When I first started my original travel blog, I did so with the intention of being brutally, painfully honest about all of my travel experiences.  I think I was–and continue to be–successful in that venture.  You can say a great number of things about me, but you can’t say that I sugar coat anything.

And so, I am admitting in this pretty damn public arena that I’m very worried about this coming year.  And worse, I realize that ‘this coming year’ is kind of here, now.

Earlier today I wrote about my unpreparedness in relation to our quickly approaching road trip.  That’s nothing in comparison to how I feel about my year off.  I have always been a planner.  Always.  There has not been a year in my life when I was not looking forward to the next with mind-blowing specificity.  I’ve had file folders filled with grad programs and travel plans since I was old enough to drive to the store and buy file folders.  But right now I don’t feel like I have anything.

My plans for the next few months are as follows…

This week:  Finish packing for road trip, clean out bathroom (did I mention that our bathroom is being renovated while we are gone?), leave for road trip.

Next week through next month:  Road trip with my husband; hotel reservations made, little else (nothing else) planned. This is very unlike me.  See this post to understand why.

The month after that:  Spend month in Walt Disney World researching for ‘my book’, which is in quotes because I won’t actually believe it exists until it is published.  Can I write it?  Yes.  Will someone print it?  Damn I hope so.

The month after that:  Write book.  Yes, in a month.  Pray that the publisher that showed interest in it continues to do so.

The month after that:  I have absolutely no idea–particularly if the publisher that showed interest does not continue to do so, which is a very real possibility.

So, basically, by November first I have no plans.  Zero.  Why the hell am I taking a year off from work to have zero plans?  I mean, yes, I do ‘plan’ to spend this year ‘learning and growing as a person’.  I do plan to follow whatever paths present themselves.  I also planned to travel as much as possible, and I still do–but ‘as much as possible’ isn’t ‘all the time’.  So what do I do during the other times?  And what if a path simply does not present itself?  What if I’m just wandering through the wilderness for fourteen months (now thirteen) all the while walking in circles?

What then?

The funny thing about my planning obsession is that it may have been the one thing that made me an ok teacher for so many years.  After all, planning is what teachers do.  A poorly planned teacher is a terrible sight to behold, and a worse thing to be.  Fortunately I never had that problem.  Until now.  Ironic?  Perhaps.

And so, despite the fact that this is the first fully negative thing I’ve written in this blog’s short life, I am hitting ‘publish’ on this post.  Why?  First, because I’ve vowed to myself to be honest, even in pretty damn public arenas.  But second, because I want others to know that everyone is scared.  So if I’m successful, you and I can look back at this together and say ‘see–it wasn’t always (or ever) easy.’  And if I’m not successful, you and I can look back at this together and say ‘well, at least I/she tried.’  And that’s really all anyone can do.