Revisiting the Importance of Plan B

The single most read blog post I’ve written was on May 31 of 2011, and it was about the importance of making Back Up Plans while pursuing a dream of some kind.  In short, someone mildly famous had said that having a backup plan was “inviting failure” into your life.

This came to mind as I read this blog post about a woman who’s finally dragged herself out of the horrible debt that unsuccessfully pursuing Plan A created.  She followed some really bad advice to get there:

“Before I left, I read somewhere in the dumbest book of all time that a real actor only acts.  If you tell an agent or a casting director you have a job they won’t take you seriously.  You’re job is auditioning.  Your occupation is that you are an actor. “

Part of me kind of wants whoever wrote that book to be forced to pay restitution to the poor saps who took that advice.

But, I also want to update people on how my own Plan A turned out: AMAZINGLY.  And, oddly enough, as I wrote before, I did BY having other jobs, doing other things, the whole way through.

I’ve probably written this part before, so I’ll keep it brief: I’ve wanted to be a diplomat since my junior year of college, now 10 years ago.  I took the test for the first time in spring of 2004,  failed, tried again in spring 2006, failed, tried again in fall ’07, failed, tried again fall ’08, failed, and finally tried again in June of 2010.  I joined the Foreign Service in September 2011, and started my first post in August 2012.

And it would not have been remotely possible WITHOUT the Plan Bs!  I learned many new skills, working at the Census, working as a teacher, even working as a bank teller.  I learned humility while temping.  These were necessary so that I could pass the Foreign Service Officer’s Test and succeed at the Oral Assessment.

And while I’m not sitting on the beach everyday supping on pineapple and ambrosia, I can still consider myself blessed.


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