Are You Living Your Plan B Life?

For a long time I was living my plan B life and I didn’t even realize it. After all, my “plan B” looked an awful lot like my plan A life. Like a clone or a good counterfeit, it could stand in the place of my plan A life for awhile, but after time, something just didn’t feel right.

I couldn’t put my finger on it exactly. I just knew something was off.

Photo Credit: Steve Spotts

What I really wanted to be was a writer, but if you asked me I wouldn’t have told you that. I would have told you I wanted to be a writing teacher. Do you see the connection there? Because I couldn’t conceptualize what it would look like to become a professional writer, I chose to find a way to express my passion and dreams within a life I could conceptualize.

It felt like I was taking a multiple choice test, and when it came to the questions, “What do you want?” or “What do you dream about?” there were only four or five possible responses, all laid out carefully in front of me.

I worked the problem to find my answer, but when my answer didn’t show up in the list or possible options, I picked the closest alternative. Writing teacher was so much easier for me to conceptualize than professional writer.

I didn’t know how to achieve my plan A, so I accepted plan B instead.

At first, it seemed like a good trade. It felt as if I had found my niche. But the more time that passed, the more I started to sense that something was wrong. I couldn’t put my finger on what it was. At first, I thought it was me (I was ungrateful, selfish, destined to be me miserable for the rest of my life).

But as time passed, I had such a deep a sense of restlessness, I knew something needed to change.

And when a close friend pressed me to admit the life I was living wasn’t the one I really wanted, I finally realized why I was so uncomfortable. I was living a pre-scripted, plan B, ultimately counterfeit life.

Are you living your plan B life?

Have you ever considered what your plan A life might be? If you know what your plan A life is, why are you avoiding it? Is it because you don’t believe you have what it takes to achieve it? Is it because you don’t see your “answer” on the multiple choice test of life?

What if I told you that multiple choice test doesn’t even exist?

Since the day I finally admitted I was living my plan B life, nothing has been the same.

My city has changed, my job title has changed, even my last name has changed. But the most important thing that has changed is my idea about how the world works. My plan A is possible. It isn’t easy, but it is within my reach.

There is no such thing as a multiple choice test. I can choose my own answers to the deep questions of my heart and life.

And life is way too short to waste my days living my plan B marriage, career, calling, friendships or any other aspect of my life.

6 comments on “Are You Living Your Plan B Life?

  1. Great post, Ally. I have seen so many people do this, beginning with myself. Like your’s, my life changed dramatically when I focused on accomplishing Plan A first instead of worrying about building a “fail safe” Plan B to fall back upon. Wise words!

  2. I love your thoughts in this post. It’s so true. My husband and I both had a recent change of field…left our plan B to live our plan A. And I can honestly say it was so worth it. I’ve been writing for a year now, and even though times are lean, my heart has never been so full. It’s so encouraging to read these words today. Thank You!

  3. Allison your comments are right on not only for writers, but others too. I am a photographer working as a writer trying to transition back into the field of photography. Thanks much… a good read no matter what your profession or field.
    Blue Skies!

  4. As a child, when people asked me what I wanted to grow up to be, I always answered, “Wife and mother.” Been married 47 years, child is 44; now what? Think I need a plan B?

  5. I love your posts. I love the concepts but I’m not young and single; I have a husband and kids and I’ve discovered my dreams aren’t their dreams. So now what?

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