We decide to do things all the time. We think about the thing, talk about it, write it down, take days off of work, decide to make it a reality, and start planning.We make huge plans. But a huge mistake we make (we as in every human I have ever met, but maybe especially us, specifically this weekend) is trying to make plans a reality. Plans are necessary but they are just plans. Reality is it’s own untouchable entity that could not give less fucks about your lists, or research, or the fact that you drove all that way and only see each other a couple times a month. You can plan and prepare for weeks and months or even your whole life and you can have an idea you are so determined to make happen (like we did) and you can think you are choosing your own reality by simply deciding to, but that’s not how it works. You can decide to go camping and go to the grocery store and buy s’more stuff and vegan hot dogs. You can research different mountains, steal an expensive flashlight, borrow your brothers tent, and double check the weather. But the reality is that it still might rain, it might even pour, it might downpour all night long and you might be freezing and soaked and hike back to the car before ever reaching the summit. You can plan all you want but plans are only plans. Even if you take all the steps to make those beautiful neat little mapped out plans a reality, even if nothing goes wrong, even if it doesn’t pour all night and you don’t take any wrong turns and the mountain looks just like the pictures, what really happens still wont turn out exactly right.
We couldn’t make smores or hike the mountain or fall asleep comfortably while staring at the stars, so our plans “failed”. We ran for the tiny tent and there were a few spiders and it poured all night and didn’t stop, but we drank and smoked in there and talked a lot about some things we haven’t talked about yet somehow (I don’t understand how we talk so much and haven’t run out of words yet) and you were freezing and barely slept and we woke up pretty miserable at 5:30am but I couldn’t stop laughing about it all or stop kissing you and I’m so thankful that it was all with you and not anyone else, and that is the point.
Reality will never fit into neat little boxes, into a weather forecast, grocery list, or a GPS/gas tank combo. It doesn’t feel like your daydreams did, or look like the pictures you saw online, and it’s never how your friend told you it would probably be. The point is that reality is what actually happens and just because your plans failed it doesn’t mean your reality is a failure. Plans are fun and exciting and I’ll never stop making lists or researching mountains or checking the weather, but as fun as plans are I am finally coming to terms with the fact that even if reality is “worse” than your plans and expectations, sharing honest tangible moments with the right people, makes the mess we call reality even better and more than worth it.
Plans give you that anxious excited rush that makes you talk too fast, motivates you to survive terrible shifts at work, gets you up in the morning, and inspires you drive over 2 hours to peruse them with a hot mess of a girl like me. But reality wakes you up and makes you giggle nonstop for no real reason at 5:30 in the morning, even though you slept in a puddle of mud and never ate dinner last night. It forces you to stop in diners (covered in said mud) to cheat on your dietary morals, to turn around for those sunglasses you really wanted, stop at that antique store on the side of the road, go for that extra kiss, stay that extra night. You can plan all you want but you can’t plan for the best things or the things that matter. What matters isn’t really the planning, what matters (I think) is who you’re with when the plans turn into a reality.
Planning is like getting asked out by a the hottest person you know, to go on the most appealingly cliché date you could imagine. But you ever really follow through on those dates or end up liking those people that much? I don’t. They just make you feel like you are doing something right and have your life together and maybe they give you some nervous butterflies. Reality is more like when someone you don’t know and had barely talked to before, messages you one day and then you just never stop talking. You want to hate each other because it’s not anything cliché or easy, and maybe your life still feels like a complete disaster, but you are a lot more ok with that all of a sudden. You don’t feel the things that actually happen as butterflies in your stomach you feel them as all different things and you feel them everywhere. Sometimes you’re sitting in the car and all of a sudden your stomach is dropping (in the fun way) like you’re on a roller coaster and you forget your plans and head to the beach, or you are walking in the middle of a public place, going nowhere exciting, and can’t stop smiling and you start to laugh to yourself because you couldn’t even describe to someone what you’re smiling about if they asked. Other times it’s 4pm on a wednesday and your coffee is just right and you could be in the grocery store or the library, but you just get this insane excited jolt of adrenaline out of nowhere and are stoked about life and everything makes sense, or you feel safe and warm all over even though you’re in a sleeping bag full of freezing rain.Plans will never feel that good.
(The Jack Johnson song I’m referencing to is “I got You” and the commentary version is absolutely necessary)