I have always had a plan for how I wanted my life to turn out. I thought I'd be done with school. I thought I'd be living on my own. I thought I'd be working in a lower level position in a place I loved filled with all the promise of a successful future. I thought I'd have these things by now. Despite all of my planning and careful preparation, I had to actually live my life to figure out what happens. I didn't expect to hate journalism even though I grew up dreaming of writing columns in magazines. I didn't expect my mom to get breast cancer and need me to take care of things at home. I didn't think either of these things would happen, but they did. I also didn't think I'd ever fall in love; but I did. Life can't be planned. It doesn't "get in the way". It simply is. You have to live in order to know what happens next in the story. Planning it out and making guesses as to how everything will fall into place only sets you up for disappointment. It isn't at all like a puzzle where the pieces are made to fit. It's more like a Jackson Pollock where the paint splatters haphazardly over the canvas. And the floor. And the walls. And you. In the end, you still have something beautiful and unique. Maybe my life isn't exactly the way I wanted it to be, but it's exactly where it's supposed to be. The rest will come in time with perseverance. I just have to be patient and keep working. Never give up.