Updated: Oct 1, 2021
This chapter is about an unwritten law. The law of Planning for the unPredictable. When faced with uncertainty, successful living beings prepare and act, rather than react.
I loved to plan (well, I am still at the present too), and I made one of my strongest skills to date. I still remember the excitement I had when I started school. It was few weeks before that day. That excitement was manifesting right when I was heading with my mum to the local school supplies shop to buy a school diary. And I always choose the diary for the cover. I wanted a bold, eclectic one. A bit like the picture above. It had to be mysterious, dark, unusual. Screw all those diaries that made you look cool and conform (especially in a Catholic-Patriarchal society ready to indoctrinate fertile youth minds.) I never did anyway. That cover, those colors, patterns, and textures must have reminded me when I was writing with a quill on ancients logbooks, probably listing herbs and natural remedies back centuries ago.
Those memories that unevenly and randomly float back through the deepest levels of our subconscious minds and make us act in an unpredicted way. Those covers sealed hours of appointments, hours allocated for study, training, (a little of) socializing, and few birthday dates worth to be remembered. Alongside there were few random scribbles, notes that I now have no memories of. Probably feelings as every human who's going through adolescence tend to express better in words rather than with the use of the voice. Days filling blank pages turned into months. Months became years. Then years turned into decades. I filled decades of blank papers. And the truth is that nowadays those blank pages do no longer belong to school diaries but my working day notebooks or weekly planners. The principle behind it has remained the same: getting ready, schedule, plan for the events that will occur during that day, and start ticking those boxes, or draw a line on those words after that specific event is now part of the past.
After years of blank-pages filling, I do it now mechanically as one of the main morning habits. It helps to set tangible goals which, during the years, turned it to become one of the keys to my successes. If anything, getting an extremely planned schedule, with SMART goal set-up turned me into a powerful working machine. But what happens when plans didn't turn the way we planned for? I heard so many times the beauty of getting lost during my MA course and now more than ever those words keep coming back to me. Failing & getting lost are the two verbs that I most frequently used across those two years of my MA at CSM. And frankly, I hate their usage. I dislike how they sound, how they make e feel, and the projection of me seeing myself getting lost and failing. Being unable to unpredict what will be next is something that put me totally in an uneasy state, where my consciousness rally to take me back onto the safe track of planning. But things changed when I experience my 'August Odyssey' and I actually had no choice but keep afloat in a sea full of comical-tragical unPredicted events. What if the best events could actually come from unPredicted circumstances? What if, from the darkest unpredicted areas of our minds, we could find paths, ways that we didn't know their existence? Or maybe ghosts of our many previous lives, of our deepest, darkest secrets that we kept rooted down into our subconscious and cleverly protected... A bit like those strong, rigid diary covers which protect the thin, fragile blank pages which live on the inside.
The truth is, there is no law of Planning for the unPredictable. And maybe somewhere there, deep there as in the bottom of the ocean lies a research question that needs to be answered in less than 10 weeks.