Your Future is Bright: Tips for Finding Your Five Year Plan

I’ve recently become obsessed with planners. They are a combination of organization, scrapbooking, and journaling. The possibilities are seemingly endless when faced with a blank calendar and when I started making my own notebooks, I thought those possibilities would be apparent and accessible…not overwhelming.

The first thing I noticed is that a lot of ready made planners are easy to get into but not quite so fun to keep using. It becomes a sort of graveyard of dreams, a calendar that follows me around, tracking things I did or did not do. I wanted it to be inspiring and motivating. I wanted my planner/journaling experience to be something I enjoyed coming back to and had the sense of encouragement and accomplishment in plain view.

Then I came to a realization; how was I going to derive a sense of accomplishment if I did not know where I wanted to be in the future?

Bitch, I do not know
Five years in the future is not an impossible thing to imagine. In five years, I will be 30, I could be running an actual brick and mortar store, or married, or in a different city or even, all three! But what if you don’t know if any of those things sound good to you?

What is five years anyway? It’s 60 months, 260 weeks, 1,825 days, 438,000 hours, 2,628,000 minutes, or 157,680,000 seconds. So I thought since I don’t know where I want to go, maybe look at how I had lived and change that. This logic was inspired by the Ze Frank video about time.

I took activities like Sleeping, Commuting (my commute tends to be pretty long), Working (job and my personal projects), Eating (and time spent getting food to eat), Getting Ready, and the random categories that I know exist but don’t know specifics about: Other Stuff and made guesses about how much time I spent doing each one in a day. Then multiplied that by five years worth of days, so if I continued living that way, that’s where my time goes.

I found that I spend a lot of time sleeping which is really passing out whenever I get home and I don’t have an actual sleep schedule. A lot of time is spent commuting …which sucks and suggests that if I want that to cut down, I am looking to move within the next five years. And we’re just talking time, we haven’t even gotten to how much money is spent or wasted. sigh

Time is money
I’m sure if consistent readers of this blog who know how I abuse the English language gave me enough time, I could figure out a metaphorical presentation of time as money using concepts like “expensive” and “frugal”, but let’s focus here.

What do I want to change?

I want to sleep less and do more. (Change in health aspects of my life is necessary then because I’m constantly exhausted.)
I want to spend less time driving to the city and way more time being in it. (Moving)

What do I want to accomplish?

Oh…I don’t know… I mean, personally, I say “I want an empire by the time I’m 30.” quite a bit and that does still sound true. But an empire of … what?

Life is strange.
It used to be a joke, just some alternative sounding blog title. It used to be a joke. Now, it’s kind of not and for all the shit I give the people who firmly believe in and frequently toss out the line “You manifest your own reality/destiny.” I did. That’s what this is.

I’m not one to hold connections in the same vein as my own self worth, but I do know a lot of interesting people, living interesting lives who sometimes invite me to things and thus…my life becomes interesting. I was blessed with opportunities (though spoiled is sometimes my favorite way to express my gratitude) and I spend a lot of time in a city where literally anything can happen. So it wasn’t some grand cosmic force that made “living the strange life” my life. It was a combination of things.

And what of the goth life?
If you’re waiting for me to normal up, you’re going to be waiting for a long time. I am sitting here thinking of all my little affirmations, “I am the baby of the family.” “The dragon your ancestors couldn’t slay” and this idea of upholding some kind of legacy. I love this community. Those things aren’t up for debate, but what I have currently isn’t enough.

I want to do more with my time in a goth way which means going to more events and making more goth-oriented things, like videos and posts.

I think… and as someone with social anxiety but very big dreams I say with this with hesitation, I think I actually want to be a face of our weird family.

and that feels very true.

So now I got a direction.
It’s vague as all fuck, but it is a direction that took a while to come to. Now, let’s be silly. If you could do anything in five years, what would you do?

Write a book? Direct a movie? Be making all your own clothes? I want to be an author, a director, a fashion designer? What do you want?

I find it hard to think in those terms. It’s easy to want to be anything. It costs you nothing and when you say you want to do something, you can get the superficial emotional reward from people liking the idea of you doing that thing. It leads you to not want to do it as much. No one likes seeing the heavy lifting that happens behind the scenes…

I mean the real emotional linchpin in taking the planner seriously is fear. Fear that something will upend all those plans and I’ll have to start over which is why it’s refillable and what to do with the time left over or when it gets taken over by something else?

What if, what if, what if…

This might be where the OCD comes in handy.

Realistically, I know I cannot account for everything, how every minute of every day is spent and every last minute change. I don’t want to spend a lot of my time living vicariously through notes and tracking. I want to spend more time writing and creating in a visible way. I want to interact with people more online like I used to.

I do still have the 666, I just lost a lot of confidence in myself and how I wanted to keep doing it. A lot of posts require some background research so it can be more informative and less personal opinion (but this entire subculture is built off of preferences and opinions, so welp throwing down occasionally might happen).

You might be wondering when the OCD’s usefulness comes in handy. Okay. I have mild OCD. My obsessive thoughts tend to fixate on projects like this and while some people are content with writing down Doctor’s Appointment at 3 pm, I have to write down all the steps it will take to get the doctor’s office and what will happen before and after in order for me to be content. It has to be planned out, anything related to the event or my anxiety gets so bad, I just give up entirely and don’t go. If I don’t have a plan or there are too many loose ends, it spikes my anxiety and manifests as a physical pain. Like right now, not being sure whay images I’m going to use in this blog post is making my left wrist hurt. It feels sharp and tense like I’m desperately clinging on to something that isn’t there. A scrap of a plan that isn’t fully realized yet.

It’s partly having faith in myself. It took a very steep learning curve to trust I could deal with weird situations that come up out of nowhere. And in having that faith, I’m less fearful of planning for a future that could change at any moment. I just need to remember I can do that.

Dreams into reality
This might be overboard for some, but I have a weird planner set up I want to try. One for the ideal life, I want to go to this many events and do these many things, and another version for what actually happens. From the difference between what was accomplished and what wasn’t I’m hoping that lead me to either change my goals or figure out what exactly I need to work on. I think I might do this with months, weeks and days where I have a lot of stuff going on for at least a year or so.

I also started designing little stickers to change the day pages as I need them as opposed to having a static set up where things could go unused sometimes.

I know what I want to have accomplished for the next five years. It’s just all the little steps in between I have to figure out. In order to eat an entire cake, we must start with the first slice…but your goals may be very different from mine. So I’m curious.

For the 666: What do you want to have accomplished after 5 years? Do you think your gothiness will have grown or lessened? What’s your biggest worry for the future and what are you looking forward to the most? Don’t forget to link me if you do post it!

If you’re thinking about starting your own planner (which I would love to see more goths doing) notebooks and accessories will be in the Shop soon. To see what the future brings for those bold enough to Live the Strange Life, follow this blog by joining the Strange Collective at the top of the page. Please direct your curious glances to YouTube, Tumblr, Instagram and Facebook for a fully realized perspective.

Until next time,

Don’t be hungry for life. Be ravenous.

Zakkarrii Edison Daniels

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