Why I'm Glad My 5-Year Plan Didn't Work Out

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Hands up who has had a 5-year plan and it not go to plan? Well, my 5-year plan could not have been any more different to how my life is today and now I can look back at it and feel grateful that things didn’t work out. But at the time where I felt like my life was falling apart then I can’t say I was exactly thrilled. Hindsight really is the most wonderful thing! Anyway, here are all the positives that have come from a change of plans and ditching anything that remotely looks like a 5-year plan because life just doesn't work that way.

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Finding my feet in my hometown

I was so desperate to move out of my hometown when I was at university, I thought it was a terrible place to live and I’d never amount to anything if I didn’t move to London. At university, I was always told that you have to move to the capital to be a ‘successful’ creative and whilst it certainly helps to be in the vicinity it doesn’t mean it’s impossible to thrive elsewhere. I live in the middle of so many cities which is a great thing and only a couple of hours away from London if I do ever need to be in it. Although the town is a little miserable due to the recession I’m so incredibly blessed to live in the middle of some of the best forests in the country and now more than ever I appreciate them. I couldn’t imagine living anywhere far these days as I feel like I’ve got the best of both worlds. There is so much stigma around staying in your hometown but if you’re happy then who cares?

working on myself

Whilst I know it can sometimes sound a little ‘la-la’ working on yourself and being happy with who you are is underrated. Since I was 16 I had always been in a serious relationship and never been single or by myself which looking back now is something I regret. They weren’t positive relationships at all and sure I learned things from them but I can safely say I think I would have been ok without those experiences. It wasn’t until I was 21 that I truly was by myself for the first time and it was hard, I felt lost and I didn’t know how to appreciate myself without the approval of somebody else. And compliments are lovely and always nice to hear but they shouldn’t be the only way you feel good about yourself. These days I have such a positive relationship with who I am and it’s completely changed my life and most definitely made me a much nicer and accepting human.

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family & my partner in crime

One of the biggest things that came from me not moving away was that I got to stay close by my family which is so incredibly important to me. I see my family most days and I know if I didn’t have that then I would struggle. Since my mum passed it made me realise just how important it is to spend time with them. Although I’ve moved out and started somewhat of a new life they’re still very much part of it. And then of course, if I had moved away I wouldn’t have reconnected with my boyfriend who I’ve known since childhood. We never managed to quite get our relationship right in our teens but always cared about each other. Our relationship might not be that typical but it’s something that really works for us and being long distance is something that I’ve come to absolutely adore. I'm not a fan of the saying everything happens for a reason but without the series of events that unfolded a few years, I would never be where I am today.

figuring out what I actually want

If I was going off my original 5-year plan then I wanted to be married, had a baby and my own house all by the age of 25. Obviously, I was being naive when I was dreaming up this plan because those are very big things to achieve, especially considering I wanted to be a creative living in London. When I think about what I want now it looks very different and not one of my dreams is about material items or doing something that is expected of me and I truly do believe this is something that comes with age. All I want now is to be generally content and be as healthy as I can be. Becoming poorly at the beginning of my twenties is something that truly did teach me that there is much more to life than putting out an image of approval for people that don’t really care for you.

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THE HOUNDS

It’s probably no surprise to anybody but possibly the best thing that has happened to me due to my 5-year plan not coming to fruition is the arrival of the hounds. It took me a really long time to have a positive relationship with dogs after being bitten as a child. But now I couldn’t have a better one with the breed, one of the most important things I’ve found is not being panicked around dogs as they pick up on it instantly. Anyway, the whippies are familiar faces around this part of the internet and they truly are the best things in my life. The happiness that they give me every day is absolutely undeniable and they’ve also helped my mental health tenfold. Having somebody to look after that isn’t myself has shown me that I am capable of things that I never imagined and even though dogs are not the same as babies, they’re certainly not easy! Getting to spend the day with those little girls is something that I get excited to do each morning.

What are your thoughts on 5-year plans?

Rebecca WarrinerLifestyle