Dan and I celebrated our five year wedding anniversary on Friday. I've written before about how difficult the last five years have been for us (Sometimes I Do really does mean "for worse") and how I never could have predicted the events that would follow our wedding. It's been a trial for sure.
At dinner, Dan and I talked about the past and tried to talk about the future. As someone who used to live for my Five Year Plan, this seemed like an appropriate time to pull out a pen and paper and start making a list about all the things I'm going to accomplish between now and 2016. Instead, we looked at each other and sighed. There would be no five year plan. There likely won't ever be another five year plan. The old ones burned up in the fire... as did our ability to believe that we could even pretend to make a list about where we see ourselves five years from now.
I don't think this is uncommon for fire survivors. In a way we are lucky to have so many people around us who understand. My neighbors and I have discussed this very subject, and it seems to me that most of us have this block. Life changed so dramatically in a matter of minutes, and, even if it's irrational, there is this belief that emerges that it could change again that quickly. No amount of planning can prepare you for that moment, and I wonder if having a firm idea in your head of where your life is supposed to be makes the event, the dramatic change, more difficult to absorb. Not only have did we lose a house, our stuff, we lost our direction.
This isn't to say I don't have some goals or we don't talk about possibilities in the future. I just am not nearly as committed to those ideas as I was in the past. It's freeing, in a way, not always having to look forward and instead just being where you are. Even so, it's still an adjustment, especially for someone who used to believe that life could all be worked out, plotted on a graph in a neat little line. I guess that only really works if you are graphing with hindsight, plotting your steps as they happen, not as you wish them to be.