I’ve always been known as a bit of a schemer. Having a plan or project on the go has always been as crucial to me as knowing the time, or day of the week – it’s just something that’s always been needed in order for me to produce a stable sense of direction and purpose. These “goals” would pop up every few months, and I’d latch onto them with all my strength. They became everything, and I loved it.
I wouldn’t really notice if I didn’t have a scheme in action, but I certainly noticed when one popped into my head. Suddenly, I’d find uncontrollable momentum that pushed me into scurrying around to complete whatever was necessary. My planning was meticulous. I loved having intricate details to focus upon. These plans (/obsessions) ranged from inventions, to planning future lifestyle, to interior and landscape designs. Though taking the lead by far were my hundreds of plans for getting myself a friend. I always had to have a plan going to get a pet.
All these plans required schedules, blueprints and tactics. I’d draw the aspects of what needed to happen with consuming obsession. By the time I was about 6, I’d completely worn my parents out. I’d tried telling them all about each current plan. If I could get anyone to listen, there were tediously long presentations featuring timelines, resource lists, cost estimates and countless design plans. Needless to say, these weren’t exactly christmas list requests, these would be things like – “Here are the steps I’ll need to take in order to get permission from the city of kingston to amend an unjust livestock zoning bylaw and allow me to keep a miniature horse in our shed” 😊. I’d proceed to report how I’d saved up all the funds required, and I’d bring out the mapped out the design plans and resourced materials I’d need in order to make reality of my wild ideas.
Okay, though you can’t blame me for NEEDing one– look at them! (And yes. I ABSOLUTELY only wanted to write this post so I could have an excuse to attach pictures of mini horses)
Having me for a kid was exhausting, I was told that, often. But not so often as I was asked, “Katie, isn’t being you exhausting?" But it wasn’t, I was just doing what I thought was necessary. I’d have to have a complicated goal or else I wouldn’t know what to do with myself.
In the last few years, I haven’t had many long-lasting plans. And, unsurprisingly, I haven’t known what to do with myself. I’ve found this state far, far more exhausting than the cluttered busyness of having constant plans and schemes. But I’m beginning to see how this could actually be a positive change. This space I think was needed in order for me to evaluate how I consider values and worth. Even though, my head feels just as claustrophobic as it always has, it isn’t filled so much with stuff. For what I’ve realized about my plans, is that they were predominantly materialistically fuelled. Now that I don’t feel forced to work on getting things, I think it’s important I use that space and energy to work on understanding things.
I was always looking for things to fill my life, but I think I need to learn how to just “be” without needing to put meaning into what’s around me, and without contriving all self-worth from visual, material checkpoints of success. Instead, I’m going to let myself be empty for a while, and try not to keep sprinting from instinctual habit. Right now, I don’t really have any future plans or minute to minute schedules, and I’m learning to be okay with that.
I used to keep all my blueprints, schedules and presentation notes in a set of binders I’d collected over the many many years of obsessing. I moved recently. Those binders didn’t show up when I unpacked. Hopefully I can find them someday so that I can reflect over what it was like to live through those motivations, maybe someday I’ll be able to show my funny little drawings to my kids. But I think for now, that move was good.