I have a friend who needs to know what’s going to happen. She spends hours making plans, every detail is accounted for, her mother says that when she was small she spent all her time setting up for play and no time actually playing. Some people are just like that.
Not long ago this friend of mine embarked on a vacation. As usual, every moment was accounted for. She knew when she would leave, arrive, and exactly what she would do from the second she reached her destination.
Only this time chaos had other plans.
From beginning to end, nothing on this trip went the way it was meant to. Weather turned her six hour flight into a fifteen hour odyssey with delays, reroutings, and a landing in a city entirely different from the one on her ticket.
It was as though this heralded the rest of the vacation. My friend was forced to change most of her plans from hotel accommodation to many of the items on her itinerary.
When she returned home and was telling me this story, I listened to something amazing take place.
“You know what,” she said, “at first it was just me, digging in, getting frustrated, not having a good time.” During that first long day of travel she was feeling like a lot of us would, really resenting the loss of control. But then on her third flight of the day she sat next to a woman who had been traveling for almost two days. Despite being tired, this woman was still in good spirits.
“I realized then that when plans to a different way it doesn’t have the be the end of the world, and I can choose to still have a good time.”
For the rest of her trip, she rolled with the punches. And you know what? She says she had one of the best trips of her life.
Life definitely doesn’t cooperate much of the time. We make a plan and then things go their own way. It’s up to us whether we dig in and allow this to disrupt our psyche or choose to be flexible and see what happens.
Your career will not always go the way you plan. You will not get every grant and residency you apply for and unfortunately, at galleries the answer will sometimes be no.
And you know what? That’s OK! Every time life doesn’t go you way, it does go some way.
Praxis Center can help you prepare so that you have the best chance of seeing things go the way you’d like them to. But when they don’t, we also have a strong community of peers and experts ready to help pick you up and dust you off and remind you that just because the road diverged doesn’t mean it ended. Being able to roll with the punches is what builds true resilience. When you open up rather than digging in, you just might be surprised to realize that within every hiccup there is a new opportunity.