friend during med school, but I never looked at him like that. Once I was actually single and an outside friend commented on how perfect we were for each other, though, something clicked. And because we were friends and had already had long talks about our past and long talks about our future, I knew who he was without the facade of dating. Once we were together we knew we made a powerful team, and for the first time ever there was no "he'd be perfect if..." He was perfect just the way he was. And when he proposed just two months after us getting together, my answer was an easy hell yes. And when we decided we might as well start trying to have kids since it would probably take a couple of years, that was an easy decision too. Of course, we never expected it to happen on the first try. We rotate through infertility clinic and see first-hand the women in their twenties who have been trying for years and can't get pregnant. We thought our story would be like theirs. Was my baby check box on the list? Well, sure. But it was supposed to come after the marriage check box which was supposed to come after the finish med school checkbox. Did I let that phase me? No! Although it was a blessing I wasn't quite sure I was ready for, it was still the greatest blessing! And now fast forward two years and we're ready for the second little blessing!

I write all this, not just to share what's probably way too much personal information, but to illustrate all the little twists and turns that life throws at us! Although you can look at someone who is now in a place where you want to be, don't assume they got there by following their plans exactly! The point is really this - it's wise to plan for the future - to set goals for yourself and have an idea of where you want to be in 5, 10, 15 years. But learn to go with the flow, to open up to something that wasn't on the list (or not in that order on the list) and you'll find yourself a much happier person. And never ever look at one picture and think it was planned like that from day 1 ;)

25 comments:

  1. I know you said " it's probably too much personal information" but thank you! It's so nice to read a personal relationship story how lives don't always turn out the way our check list are set up, but they still work out! You have a beautiful family! I love reading your blog.

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  3. So beautifully shared. Thank you for being personal with us. I look back now too and think that it looks all so planned out but really things just fall into place over time and no one can plan precisely! And how boring and dull it would be if we could. So glad you got out of that awful relationship and were freed up to see who you were really well-matched with!

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  4. I love this, Laura. You have such a great attitude about life and always seem to have the perfect balance. And I really appreciate your honestly...it is comforting to see evidence that today's mistakes do not have to dictate the future. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  5. Thank you so much for sharing this, Laura! I am about to start my second year of medical school and it's such a challenge, looking ahead, to envision how the things I want for my life (marriage, kids, etc) might fit into med school and this crazy profession. It helps to know from someone who's been there that things have a way of working out, even if it's not exactly in the way we thought they would.

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  6. Love that you took the time to write this Laura! It's so easy for people to see where you are and think 'wow their life is so perfect, I want it' but the process to get there is much more convoluted and hard to explain at times. I'm proud of you for sharing what is in essence Real Life! Love the photos, hope intern year treats you well. My boyfriend starts his intern year on night float as well so I'm sending you both energy vibes and positive thoughts!

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  7. Thanks for sharing this post! The part about going with the flow of life even when things dont go in the order or the timing you planned really resonated with me. I typically am a control freak, lol, and it freaks me out a bit when things dont go as planned, but this was a good reminder that things can go in a different order and life still be beautiful. God bless you and your adorable little family :)

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  8. Hi! I'm in awe of your bravery in sharing your story-- this post definitely resonates with me and you're absolutely right...sometimes it's so hard to accept that not everything will go according to plan and that things will come as they are meant to. Might as well be able to go with the flow and be happy for every opportunity ahead! As a fellow Smithie ( !! :D) I definitely look up to you and am grateful to be able to come to your blog and be inspired! Thank you :)

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  9. A truly honest and inspiring account ! Everything on the internet looks glossy-magazine like , picture perfect . Thanks for reminding us that what we see is only the tip of the iceberg :)

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  10. Thank you so much for sharing this, Laura. I'm a current med school applicant (!!!) and am thinking a lot about my personal goals, motherhood included! Have a wonderful intern year!

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  11. "the reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else's highlight reel."

    inadequacy is definitely an issue a lot of 20-somethings, including myself, struggle with.
    thank you for sharing your story, laura <3

    vanessa
    grace-and-gratitude.blogspot.com

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  12. Just what I needed to read, thank you!

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  13. How amazing and inspiring! Thank you for being so raw and authentic. It's such a refreshing reminder of the ups and downs of life and how you've persevered through it all! :)

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  14. This is such an inspiring post, i'm a aspiring medic and seeing your post and knowing that I should just go with where life takes me is wonderful as no one around me every said this ! its wonderful to know things may not go your way but they always turn out for the best :)

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  15. well said Laura! thank you for the behind-the-scenes. i believe that life is all about timing and things happening for a reason. sometimes it's hard to relate to other bloggers because their lives seem so perfect. but it's important to realize that that's not always the case. i've enjoyed reading your blog for a while now and i always enjoy these types of posts. you're a such a beautiful soul! thank you for sharing a piece of your life on the interwebs with us.

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  16. Thank you so much for being honest with us and letting us into your life like this. I never quite understood your story until now, and you're right, it does seem like things happened and you didn't plan for it. But maybe that's the best part, when the best things happen when you least expect it. And best of all, you look back on the tough times and think.... Damn, how did I do that? As if you forget how strong you actually are. Keep it up girlie! You're such an inspiration, so thank you so much!

    Roxi - goldenpolkadots.blogspot.com

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  17. You're awesome, I've been a long time reader and I follow you on Insta. Its easy to look at other people's lives online and think everything worked out perfect for them all at once. I love how fresh and honest you are, your a huge inspiration!

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  18. Thank you for sharing this!

    I've always been inspired by you and you truly are an inspiration to young women especially those in the medical field. Wishing you all the best with this chapter of your life and wishing you a safe pregnancy and delivery.

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  19. Thank you for sharing this. Usually stumbling on road blocks makes me feel like a loser. After reading this, i feel like stumbling is probably ok and is infact part of the process.

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  20. you are inspiration to many women young and old- thank you for sharing this! xO!
    www.thehautecookie.com

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  21. Hi Laura! You have always been such an inspiration to me, and I've started following your blog back when Liv was a few months old. I am so happy you wrote this post, because as a college student, it is so hard to feel content with life and all its opportunities. I'd love it and appreciate if you could give my blog a look. It is totally at amateur level, but I aspire to write like you and blog the way you do. Life / thought posts are my thing. Yes, I did try the whole fashion bit, but I didn't find much passion or peace with that stuff.

    freshlymadethoughts.blogspot.com

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  22. Love this. Inspired. Thank you.

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  23. I just found your blog and have been reading through your posts...this one hit me hard. It was something I needed to hear and came at the perfect time. Thank you for sharing something so personal.

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  24. I love this post. I admire you for not letting your career and school stop you from having everything you want in terms of a family. So many people, especially women, feel they have to put a family to have a career and you are proving them wrong! Yes, life doesn't always work out exactly as we want, but usually it's better than we expected.

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