Friday, June 21, 2013

Maybe it was Plan B all along

Driving home this evening, Colbie Caillat's remake/remix of The Script's Breakeven song came on the radio. This was maybe the third or fourth time I'd heard it. I remember the first time I heard it, I was completely mesmerized. I loved it from the first second. I loved it in a put-it-on-repeat-until-the-record-breaks kind of way. Yes, I'd heard the lyrics and tune before, but somehow THIS version spoke to me in a way that the original hadn't.

The original "Breakeven" by The Script:

The Colbie Caillat remix/remake:

This made me think of the Dixie Chick's remake of the original Fleetwood Mac "Landslide". It was another song that I was surprised when I loved the cover more than the original and the original is an amazing song. Once again, something about the Dixie Chicks cover spoke to me.

The original "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac:

The Dixie Chicks cover of "Landslide":

As my mind continued to wander, it occurred to me that maybe sometimes life is like that.  After all, some people believe that The Godfather II was better than the original.

Maybe sometimes the first version is not the best version.

On the cusp of my 40th birthday, I can't help but think this life that I'm leading was most definitely NOT the first version of my plan. In Plan A, by the time I was 40, I would be well-established and well thought of in my career. I would be witnessing life through the eyes of my teenage child as they experienced all of the teenaged angst as I once did. I would curl up at night next to my partner, my rock, my husband.

Instead, my life has become Plan B. Not only do I not have a teenager, I have no children at all. I stopped taking exams long ago and have settled as a data analyst rather than a full-fledged actuary. The only thing curling up next to me as I nod off at night is a dog.  And that's only on her terms ..... if she's cold.

On the other hand, Plan B has a lot to recommend it. Outside of my work commitments, I have lots of freedom and answer to no one. If I want to take off for a ride on my motorcycle or spend a whole Saturday playing bridge, I can do it. As long as the dog gets walked and the bills get paid, my time is my own.  A few weeks ago I bought a new car. I did my research to make sure I was making a good purchase, but other than that, I consulted no one. I didn't ask for anyone's opinion and it didn't occur to me to do so.

I often times also think that if I was knee deep in Plan A, I wouldn't be the person I am today. I can imagine that with my upbringing, I would have simply followed the herd and done what everyone else does. The sad thing is that it never would have occurred to me to STOP following the herd and figure out who I really am. For me, this journey to self-discovery is best undertaken all by myself. My inner voice is awfully quiet and if I wasn't able to get away from it all, I might never hear what she has to say.

So maybe some day when I am old and gray, I will look back and realize that Plan B was always the song that spoke to me.


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