An Open Letter to All the Type A’s

I was on a second date with a pretty great guy when he started talking about the Zombie Apocalypse. Yes, really. 

Albeit jokingly, he described in detail what he would do should we find ourselves in a Walking Dead situation. As a somewhat reluctant and squeamish watcher of the show myself, I realized I had a zombie apocalypse plan too, except my plan was to not have a plan. Or maybe (SPOILER ALERT) I thought it might be nice to gather my remaining family into that one facility and go out like a bright flame so we wouldn’t have to deal with the zombies.

Why am I talking about zombies, you ask?

Because this silly date conversation reminded me how much I hate to plan. Call it noncommittal (to my face, I dare you), call it free-spirited, but whatever it is, I can’t tell you what I’m doing for dinner tonight, not to mention what I’ll be doing in 5 years.

Most people fall into two categories: those who have a detailed plan, and those who insist on flying by the seat of their pants.

Most people fall into two categories: those who have a detailed plan, and those who insist on flying by the seat of their pants (if they happen to be wearing pants at all.) I obviously fall into the latter category. And I know that I drive my type-A, planner friends nuts sometimes. I know there’s an ugly side to those who don’t like to plan ahead. I’ve fallen victim to my procrastinating, I have let people down, I have been rudely late to events, I’ve changed my mind a lot. But I think my kind is onto something.

We live in a time where we are all what I would call ‘future-obsessed.’ We are hustling, racing, elbowing each other to see who can get there faster, bigger, better. Sometimes without even stopping to ask ourselves if “there” is somewhere we want to go.

Recently, there was an ‘Everygirl coffee talk’ about this whole idea of growing up; of the future. The focus, of course, being on the ‘milestones’ that everyone can agree are admirable pursuits. The usual suspects being: a career, a spouse, a family. Many people commented on feeling a pressure to “arrive” at the appropriate milestone, at the appropriate time. 

Now, I’m all for striving and for success. I’m just afraid that we would rather appear to be happy by others’ definitions than actually be happy by our own.

Check this out:
• I do not own a house.
• I am not married.
• I have no dependents (not even one that barks.)
• I want to do more with my writing than work in marketing, but I haven’t any clue what that will actually look like.

I am, by some standards, totally blowing it for a 30-year-old. But I have insane amounts of freedom. I can work from anywhere. I have the disposable income to travel. I’m dating, I’m exploring, I’m figuring it out; I’m happy. 

And a great part of that happiness is actually tied to not knowing what is going to happen next. Which for some of you Type A freaks (just kidding. kinda.) probably makes no sense at all.

Dig a bit deeper than your Facebook newsfeed to discern what you want from your future.

This is not to say my life is better than yours, if <fill in the milestone> is truly what you want from life. What I’m suggesting is to weigh your options a little bit. Keep your eyes on your own paper. Ask your own self what your definition of ‘the good life’ is. Dig a bit deeper than your Facebook newsfeed to discern what you want from your future.

And hot damn, try living in the moment. And do not make me say YOLO.

I’ll never forget a moment during my Senior Prom where my friend Matt said to the group, “You guys, prom’s almost over.” We were in the limo on the way to the dance.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is let’s pay more attention to what’s in front of us instead of what’s ahead of us. Let’s not be so concerned with getting somewhere that we forget that it’s time to dance.

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