September 27, 2022
Ithaca, NY | 56°F

ColumnsSeeking Justice

Becoming comfortable with the unknown

Most of my life I had a plan. As someone who dreams big, I always knew what I wanted to do and how I would get there: get into a good college, become a reporter, work my way up to CNN, travel the world, make real money (aka six figures or more) and be the first John Turner that pops up on a google search –– I have quite a generic name if you didn’t know.

This plan has been in motion ever since the fourth grade when I went to school dressed up as a reporter for career day. The plan had been going well until now — for the first time in my life I don’t know what I want to do or what path I’ll take and I’m completely content in that.

When you plan your life step by step, you become a servant to failure. Once failure becomes your master, you become obsessed with what should have happened rather than facing your reality. When I let go of my plans, I no longer feared failure, I welcomed it. Without failure I would not be me.

My obsession with planning centered around this idea of success. In my mind, to reach “success” I had to plan every step of the way. I’ve come to realize that I’m successful right now. Success should not be quantified by a job title or dollar amount, but rather your own personal growth. Success should never be an end goal, it should be a current state of mind. I am content with where I’m at in life, so I’m successful. You got out of bed today, so you’re successful. For others, learning how to better love others is success!

Nothing in life is guaranteed, so why plan so far ahead that you forget to live in the moment? Passions and interests change and that should be welcomed. Sticking to a plan that no longer serves you is only doing more harm to you. Sometimes it’s necessary to take that leap of faith and do something completely unorthodox, because those are the moments when you reach new heights.

For me, letting go of my plan meant I was letting go of control, which made me very uncomfortable, but when we’re uncomfortable we’re forced to make adjustments.

Now, this is not to say that you shouldn’t plan in life. Planning for things like weddings or vacations is required, but planning out your entire life is not — nor is it healthy. Instead of planning, I decided to let go and let Jesus Christ take control of my life, and that’s the best decision I’ve ever made.

Who knows — maybe I’ll become a painter or ventriloquist or travel along the Gold Coast. While these things are all unlikely, what I’m sure of is that I’ll no longer be planning out my life. Instead, I’ll be content in the unknowing.

John Turner can be reached at