I was Franklin Covey's dream client. I had years of planners and the binders to save my life's plans. I loved the space where I could plan out the following year, even though it was still January of the previous one. I house hunted in cities I thought we might move one day, knowing full well those houses wouldn't be on the market in a couple of years (back in the housing boom), but I still envisioned my life in them while sitting on the plush green microfiber couch in my three bedroom house in Boise.
The thing is, life isn't predictable, even if we want it to be. I was no stranger to detours. My parents divorced when I was a young child, and I was left to deal with the cross-country custody arrangement, certainly not my ideal. When my dad was diagnosed with cancer, I left behind plans to be a counselor at a special needs camp to shave my dad's head and attend to his new special needs. Even meeting Dan at twenty-four wasn't a part of my life plan. It certainly hadn't been scheduled into my light blue planner the year before when I was still living on the Upper East Side.
When you stand over your leveled house, staring down into an ash pit, it's hard not to imagine the life you planned and the path you start down. The thing about detours, though, is that they are supposed to intersect back with the road they left behind. But in life, our detours often don't find their way back to the life that was. The choices we make as a result are often quite different than the ones we would have made had the event not occurred. The road in front of us too, often isn't even there yet. It's as though once our life takes a detour, we become the construction crew as well, laying down the pavement as we go.
This post was written as a response to the prompt to write a piece in which you take a detour.