“a conscious, purposeful, and on-going process”

I was just telling my friend John the other day that I’m antsy right now in a way that I never was during my undergrad. I find a lot of peace in getting outdoors and handling rocks, and a counseling degree isn’t really an easy place to get that. (For those keeping track at home: that last sentence is an abbreviated yet complete summary of How Did Any Of This Become My Life.)

There’s a theory in the career counseling world called Planned Happenstance*; long story short, Krumboltz, Mitchell, & other PH subscribers believe that our life paths are influenced most significantly not by the planning we do, but by our decision to lead lives that introduce new, sometimes completely unforeseen potential opportunities to us — and to remain open to following them. (Maintaining both of these mindsets at once has proven more difficult for me than I’d thought.) Last month I volunteered to help out a friend at work with a project which meant coming into the Student Center early, where I passed a professor in the geology department that I hadn’t seen in almost a year. We spent a little while catching up, and she asked whether I missed geology, and I didn’t know how to answer truthfully (“I vacillate every day of my life between oh god yes, desperately and wildly and nope.”), so I mentioned instead how much I missed being in the field, and she mentioned that she was short a TA for an upcoming trip she was running, and I waggled my eyebrows suggestively (i.e. how I have come to react in times of social confusion), and then we said goodbye.

Fast forward a month and I’ve cleared my schedule between April 18 and April 22 to drive a van up to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and trek around the Marquette area for a few days. I will be breathing fresh air, climbing hills, taking pictures, touching rocks, and not looking at budgets. (what.) There are so many reasons I shouldn’t go – a final exam on Monday 4/23 not insignificant among them. But there is one large reason I should go, which is: I feel tired. This has been a very long, very draining year, and I preach self-care so regularly but follow my own instructions too infrequently.

And so: a vacation. An unplanned vacation, and a vacation wherein I’ll be helping students use compasses and identify igneous & metamorphic suites which hopefully won’t turn out to be too much of a joke, but a vacation nonetheless, and I am so excited.

*I can neither confirm nor deny this post existing in part as an opportunity to type Planned Happenstance more often in hopes of someday NOT reading “Planned Parenthood” instinctively instead.


About Caroline

Student. Big fan of the great outdoors; equally enamored with the great indoors. Into music, but also pretty into not being a tool about being into music. Well-meaning. Striving for balance in all things.
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One Response to “a conscious, purposeful, and on-going process”

  1. Kristin says:

    Shteffy!! I’m excited for you, this sounds awesome! I’m glad you’ll get to have a little vacation, too 😀

    (ditto on “planned happenstance”/”planned parenthood”)

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