I imagined that at 25, I’d have a house. I might be married. I certainly would have a horse, it’s entirely possible I’d have two. I’d drive this fantastic tan 2500 Dodge Ram, and I’d be able to trailer my two horses where ever I pleased. I would have studied abroad in college, and earned a degree in either psychology or I’d be on the fast track to becoming a small animal vet. My polo wraps would match my saddle pads. What a dream.

Guess what?

I’m almost 25, I’m not married. I don’t own a house. I own neither a horse nor a truck. The car I do drive is occasionally tan, but that’s because I haven’t figured out how to wash it yet. I have never managed to trailer a horse, let alone hook up a trailer to a truck and drive it myself. I changed my major three times in college, and I wasn’t able to study abroad. I am not a small animal vet, I’m more of a small animal hypochondriac. Oh, kitty… did you sneeze? You must be sick.

My polo wraps certainly do not match my saddle pads.

I followed an instinct I didn’t realize I was following, instead. There was a fork in the road, and while my mind assumed I’d take the right path, I chose the left. I was still planning on going to grad school, I was still planning on owning that truck and trailer as soon as possible. I had an idea of who I wanted to date, where I wanted to live, and who I wanted to be. It’s so easy to get caught up in those ideas and plans, right? It’s so easy to think that you know exactly what you want, how to get it, and how you’ll feel when you do.

We get so caught up in these plans we make that sometimes we forget to take a step back and figure out our direction. Sometimes figuring out our direction isn’t something we’re even aware we’re doing. Sometimes it’s following an instinct, following a whim, or chasing a dream. Along the way, something will open it’s door for you. Your job is to walk through that door when you recognize it.

Have your goals, chase your dreams, and make plans. Planning for anything is a great idea; according to successful people, organization and planning are the cornerstones of success. The unexpected does arrive, though. Incredible job opportunities open for you in a field you’d never expect. A scruffy little mare might be the answer to your prayers when you were looking for your dream horse who was a beautiful, tall gelding. You could change your major to English and then to Environmental Studies because you loved learning about the world around you.

I awkwardly tripped and fell face first into a life and world that was perfect for me. Clumsily, sometimes gracelessly, and always without an intention to be there. But in the eternally wise words of John Lennon (and other artists), “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”