It was 2014. I sat on our patio in the warm sun in my favorite comfy shorts, as the hot breeze brushed peacefully against my face. I loved this little area of our Boise home. It was contained by high, brown, beaten fence posts for safety and privacy, but allowed enough sunlight to foster green grass and a happy, sweet puppy running around. I did my best to fill the concrete patio space with a variety of flowers, vegetables and fruit. It was where I went when things didn’t make sense, I felt my heart hurting and often too, when my head felt so heavy and like I could no longer hold it up. (It’s no wonder people tell us to keep our heads up when we hit hard times.) It was here, where I would sip my coffee and try to make sense of the modern life that often, at that time, felt more like a catastrophe.
I held in my hands a coveted Passion Planner. I had seen a kickstarter for it and related to the creator’s story all too well. She had finished her bachelor’s degree and felt lost. What was next? Where was the next stepping stone for her to move on to? She created the planner to help other people find their way, especially those who found themselves in that foggy post college mist.
The planner was cracked open in my lap and opened to the Passion Roadmap. I sat there and stared at what I had just written, slowly feeling both peace and panic. Peace, because I felt like I finally had clarity into making a decision my gut had told me was right. but panic because the outside world had told me this decision was so, so wrong.
I knew my next step was to drop out of college. What?! Yes. Drop out. But, how does one ever amount to anything in this world without a college degree? How can anyone achieve anything significant at all, if they didn’t have their degree with them in their back pocket at all times? At the time, I knew deep down that continuing my college education would serve me no purpose but a mere diploma at that point in my life. (I did end up checking in enough credits to walk across the stage with an Associates degree, to which this day sits in a box, gathering dust and dirty looks as I often walk by it, angry that I had racked up so much in student loans to obtain it.)
Let me tell you friends, it’s an awful, awful, panicky feeling when you realize that your everyday life isn’t getting you anywhere near to where you want or feel led to go. However, it’s such a peaceful, exciting feeling when you realize you have the power to pivot and make changes to reflect a new path, a different way.
I had been suspicious of the Passion Planner, as I usually am of anything that claims to be “woo woo”. Woo woo has never helped me and all too often, following my feelings had led to more disarray or chaos in my life. But I clicked on “purchase” because I saw that the Passion Planner based its road map off of what my trusted counseling professor called, “The Magic Question”. It’s this:
“If you could be be anything, do anything and have anything, what would that look like?”
What I wrote out next surprised me so much. It was many things that were drastically different than the life I currently lived. Different friends, a different career path, different passions and a much, much different outlook on life than the one I held then. It felt so foreign and almost wrong to write it all out, since so much of what I had done and the actions I took had been at the advice and listening to people who casually threw words my way that often sounded like, “Well if I were you I would. . . “. They meant well, but weren’t the ones who had to deal with the consequences of a life lived with these choices. And how easy is it for us to sit back, cross our arms and say what we would think we would do, when deep down inside, we know we are scared, terrified and it would take A LOT to muster up the courage to actually do those things. (I’m looking at you Karen.)
It was looking at the Passion Planner roadmap that made me realized the next big step for me was to drop out of college. And I am so thankful I did. I am so thankful I took time to sit down on my patio and face my life. I am so thankful the Passion Planner helped me map out a path for life and help me break down these goals step by step. I am so thankful I broke through my anxiety and got specific about goals, made a plan, create a timeline and work through it. I feel like I live a life that is true to myself and reflects who I am and whom I’m created to be and become. And I am so thankful that when life starts to look fuzzy and confusing, I can print out another Passion Roadmap and get to work.
Passion Planner from day one has offered a free downloadable PDF of their planner for anyone to use, in exchange for an email address. You can get your free Passion Roadmap PDF here and if you want to purchase the full planner you can do so, here! Happy planning!