Here's the thing about making plans: they're always subject to change, whether or not the circumstances are within your control. There's no way to truly predict the path life will take until you're walking it, and sometimes it's through unexpected bumps in the road that you learn the most. It's perfectly OK not to have everything figured out in advance, and nobody knows it quite like illustrator Mary Purdie. Mary (also known as Drawn by Mary) shared a particularly poignant illustration with her Instagram followers on Feb. 8, accompanied by a heartbreakingly beautiful story about her own journey and learning to embrace life being perfectly out of control. It's one that everybody needs to read and a message that we should all take to heart.
"Changing course has been incredibly heartbreaking, but necessary."
"You don't have to figure anything out." Mary's illustration says it all, but her story explains exactly what she means. In the caption of her post, the artist explains how a lengthy breast cancer treatment plan derailed the vision she'd had for her family and future.
"My habit of planning went out the window when I learned that my cancer diagnosis came with a 5 year treatment plan," she writes, continuing later: "I've spent the past 2 years focused on growing our family. 5 pregnancies. 5 miscarriages. Now a 5 year treatment plan ahead of me. And the dream I've held in my heart ever since I met my husband . . . what happens to that? Changing course has been incredibly heartbreaking, but necessary."
After the painful loss of five pregnancies and one life-altering diagnosis, Mary explains that she's stopped pretending she's in control, instead learning to embrace the beauty of each day and life's unpredictable nature.
"When I catch myself spiraling into planning territory, playing out all the hypotheticals in my mind, I remind myself I don't have to figure anything out beyond today," Mary explains. "I welcome myself back to the present moment and let intuition guide me. Everything will continue to unfold as it is supposed to. I need only focus on the task at hand."
For anybody who has struggled with life not adhering to "the plan," Mary's moving reminder that we don't have to have everything figured out is a vital one. Read her full message above, and you'll feel inspired to let go of any unmet expectations and to embrace the bumps in the road of your life. And, of course, check out the rest of Mary's inspiring self-care messages on Instagram for daily inspiration.