No plans to speak of

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July 5, 2012 by NH

In recent years I’ve been accused of planning too much.

It’s true: I do make plans to get things done. It’s a default setting, an armour against the random indifference of life.

When I was a kid, my sister and I would always be thinking thirty minutes ahead, trying to hurry our parents out the door so we’d be on time for wherever it was we were going. We were always late, and I hated it.

I’d get so tied up in knots with anxiety I’d end up crying or starting a fight in the car.

My first grown up job required a lot of solo travel at short notice. I got very good at planning on the fly.

I pounded Whereis and Wotif, wrote my own itineraries, budgeted for cabs and public transport. I was an expert packer: nothing more than carry-on for me. My Blackberry – my lifeline – was a permanent appendage.

Things didn’t always go smoothly.

Take, for instance, my first overseas trip to China: I had just a few weeks notice to get a passport and secure a visa – both of which arrived back from the embassy the afternoon my flight left.

In Melbourne I was forced to break into a carpark to free my hire car so I could catch my flight home.

I ran out of cash in Sydney and had to ask a contact to drive me to the airport.

I’m told I appear to love to plan. Maybe I do, for all the good it’s done.

I haven’t had a secure job since 2008; my current job will end in months. I don’t have a home to build up around me. Travel is not on the horizon and there is no love interest to think of.

Right now, I have no plans.

It’s impossible to plan. I just don’t have it in me. I don’t care about maps, or goals. I’m sick of planning on the fly. I don’t care if I turn up late.

I have no armour and that scares the shit out of me.

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