…use to be my stronghold. Planning was my thing, and therefore, life outside the plan stressed and confused me beyond what I could handle.
But then I went through enough before graduating to figure out that I was, in fact, not in control. The experiences of my last three years were enough to convince me that I can’t plan and then successfully orchestrate my schedule, or even relationships. I became a relaxed version of myself.
And then I moved to Africa.
That beautiful porch I’ve told you about, and pictured here lends itself to a level of
laziness relaxation that I may never again achieve. Truly though, it is the general work ethic and culture of time that truly taught me to abandon all plans.
Here, there is little foresight (often none). For instance, when I wake up I decide that today is a perfect day to finally take the papers down to the local minister’s office and register my NGO. Well I get there and find out that I need to actually make an appointment with said minister. So I go back to the office and make an appointment. The rest of the day is spent on the internet. When I finally have a formal appointment, I go with the documents, only to find out in our discussions that I actually need to have 2 other, different documents and a letter with 3 signatures. Well I go back to spend the next week getting the right documents. And then spend the next month tracking down the 3 people whose signatures I need. So now, five weeks later, I go back and get the correct registration. However, while engaging in this wild goose chase of collecting the correct letters, I have neglected the ideas I had for teachings and meetings for the last five weeks. This left my two employees to themselves for the last 5 weeks to entertain themselves.
Yes, it is very difficult to plan when no one else plans.
But it is also very difficult to plan from afar. I travel to meet people where they are at. I don’t want to go somewhere and do what I’ve always done, eat what I’ve always eaten, and wear what I always wear. This means committing my heart to the now. So I focus my attention, my thoughts, my emotional energy to what is immediately in front of me. And this works great when I live in Africa and am expected to be constantly thinking about and attending to the little bothers that came up all day long.
I am leaving very soon, for another new country. I love being in new places, with people I get to know. But this whole forgetting how to plan thing is proving to be a problem.
Where exactly am I going? __________
With what money? ______________
When will I be back? ____________ (Which leads me to ask where is back?)
When am I going? I know this! In two weeks, when United has a confirmed booking for my flight.
Bring it on.