It’s not going to turn out the way you thought.

It's not going to turn out the way you thought.

It will happen later. His best friend will ask you out instead. You’ll be kissed in the movies instead of on a beach. You’ll end up going to a different school because the one you thought you’d get into didn’t work out.

She’ll move away. Someone else will move in next door. She’ll be a little weird at first, a little more shy, but ultimately really good at riding bikes and playing dolls.

That part you always wanted will go to that other girl instead. And you’ll rock it out in the chorus like your life depended on it. Because on some level it does.

The road you were going to take will be flooded and closed. The inn where you were going to stay will be under renovations. He’ll be taller than you thought. And have a funny accent. But will be a good kisser nonetheless.

You’ll get a flat tire on the way to that crucial meeting and end up peeing your pants laughing with the gas station attendant over a copy of Us Magazine. And someone else will fill in for you because they always do.

You won’t get that dream job like you thought you would. It will go to someone else with far less creative drive and vision than you. Someone far better suited for a cubicle than you.

You’ll be put in groups with people who put your panties in a wrinkle. You’ll sit next to someone on the plane who you’d never talk to except that they won’t shut up…and you’ll end up staying in touch for years and taking family vacations together.

Five years after you graduate life won’t look anything like you would have imagined. You’ll be single when you thought you’d be married. You’ll have kids when you thought you’d be in the Peace Corps. That trip to Laos will get delayed because you’ve got to stay home and take care of your grandmother. Laos will be there. Your grandmother won’t always.

He’ll move over seas and oddly the Atlantic Ocean between you will bring you closer than you ever dreamed possible. You won’t get engaged, married, or pregnant when you thought.  You’ll miss the bus/train/plane/ferry that you thought you just HAD to be on.

You’ll fall off the turnip truck. You’ll jump on a different bandwagon than you intended.  You’ll get fired when you thought you ought to be getting hired.

You’ll realize you forgot the outfit you had planned to wear and that the shoes are all wrong now that you have a full-length mirror to see the whole outfit. Your shirt will be wrinkled and you’ll spill red wine on your white jeans.

Your dog will eat your five-year plan. You’ll drop your Blackberry in the toilet (at least once.) Your computer will crash and you’ll delete the first draft of your magnum opus. You’ll accidentally delete your hard drive and end up with a clean slate.

You’ll show up late to the date with the guy you were sure was going to fit into your husband suit and realize he’s less than graceful under stress and not so flexible. (Better to know now than later.)

When you thought you’d be baking pie and living behind your very own white picket fence you’ll find yourself doing something so entirely different you couldn’t have even imagined it a year before.  There will be moments when you’ll look around and not even recognize your own life…in a good way.

You’ll take a wrong turn and end up in an entirely different city than you intended. You’ll dial the wrong number and end up in love with an entirely different person than you intended.

You’ll flunk out and end up taking five years instead of four to graduate. You’ll have your heart broken when you were sure you were with the one and then meet the other one a month later. You’ll move to a new city to start a new business with those perfect new business partners and then it will all go to shit. And you’ll move across the country again only to realize that that’s where you belonged the whole time.

You’ll drive as far away from home as possible thinking that it will make you feel free. Then you’ll get homesick and drive back four months later because you suddenly feel trapped.

You’ll imagine the open road, country music playing loud, you singing at the top of your lungs, and flirting with a new man in every town. And then you’ll invite someone to come with you on a whim and realize driving around the country by yourself was a terrible idea anyway…and that its way more fun when you’re traveling with someone you love.

You won’t do it at the right time.

You’ll be late.

You’ll be early.

You’ll get re-routed.

You’ll get delayed.

You’ll change your mind.

You’ll change your heart.

It’s not going to turn out the way you thought it would.

It will be better.

It's not going to turn out the way you thought.

Want a beautifully designed reminder that it’s not going to turn out the way you thought it would, it will be better in your home or office? Grab your poster of this blog here!


  • Barbara Gimperling

    Absolutely wonderful piece, Kate! You just never know and isn’t it wonderful that we can’t control it all! Life has so many surprises in store if we let it be! And, of course, we need to be fully awake!! Great job!

    • Kate

      @Barbara Gimperling, YES! That awake part is key. Thank you!

    • I love this. This love money challenge gave me the courage to ask for the 6 figure job that I created w God and these money angels. Because I led w my heart and believed that this or something better was on it’s way. My dad transitioned a few weeks ago and my marriage has been barely hanging on. But everyday I’ve been doing the challenge watching past fall away. Thank you for supporting us in this new Feminine Energy way to stand in my truth and abilities to earn what I deserve and love what I do. My new position was created based on my gifts working for a Hospice to be the Community Educator and talk about death and end of life and not to fear but to find peace. I’m an energy healer and know I’ve been brought to this for the higher good. Thx Kate and I love your mom and Hay House. This was a piece I was missing. Loving myself through money challenges and stepping into my bigger worth. I am eternally grateful and wanted to say this really works. So much love to you Kate! Xo?

      • Kate Northrup

        Love right back to you!

      • Amoy

        Dear Kate,
        You money Love challenge gave me a big shift, physical ( goodness what am I doing ) I had done some on line shopping , I sent them all back! and spiritual the words came to me to be a “good steward for my money” Oh dear ! ” guilty” ! I though ) thank you for that simple quiz. This woke me up! I will buy your book. :() blessings xx big love

    • Amoy

      Dear Kate, what you wrote is very true, there is a saying, ” if you want to make God laugh, show him your plans , this is where I concede, he knows the end to the beginning, I have stop condemning my self, mistakes are a good learning curve for me. Non the less things happen and they take us in a different direction not the one planned and my whole focus shifts, in my case recent family health issues , business to consolidate. some years ago I remortgage our home and went shopping for houses. My husband left me to do this as it was my idea, decisions are easier to make when there is some one to share, To cut a long story short , my mortgage came up so I had to sell and pay up. I thank God he was with me. I made some good investments , some I did not considered well and I made big losses.
      Tell me about the clothes. Nothing works when in a hurry even when its planned so many fraction can determine, what we should wear , our feelings, the weather , weight, and the list gives on. Life is a journey , I can only imagine what it must look like from above. This last few months was not what I planned, it’s so far remove from my plans. However
      I thank God I will live another day and pray I will complete what I have started ….God willing ., thank you Kate .

  • Kate –
    Thanks a million. This hits home in so many ways. Thank you for writing this.. this resonates so deeply with me – I’ve really been growing into this idea that things really will be *better* beyond our planning capabilities:) Letting go of ‘shoulds’ and allowing what really *is*..I love it, thank you!!

  • Susan

    So true!

    This was your best blog post yet!!

  • Brilliant! Salve for the soul. Thank you for this genius piece of writing.

  • Sandi Amorim

    This made me smile, grin, cry and nod my head in recognition. Truly brilliant and appreciated!

  • Great post Kate! I like the “inviting someone on a whim…and traveling with someone you love”. Never looks how you want it to look.

  • You’ll be standing next to the man you fell in love with as a child and see you are both grown. And changed. And loved. You will think being a mother will make you whole and find out that instead it gave you a passage to heal your already whole self. You’ll be a vegetarian that no one understands to end up with a meat share CSA that the right people understand why. You’ll move your bedroom into the dining room so your daughter can have her own room and you will buy her her first bra, a pink one. You’ll be who you were always meant to be, great, strong, soft, beautiful, kind and surround yourself with those who are the same.

    It is better. Thank you for giving me a look at a very different world than my own, and reminding me to be ever grateful Kate. xo

    • Kate

      @Hannah Marcotti, Your response made me cry! So beautiful to be reminded that the things we think will make us whole are only avenues through which we’re reminded we’re already whole. So good. Thank you!

  • Brilliant. And true. Thank you for this!

  • You are such a brilliant writer Kate. Adore this! :)

  • So absolutely true! Artsy. Spunky. Soulful. And the punchline is what I would have said before I read it. I was so pissed off that I wasn’t married at 23, but when I found out my husband is the guy he is, I was so glad I got married at 34 instead! Ha, and wasn’t it torture to think this must be the day I’ll get engaged? (over and over) I was happy to be fired ~ eerily peaceful…joyful. I did the back and forth, free and trapped thing. I was the girl who moved and moved in. And for me it was the law school I chose…the second time I applied. Yet so much I dream of does come true, and stepping into the space of allowing it to come how and when is best does make it better than I thought! My first time reading, and I have a feeling I’ll be reading again.

  • Kate

    @Mer, But of course! We all teach what we need to learn, right?

  • s.

    ok, so I’ve been sobbing all day, but this just pushed me over the edge.
    but in a better way than all the crying the rest of the day.

  • all I can say is: emoticon, many tiny little hearts, emoticon, exclamation points.

    and XOXOXO

  • Jen

    I love this, Kate. I, the ever perfectionist, read this at just the right time and I thank you for writing it. It’s brilliant…just like you. Shine on!

  • Maggie

    This is Great, Kate! Even applies to the day I had today where my MOST IMPORTANT thing that I wanted to do today did not get done, but I watched a movie today the was great for a rainy day. Then come to find out that MOST IMPORTANT thing did not need to have my attention until next month. How PERFECT!

  • Thank u thank u thank u. I LOVED this. I need to print this and hang it all over my house. Thank u thank u

  • Rachel

    Thanks Kate it’s oh so true.

  • Beautiful Kate – and thank you for putting into words my life at the moment and knowing that it’s all going to work out better than I ever expected!

  • Kate, Truly delightful. I could read it again and again!

  • This is the kind of post you spread all over the internet — as I shall :) What a beautiful way to summarize what life is really like. I needed this!

  • Evalu

    I just loved it!

  • This is beautiful Kate! I absolutely loved it!!!!! GREAT WORK!

  • Jennie

    Kate, this makes me think of how when we may want something a certain way, our order gets mixed up and we need to be flexible in order to truly enjoy this life we are living. A lovely reminder that you can’t always get what you want and unexpected surprises can make us smile.

  • hannah

    this is beautiful, somtimes we think if lifes not going to plan we have to panic and make a new plan, but we really just need to live with what comes and see that its better than what we could ever plan. The best things are always unplanned, when you didnt have any expectations (:

    I’ll be reading this again! Thanks for the inspiration kate :D

  • hannah

    definately reminds me of:

    ‘In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.’
    Prov 16:9

  • and some days it won’t be better… but that means the story has another act!

  • Love this post Kate. I keep getting this reminder again and again and again and again. It’s when I let go of my idea about how it should be that the best stuff in my life happens. And it’s still f’in hard to let go quite often. Thank you for the reminder. Open, open, open to what wants to happen.

  • What a wonderful post! Thank you!

  • Just sooooo very beautifully written…….I didn’t realize you knew me so well …….fab post

  • Natasha Salerno

    Just beautiful! Thank you.

  • This piece sort of expands on my mantra..
    Live the life you want and love the life you have.

  • My wife’s boss had a saying that went along with this:

    Quit “should”-ing on yourself.

    Nice blog.

  • Priceless. And beautifully written. :)

  • Oh Kate, thank you.
    It isn’t turning out at all like I thought.
    And what I needed most this week was a reminder to see the wonderful in how it is turning out.
    You are a blessing!

  • Jojo

    geez…I was so friggin’ tired from all of the things I did not, could not and will not do! Whew….after a rest, I’ll see if things still look better. Cheers!

  • Alleluiah!!

    This was awesome. Better than watching a movie… I just wanted to know the ending already!!

    Came here from Bindu’s website.

    Love your writing.


  • Thankyou for this! I am in the grips of a quarter life crisis where I hate my job (to the point I am contemplating quitting without anything else to go to and nowhere near enough in savings), my life isn’t what I thought it would be (living at home at 25) and all I want to do is run to the other side of the world.

    You, however, are right. There is so little in our lives we can control, and yet, everything somehow always works out for the best.

  • I want to sincerely thank you so much for writing this. It’s something I really needed to hear at this moment, today, when I found your blog. This sort of life lesson is something that I’ve often wondered about and suspected to be true, but I just really needed to hear it from someone else. And you put it so beautifully!

  • Way to go Kate! I love it!

  • Sarah

    This piece is amazing, thank you so much! Read it this morning just as everything seems to be falling apart (just got dumped, being kicked out of my apartment, flunked a class at college so I won’t be graduating this year). It’s nice to think these things happened for a reason and life will be all the better for it.

    Thanks for the inspiration just when I needed it.

  • Niki

    Oh I love this! Thank you so much for writing this!
    I just recently graduated from high school and I’m going to a different college than I planned, because the place that was my dream school for so many years rejected me. I was SO upset about that. I never thought I’d end up at this school or this city, but you know what? Now, I’m incredibly excited and in love with my school and am glad I didn’t get into my “dream school”.
    This is DEFINITELY true!! Things won’t go as you planned but everything will be alright in the end! :)

  • Courtney C

    Thank you so much for this! I related to this more than ever today and really needed reminding that what you want might not be what you need. Bad things that happen in life, more than ever, become good things in life. Things that make you stronger. I have learned that you become thankful for some of the bad things that happen in life because of who it has made you become. How it has helped you develop into who you are. Patience is everything and I need to remember that. We all need to remember that! Again, thank you so much! Every single word spoke to my heart. I feel that this came to my attention because I needed to read it and I am so glad I did!

  • thank you SO much for this! I had to reblog it. wonderfully said

  • wow. truth spoken.
    not one. single. thing. has happened like i hoped and dreamed.
    i AM finding it better as i press on.
    thanks for much for this!

  • Found this today–it backed up my earlier find, and has added to my own personal mantra.

    Well done.

    “I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”
    — Marilyn Monroe

  • This post is making the rounds, and is beautifully written. Much appreciated by someone whose life didn’t turn out the way that I thought – and I wouldn’t change it.

  • Shao

    Absolutely loved it! Thank you for writing it!

  • WOW!!! I LOVED this….haha I didn’t know you read my journal haha!!! Beautiful post!!! Thank you for sharing!! xo

  • Kaye Frey

    Hi Kate! Love it! It all sounds kinda like my life, only different…it almost makes me feel that what I’ve done has suddenly been ‘validated’. Thanks for putting words to an eventful journey called life…when we didn’t think it was right, it was all along.
    Continue to enjoy your journey, Kate.

  • love love love. it does turn out better that is for sure… glad you have found the magic in the unknown within your plans. xo

  • i LOVED this. so well written and so… real. thank you for sharing this! i hope you don’t mind if i share this! i will make sure to credit you for it! :)

  • i found your blog from seanheartschloe and she posted this. thank you for writing such a beautiful post. it meant a lot to me today. xoxo – missy.

  • Tess

    Thank you so much for this awesome article. I read it whenever I start to stress out about how my life is going so differently from what I planned. It’s all so true, and we’ve all been there. Really, thank you.

  • that gave me goosebumps…xxoo

  • Delaine

    It fits me perfectly. You’re a phenomenal writer

  • Brytni

    Eloquent, beautiful and true. I feel vindicated after reading. Thank you!

  • WoW!!!! This brought tears to my eyes. I will be posting this link to my Woman of Worth Facebook Page ( ) so many other women have the privilege of reading it to. Thanks xx

  • Renee

    Found this through thesinglewoman and so happy I did. This is so perfect. Thank you!

  • swetha

    thank you so much kate…i found this exactly when i most needed it…it’s my lowest point in weeks…i just fought with my BFF…and i never ever fight with’s shocking how life turns out…thanks so much…thanks so much..i’m gonna bookmark your page and read it…<3..lots of love and joy…xoxoxoxo…

  • Jenn

    This has been the story of my life. Absolutely beautiful!

  • zoey

    I didn’t want to read this post, I was reluctant cos someone sent me the link, and I changed my mind!! Thank you very much for writing this XX00

  • Awesome! At least I’m not alone with the way things turn out on a daily basis.

  • Rowena Barbachano Parel

    excellent!’s so inspiring to anyone..

  • Kate

    I have this bookmarked and read it whenever I’m in a “woe is me, life is horrible” mood. It keeps me sane
    Thankyou so much :)

  • Lisa Dent

    See……it all works out in the end.

  • Samantha

    Dear Kate,
    I don’t know how to thank you enough.
    This article worked like a much needed moisturizer for me. I know I had my own plans for my life.. & it turns out life has it’s own better plans instead .. Just like the way you put it.. :)
    This was shared by my Sister & instantly made me smile :)
    Thank you for sharing such positive outlook towards life.. Going to enjoy every moment Hereon :)

  • Beth

    I have two teens preparing for college and one is very stressed out because he doesn’t want to choose “the wrong thing” and the other can’t wait for her life to get started (she wants to live in South Korea!). I am not worried about either because I learned that my life didn’t turn out at all like I thought. But that’s okay. I also realized that at 47, I never even considered what this time of life would actually be like. I feel young and am ready for a third act- whatever that turns out to be! I used to think I’d be a well known illustrator/writer by now, but I found more important things to do like raising great kids and volunteering a lot. One of my highest values is family; and last year I lost the relationships I had with two members of my extended family when I chose not to hide the abuse I suffered growing up and even today from my father– I traded what I always wished for with what reality I had been given. One sister was appalled that I would share the truth. But it is true that the truth sets you free– free to accept the life you receive and move forward. This has been very hard to admit to myself that I don’t have a good family background, but focusing on my loving and close family that my husband and I have created, gives me hope that my future will be a really good one!

    • Beth- I hold you in great compassion, as being a kindred spirit in many ways…I am able to grasp the magnitude of what you are enduring and evolving through. Some books that touched me along my path may or may not intrest you, “She Who Was Lost Is Not Forgotten” and “I Sit Listening to the Wind” as well as “The Circle Continues.” These are great words of encouragement and empowerment for those of us who have endured childhoods with abuse. Speaking your truth is powerful. Being able to tell your story, realize it is past and rewrite your future is a valuable tool.
      I have traveled a twisty path, and “try” so damn hard to do the “right” thing. Ironically…things often are as Kate’s eloquent article. I was waiting for a man to return from war for 3 years…only to find out, he was playing games. In the month after my closest male friend, who had been going through a divorce for the last year…expressed his desire to pledge his love to me. Shock! He is an amazing man. My life is about to be expanded in ways I never saw coming.

  • Kate – I cannot express deeply enough my gratitude for sharing your thoughts and your story. You have made it supremely OK to not have it all together, that it’s OK to change your mind, to look at everything just as it is and not as more then it needs to be, to break free from outside expectations and fall in love your journey. An even bigger gift has been that all of that actually creates a more beautiful presence then without. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart. See you at SWEET.

  • And so it is! I may not always be graceful but I will always be grateful. Thank you for such a fun post and I will be sharing it with many that I know. Beautiful. Just like you.

  • Angie

    Hi Kate,
    I think you could read this everyday and each time come away with something different. Working hard to enjoy the journey and not focus on the destination. :) I love your insightfulness and positivity; and you have the best smile!
    Thank you for all you do!

  • Johnnie Williams

    My life has had so many twists and turns that were and have been unexpected, but yet the journey has made me more aware and conscious of my present moments. My authentic self has arisen out of many ashes and much beauty has come forward.

    Thank you Kate for your article,


  • Yes…surrendering…I too have had to surrender to some soul-choice (that’s what I call them)…they’re not rational and never seem to be what you planned or thought you’d be doing.

    I’m in the midst of this surrender now (and have been for almost 2 years). Even last week something I had committed to, had to be let go of. I disappointed someone when I did that (not something I do as a rule) and blew off a biz opportunity (and now I’m actually happy I did…and it’s not rational in any way whatsoever).

    I cried reading this. And many of the comments.
    Thank you.

  • Hey Kate! Just love this post! It is absolutely true! I have witnessed it in my own life and it is something that I teach my clients…. The universe always has our back… even though we aren’t always clear HOW it does! I had no idea I would be doing what I am doing today… even 5 years ago! Love life.. even with all it’s twists and turns.. all the paths lead home…. :) thanks for being your wonderful self!

  • Ridhima

    truly amazing. thanks kate for this wonderful post.maybe jus the rite thing I needed to hear after a recent and painful breakup. jus hope everything get better day after day. thanks:)

  • Funny…..I just finished writing a letter to you, came to my computer and read this!!! Thank you
    Recently, I did not get my ‘dream’ job, that I felt I would be perfect for….that I wanted deeply – the universe has another plan and although I am ready and open to whatever that may be….I felt anger and disappointment. Reading your post helped.

  • Jennifer Grant

    Perfectly timed. Thank you. Struggling with things not working out like I think they should at work:) This is an excellent reminder to just take a step back and chill. Because you just never know when even BETTER stuff is going to pop up. XO!!

  • Jill

    Surrendering to what is – brilliant! When I listened to your recording – it changed my life. I contacted my financial planner to make an appt to “surrender to what is”. Now I am following your blog and loving it. Thank you thank you thank you! Jill

  • This piece adds to the series of serendipities I’ve been experiencing for over a week now. Just when I needed the most!

    In the past couple of years I’ve done things I never thought I was capable of doing.

    People started noticing me. People that knew me for ages were pleasantly surprised about my baby steps in starting afresh and doing something new: writing.

    I pushed my limits, and, as I keep doing that, I know that luck is on my side and the universe has my back.

    Hopefully, in a year from now I won’t recognize my own life, but in a good way.

    Thank you for a wonderful post, Kate! :)

  • So profound, I’m happily crying! :)
    Thank you for the validation, for all of us.

  • Patsy Culp

    Goosebumps! Beautifully written, Kate. A sincere and deep thank you.

  • Just lovely! Thank you, Kate. xoxo

  • Sherry

    So often we pray for what we think we need or want. Then, we need to get out of the way for it OR something better. This post captures that sentiment beautifully. Makes me want to journal about all the ways things didn’t turn out like I thought they would, but turned out better! Thank you for this timely reminder as I enter into a year of the unknown.

  • fabulous Kate… thank you for the reminder. When I take a look at some of my life experiences, if I had gotten things or people the way I wanted it, I would have sold myself so short! Always loving the spiral UP! Beyond my wildest dreams!


  • Tammy

    Thank you for writing this Kate! The last few days have been tough as I struggle with what I would rather be doing than where I am. I was so filled with resentment and anger at the block that is preventing me from doing what I want. Feeling in the dumps because I can’t let go of my financial responsibility to just take a moment and do what I want. You’re post arrived at the right time. I have let go of some of my anger. I’m trying to remember “It’s not going to turn out the way you thought” when the gremlins come out again. Thanks for reminding me that it’s okay if things don’t go as planned, there’s always a reason why.

  • Kate – thanks for this. So true and so very easy to forget when things go awry and I’m so anxious and trying to control it all that I can barely breathe…
    FYI – I’ll be reading this to my 2 sons today – ages 13 & 14…it’d be so cool if they could learn it this early in the journey.

  • I got chills with the last “IT WILL BE BETTER”.

  • Kate,
    Thank you! Nothing has ever happened exactly the way I expected it to. Yet i wouldn’t change a thing about where I am today. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Thank you THANK YOU THANK YOU. I want to shout this from the rooftops and print a copy that I can stick to my friends’ foreheads and post a giant version on the wall of the coffee shop I’m sitting in right now! Until then, I’ll share on all possible social media + trust the right people will read it.

  • Jamie Leff

    I think you and I are synced! You always seem to post the EXACT blog I need to read at the right time. My word for the year is Surrender. This is perfect. Thank you!

  • Love those Cosmic 2x4s! I need to hear this today. Thank you, Kate!

    Bottom line: let go and let live. Trust that it will all work out as it should. And sometimes you don’t get what you want, you get something even better. :)

  • I love, love, LOVE this Kate!

  • Kate-
    Great timing again with this peice. I just ended my relationship of 4.5 years right before he was going to propose it just didn’t feel right to me. So now am totally in this place of everything just did a 180. This totally resonates with me and helps me remember you can’t control life and you may have a plan and suddenly you took a “wrong” turn and are going in a completely new direction and everything will be okay.


  • That’s crazy but so true! I’m forever imagining how things will take place or work out and it’s always, ALWAYS nothing like I expected and yet, I do it again and again! How nuts is that? Great article. Really enjoyed it:-)

  • Thank you so much. I needed to hear/read this. So much suffering comes from expectations and shame from not meeting them when I “should”. xoxoxo

  • Lisa

    Beautiful heart and soul writing, it brought tears to my eyes. Let go and let it be, open heart, open mind. Thank you Kate, I am going to print this as my 2014 reminder for those days when you wonder. lots of love xxx

  • Silayuv

    Wow, I was meant to see this today. This really resonated with me, Kate, thank you!!!

  • Deborah Harnden

    Oh what a wonderful reminder of things that turned out better than imagined….you ask why you never had children because you married someone who wasn’t ” ready” to have a family and you tell yourself you wouldn’t be a good mother anyways because now you are too old …and you wake up one morning in your mid forties to find out you are pregnant with your first and only “perfect ” child…who still after 15 years later makes you feel younger than you ever thought possible when everyone else your age is watching after grandchildren! You move away to another country when you got married and fear you will never be part of your family again that you left 3000 miles behind and twenty five years later your heart breaks because he left you but you move back to your home town area and reconnect with your family and start over on part two of your amazing, crazy, exciting life ( and this time you have that wonderful daughter with you to go along on that adventure ! Thank you for reminding me of how things don’t turn out the way you thought….EVERY day is an adventure!!!!!

  • Klara

    This article came at a PERFECT time for me. I graduated from Film School almost 6 years ago and STILL haven’t completed a screenplay! I never would have imagined that it would take me so %^%$#* long! I thought I would have two or three screenplays written by now and I haven’t ANY. Just for the record, I started and stopped THREE different stories, including taking a full 2-year hiatus from writing at all.

    But then something miraculous happened. About a year ago I was drawn to a Jim Croce tune, one of my favorites from childhood, and was inspired to read more about his life. I found out that basically he had given up on a music career, sold everything he owned and returned to his home state of Pennsylvania where he and his wife bought a farm and soon had a baby boy — who turned out to be the inspiration for “Time in a Bottle.” Other memorable songs came from his life — in the military (Bad Bad Leroy Brown); as a truck driver (You Don’t Mess Around With Jim). Tragically, Time in a Bottle was released posthumously, yet he had experienced by then the success in life he had imagined or better, but to get there, it had essentially taken throwing in the towel and going home…where he found his voice. I certainly found this encouraging but I wasn’t sure how it applied to my own life of writing desolation and creative atrophy.

    Fast forward a year to my recent discovery of poet and novelist Charles Bucowski who succeeded much later in life after an even longer and darker road. When he was young, after dropping out of college, he had moved to NYC from LA to become a writer and not after long, had given it up. His success came many years later in the form of writing about his “day job”…and in turn, many many day jobs (some of which lasted less than a day! “Chinaski, you’re fired!”). He returned to LA and embarked on a long string of dead-end jobs until he FINALLY got a steady job at the Post Office…only to be lured away by an agent who begged him to QUIT his work as a letter carrier to WRITE. He had to be drug kicking and screaming into his success, but succeed he did…at you guessed it, writing “Post Office,” which put him on the map and provided the kind of financial success that allowed him to pursue his dream of writing. No more clocking in and out, casing and delivering letters, flats and packages.

    I finally “got it.” My recent creative inspiration was actually coming from my day job and I realized — wow, maybe the long wait is actually a SIGN. I similarly threw in the towel with a full 2-year hiatus where I didn’t even TRY to write creatively. Then suddenly BOOM — Charles Bukowski inspired me to write about my day job and I realized that my stories come from my LIFE…ya kinda gotta live it to a certain degree first; I feel it is a blessing that I am here now, right where I am (a virtual unknown save for this Comment!). I feel focused and on task. I’m giving myself at least 6 years “time served,” and I’m feeling pretty good about that!

    And yeah — writing a novel while holding down a full time job is perhaps crazy or at least crazy-making, but Bucowski has you covered on that one; he says: “Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.” Going crazy is OK TOO! Have at it girls! Everything in moderation, even moderation. Thing is, I was going WAY CRAZIER during my “two year writing hiatus.” I will take crazy — while pursuing my life purpose — any day over going crazy when my GPS doesn’t even register on the map because I am completely off-grid and have no idea where I am.

    Your article served to reinforce my new take on life — that I am exactly where I need to be, doing what I am meant to be doing and that my soul’s life purpose is unfolding before my very eyes — not in my timeframe, not the way I thought it would at all — especially since I was completely caught off guard by being inspired to write a NOVEL, NOT a screenplay and I could not be more delighted. It is totally unexpected and I am having the time of my life.

    Thank you for reminding us that one of the fastest ways to get to freedom is to surrender:
    — to our desires unfolding in a way that we never could have imagined
    — to the universe having an even bigger, better plan than us
    — and to the fact that sometimes things don’t turn out the way we thought they would…and that that’s a good thing

    It’s a good thing.

    • Klara

      Sorry — my facts were slightly off. “I’ve Got a Name” was the one that was released posthumously — no less poignant. And he sold all of his possessions except for ONE GUITAR. Good thing he kept it!

  • nancy

    Thank you, so important to remember, we make our plans in jello, not cement, cement is a gravestone. Be open and let go and let love take over.

  • I love this very inspirational.

  • Dayanara

    Hi Kate! Writing from The Netherlands, Amsterdam :)
    Thank you for this beautiful and inspiring article… Things always happen for a reason, especially if you can’t see the reason immediately! Just trust it will be for the best. I like that! :)

    Thank you, Dayanara

  • Beautiful piece Kate!
    Thank you expressing it in words very clearly

  • Dear Kate, this is probably the most important life lesson there is. Let life surprise you. The story that is writing itself for you is far better that anything you’ve ever imagined, when you just let yourself dive in.
    I just feel like giving you a huge hug. You are an amazing inspiration. Thank you :-*

  • Indeed! I hope to remember this the next time something goes “wrong” so I can more gracefully flow with the change. Thank you, Kate!

  • This was the perfect message for me today. A great reminder to go with the flow and embrace the beauty of surprise.

  • I really enjoyed this. We’re moving at the end of the summer but we won’t know where until March. I like planning things and trying to make everything go smoothly, but this move is going to be less planned and more exciting. I decided that this year I was going to be less organized because being organized was stressing me out more; I am now doing what I love as much as I can and, if the kitchen floor isn’t perfect or the laundry takes a couple of extra days, that’s really all right.

    Life is an adventure. It can be scary to embrace it, but planning for the unknown isn’t terribly useful, so I’m learning to simply accept what’s coming and hope I handle it with at least a modicum of grace and joy.

    Living with a mathematician and a two year old is teaching me to let go a little more!

  • Thank you Kate. Your words and your message within them brought me to tears. Good, cleansing, nourishing tears of absolute recognition. My soul feels heard and accepted when I read these words and reflect on their poignancy. Thank you for sharing.

  • I’m always trying to RUSH things because I so desperately want to make my passion a full time career and get the heck out of my part time job… but plans never go the way they ‘should’. Just the PERFECT piece for me to read. Another beautiful reminder to just let go, let it be, let it flow.

    LOVE LOVE LOVE your work.
    From one Kate to another, xx

  • Christin

    This is just what I needed to read on a Monday morning! :) Let’s see what the day brings. I’ll do my best to just go with the flow :)
    Thank you Kate!
    Love, Christin

  • jane

    A WONDERFUL article!! Spot on advice!! This one should be read over and over and over again by everyone – so that we won’t ever forget it. So that we won’t be shocked when we “wake up” one day at 55+ and say, “I never one time dreamed my life would be like this at my age!”

  • yes things change, I’m 35 at 20 I want a brilliant carrier to have a nice house, be respect and recognize as someone good enough and I want justice & help people to have justice back in their so i was deciding to become a lawyer.
    But at least I don’t pass the bar exam, start work in a company, but in my heart there was still the want to help other and I find my may, help with my knowledge and then get deeper in coaching.
    Now, I still want to have a brilliant carrier and be abundant but not on the same value, I want to give to people empowerment, the keys to love themselves enough to be able to give themselves the better, and when you love yourself to be able to make the good choice and face your life, finally you don’t need law to have justice in your life.

  • Kelsey

    Shockingly gorgeous, Kate.

  • Jan

    Kate, thank you for sharing this again – and as always, with impeccable timing. Just as I thought something was going to work out a certain way, and I began planning for the change, something came up that is altering the course. I am learning that really, all I need to do is wake up each morning and having loving intentions, as beyond that, I have no control over what the day will bring. Such freedom!!
    Sending positive, loving energy to you – Jan

  • I’ve often said the same things to myself. After very few of the things I had dreamed of in my 20s came to pass, I wasted a great deal of time lamenting my journey. Today, the my world is radically different, in a very good way!
    I feel nothing short of wonderful… blessed… amazed! Well, most days. I see my value; the value of things that did happen and the incredible value of things that didn’t. I wouldn’t be me without those small failures. And, I really like me now! Thank for today’s post. It is inspiring!

  • Jen

    I loved this article. I have found in my life that so many experiences were all about timing. Meeting special people, losing others, work, learning, but most importantly…LIVING!!!! Enjoy where you are and roll through the changes! Thanks!!!

  • Connie

    Wow, Kate, it took me a lot more years of living than you to figure this out! Brilliantly written, and such a good reminder that life has a plan for us much bigger than our small self can conceive. My mother-in-law has a children’s book from the sixties called “Fortunately, Unfortunately” with the same basic message, and I read it to my kids over and over (I think I was actually reading it for my own benefit!). Thank you so much for the timely reminder!

  • Ah yes, 74 cover letters and the dream job always went to someone else. Sitting in traffic on the highway, mentally planning for cover letter 75, and I was rear-ended at full speed.
    So now I am enrolling in B-School tomorrow because therapy is 6 days a week and my MRI resembles a flamingo!
    Sometimes it takes a car crash but at least it seems clear now that my efforts and my income should come from my art sales.
    Beautifully written… Thank You!

  • thank you! thank you! thank you kate!
    just what I needed! laughed, cried then laughed still with tears in my eyes!
    thanx a ton!

  • Amazing article,my breath has stopped while I`m reading !

  • Dana Hassey

    Wow talk about signs! I was up until 11pm last night talking with my mom trying to figure out why things are not turning out the way I thought! Such a great perspective and also provides a lot of encouragement! Thank you!

  • Kate,

    An absolutely beautifully written piece and you shared it just at the right time! It speaks to the fear based me that holds on and keeps trying to direct all the wonderful things I hope will happen in my life. It reassures the impatient me that everything will turn out OK. It nurtures the hurtful me that attacks myself as stupid or unworthy when things aren’t going my way. As I try to release all that and let go, it sends me hope and faith that it’ll be OK.
    Much love and joy to you!

  • Oh Kate,

    I could feel the resonance of your words through all of me. What a beautiful way to usher people into walking gracefully through life. Thank you.


  • This is so beautiful Kate. I’m turning 40 next week and this really speaks to me … Especially the part of myself which says that everything should be different by now. Love it! Thankyou. Sarah xx

  • Kate, my word for the year is “open.” I like routine, structure, plans, and order. That has it’s place, but it can also prevent you from LIVING.

    This year, I am open to not knowing, open to possibilities, and open to what-if’s.

    I have my desires for the year, but I will not let these desires be so overwhelming that I miss out on the beauty that comes from being open.

    Or, in other words giving God the drivers seat, while I sit in the back and enjoy the scenery.

    Awesome post.

  • I love this so much! I pledge to keep this in mind from now on, whenever my plans seem derailed. Thank you for this post, Kate :D

  • This gave me goose bumps! THANK YOU! x

  • Jessica

    Thanks for this article. On Friday my job ended, my organization closed down and today is Monday, and I am beginning anew. What a great inspiration to read this article this morning and now I look forward to the change, to the uncertainty and choose to be excited rather than worried!

    Looking forward more postings from you!

  • Cassandra

    Thanks Kate! This post was really inspiring and oh so true. Have a wonderful week!

  • Eli

    I am truly soooo Blessed and guided. thank you Kate for answering my prayers. I have had a few anxious weeks, waking at 4:00 AM and usually not being able to shut the anxiety down…so up for the day. Financial worries, procrastination, relationships changing…..just about had me paralized!! I have been here before…..only this time, I can center myself and know that I am safe. I prayed and reached out to friends for help! How do I let it all go and allow the Universe and the flow of life to bring me MORE THAN I EXPECT! How can I let go of my limiting beliefs of “how things should be?” When I went into my emails…..her was your message as a title….It’s not going to turn out as you thought!!

    WOW WOW WOW!! Thank you for being the answer that I needed to hear!

    Bless you for what you do!

  • Tonya

    Absolutely beautiful,Kate! Thanks for sharing….xo Tonya

  • Tarvinder

    It gave me goosebumps Kate, thank you for sharing. I have been on this road and still I am walking down. Everything makes perfect sense and I am looking froward to all the twists and turns with a grateful soul. Now I know, the fabric God has been weaving, is just too perfect. Grateful for your presence in my life. Thank you for your guidance. God bless you <3
    Much love and hugs,
    Tanu <3

  • Gina

    Hi Kate, I randomly came across this post and just have to tell you how much I love it. Once when a friend from my tiny hometown in NC said he wasn’t getting married before the age of 30, I shuddered. Now, still single at 47, I’m living in Paris (the one with the Eiffel Tower), speaking French, working all over Europe, and…loving my life. My different life. The one that I would have laughed at you for imagining if you had told me this is where I’d be now. I’d still like to find the right man for me, but now I know he’ll be nothing like the man I imagined marrying FOR SURE before I was 30. love, Gina

  • LORI

    So I’m on the road to recovery. I am recovering from a broken heart, fixing my finances and getting honest with myself. I read this post at a time when I am learning that not only listening to my own voice important, but so is using my voice to speak my truth. There is no point in asking the universe for what I want, if when I’m shown that situation shows itself to be a “not it” for me if I am not willing to see that and speak that truth. My life will look exactly as I design it. So I continue to look for the lesson in every situation and to be grateful for the angel/teachers that cross my path. I cannot keep operating from “lack”. I must open my eyes and heart to what is before me. I must let go of my plans and embrace the journey.

    Thank you,

  • Dear Kate,
    I just received an email from you moments ago inviting me to check this article out.
    I have tears in my eyes as you have appeared in my life at the moment when I’m going through a huge transformation with my relationship with money,my creativity,& with living my soul purpose . It’s Saturn return !
    I discovered you because one day I wrote a Facebook status that said “it’s spiritual to be rich” I thought that was such a cool line so I googled it and found your YouTube video from wanderlust.
    The moment I heard and saw you I knew you were going to help me with my transformation.
    I have been listening to quite a few videos & things of yours and am receiving so much support and inspiration.
    I am so profoundly grateful for you your presence,and everything you bring to the world.
    Like I said,I have tears in my eyes.
    In my heart I feel I have taken you on as a mentor or guide or something beautiful like that. I’m in Australia & hoping to come to your weekend later in the year in Maine.
    I LOVE the way you express yourself and shine so bright.
    Keep Shining! Infinite love + gratitude.

  • Andrea

    Just what I needed to hear today. Broke up with my first boyfriend since a very painful separation from my long time husband. He helped me feel better about myself and I felt like life could go on, but Spirit kept telling me he wasn’t right for me so I broke it off. I know the right person is out there and it probably will be someone I don’t suspect. Lol. Thank you so much! I love synchronicity!

  • YUP! As I am sitting here waiting for a response or verbal thrashing from my ex who I want to buy out of our house I am repeating over and over that “divine will not mine will”. I adore my house but nothing is worth agony. But showing up, standing up, and speaking up are crucial to my growth in this process. Thanks for a great perspective, love your writing and thoughts Kate Northrup, and very excited for Money love next month:)!

  • Cynthia Fishet

    It’s always wonderful to remember that some of our best moments have not yet happened! True freedom is letting go of the need to know how things will work out (the cursed how’s!) and let Universe do it’s work of bringing about our truest happiness!

  • Karen

    I am not yet at the point of ‘seeing things are better’. However, at least I am beginning to give up control and realize that maybe I am not to blame for everything that has been happening in my life. Thanks for a different way of looking at things.

  • jessica


    wow. i don’t even know what to say, aside from the fact that i am sitting here at my desk, on yet another bleak monday morning full of answered questions, anxiety and fear…now in tears of joy, faith and love.

    i feel as though you just reached through the computer and placed your hand on my heart. it feels so palpable, i literally cannot stop myself from crying i am so overwhelmed.

    things have been so hard lately. i have been stuck in the purgatory of true financial lack and it’s REALLY hard to see the light at the end of this tunnel. i have been meditating and reading a LOT on surrender lately and this is just what i needed. you breathed some life back into my faith.

    thank you, with all my heart.

    • Kate

      You are SO welcome Jessica. Thank you for this beautiful, heartfelt message. I’m really glad the post resonated with you and helped you today :)

  • sansha francis

    This is amazing. I love will definatley share. What a pwoerfuk piece. Well done

  • Martine

    Tears every time.

    Thank you Kate!

  • Elsa Alexandra

    So, so true Kate! That’s how I ended studying Biological Engineering, when until month before I thought I would be a doctor. That’s how I worked as a scientist for a couple of years, and then was lured to the City of London to work as a banker. That’s how I eventually resigned and moved to France to do a PhD, and then realized a month later that it was not the right path for me. That’s how I moved back to my parents’ in Portugal and decided on a whim to apply for an MBA in the Netherlands. And that, was just PERFECT!! I met my husband in business school, and we now have a wonderful daughter together. I guess everything happens for a reason. Thank you for sharing this post!
    Elsa xx

  • Kate

    From the bottom of my heart, thank you. It may not be turning out the way I thought, but sometimes, just the right words find you at just the right time anyway and make it all ok… and exciting! xx

  • Mila

    Very wise post. I’m thinking of sending it to my nephew, who will be graduating this year. I think it is sage advice for a young person who is embarking on their path in life…as well as those of us who have been on the path for awhile :)

  • Evelyn

    lovely Kate – life is ever changing and we should always live in the moment and be grateful. thank you for sharing.

  • I just moved to my hometown and gave up entirely on the life I thought I wanted… It has been the best worst experience of my life. I have taken a few months to just BE and just do nothing. I have learned to appreciate my family and my past in a new way. I now recognise that I can be at home and still achieve something unique to me. I don’t have to conform. So, yes it isn’t what I thought and it very much could be better. So far so good.

  • Katherine

    I love this, Kate! I left my second marriage five.5 years ago when it became apparent that only one of us wanted to be married (me) and have been, ever since, really getting to know ME!

    I have travelled to places I never thought I’d see (Hong Kong, Bangkok, Quito, Linton, ND). I refinanced my mortgage, by muself. I have been raising good kids, now teens(and have a good co-parenting relationship with their dad, my ex).

    I just finished B-School. I am building a business that’s getting its feet under it. I took a summer off. I bought 1, then 2, then 3 horses. And a truck. And a trailer.

    I am still single, and I realized just last night, that hey ~ I am an eternal being and if I don’t get love right this time around, I have forever to figure it out.

    And I love my little cottage with a lake view (and a leaky basement when it rains). My kids are well-adjusted. And none of it is what I thought I’d have 20 years ago. :)

  • Denise Heeren

    Life is a journey and you never know which road you’ll be on. I’m grateful for all the twist and turns it takes, even when I think I’m not grateful! What we think we want isn’t necessarily what we need. Life is good…even when it’s not. Thanks Kate!

  • This is so beautifully written, Kate. Made me laugh and cry at the same time… Life is wonderful when you look at it like an adventure

  • LOVE this article Kate, thank you! Expectations have a way of turning into disappointments…this is a great reminder to just go with the flow and see what unfolds…much less stressful, and a lot more FUN!

  • Sveti

    Right words at the right time!
    Thanks Kate

  • Life certainly doesn’t look the way I thought it would, but I think that’s what makes it even better. It’s a SURPRISE.

    This month was the 10 year anniversary of my college graduation. In just 10 years, my life has taken a completely different path than the one I was on when I left. I’m so grateful for my endless seeking, my ability to ‘roll with the punches’, and the support of family, friends, and the Universe throughout.

    Beautiful post.

  • Such a great reminder! Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom. Trust :)

  • T

    He was the only guy in my life that every dumped me, but 8ish years later I married him! True story. That was 23 years ago and we are still rocking it!

  • And just when you thought, this time there is no way out of the dark forest of your own thoughts, there comes an Angel, disguised as a beautiful woman named Kate, telling you things that you don’t want to hear, until your heart lets you know, it’s exactly what you needed to hear.

    And you end up smiling through your tears once more and whispering: Thank you :)

  • Amber

    I got this in my e-mail this morning and it was EXACTLY what I needed to hear. Thank you so much! :]

  • This is such a great message for me today, as I was feeling stuck in so many ways. I am stuck in bed after foot surgery (for one month already), and can’t build my biz right now. But my real love is coaching women, so I sent your post to someone who is also struggling right now. The message is YOU ARE EXACTLY WHERE YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE! It’s such a perfect message for the tough days Whether we like them or not, they have their purpose. Today, I was meant to be inspired by you, Kate, so thank you, and I will be seeing you again!

  • Wonderful, Kate :)

    I am amazed every year, that everything turns out wonderful, everything is connected, all works out for good, better than I could have ever imagined.

    Love you and I love your book, too,

  • And sometimes you get a nudge and end up reading something trough the disappointed and sad tears brought on my a day that didn’t really end up the way you thought.

  • Celine

    Wow!! This one moved me to Tears….happy tears that are filled with hope and gratitude for a Better future that will validate and give more meaning to all the not so glorious moments/experiences (stepping stones) of life!! Thank you Kate!

  • Cassy

    Funniest thing! I missed your talk at ICDI Toronto this spring because we were exploring an antique store on lunch break. But I got your book and got to meet you and get it signed afterwards. I love your positivity and energy and am so thankful I got to know of you! This post is amazing and so are you. Thank you! I hope your wedding goes just the way it’s supposed to! ;) how else can it turn out?

  • Jane Northrop

    Wow… what a good piece. If you were to ask me five years ago if I would have health issues, followed six months later with my teenage daughter being diagnosed with a very serious life-altering incurable illness that has changed our life, that my husband would lose his job, we would have to file bankruptcy, almost lose our house and for me to be thrust into the role as a caregiver and to be thrust into the medical community and to become an advocate for my daughter and her illness I would have not wanted it. Even though my daughter is 19 yo now I am still her POA and take care of the administrative side of her medical care as well as being with her at all her medical appointments/outings. I have spoke about her story, written articles, become a support group leader, and met people I would never have met if it wasn’t for my daughter’s disease. Do I wish she had it no…. it has destroyed my daughter’s dreams and she had to find new ones. It has destroyed the dreams a mother has for child but I am grateful everyday that she is my daughter.

  • I read slowly enough that a film reel of my own life flashed in front of me, while reading, illustrating all the times I thought or felt one way, only to discover that what ultimately happened was exactly how it was supposed to be anyway. Your mother would delight in knowing that the lens of middle age (50) is crystal clear most days and the wisdom of this chapter is spiritual and nourishing.
    Thank you for the daily poetic reminder

  • jeaanette

    True and as Soon we accept that life is so. we open up for so many possibillities ..we laugh moore,we feel moore joy we Release our expectations and Most Importent we realize how much fun we are able to have in life.

  • Debbie

    Enjoyed this post. I’m at a point in my life that 11 years ago I never imagined when I was getting married. Now I’m divorced, wishing the man I used to love would stay completely out of my life, still stunned I took a full time permanent job 6 years ago for I passionately loved the freedom of freelancing and I own my house all by myself. Even though this is nowhere near the life I thought I would have, I’ve got a really great life now and love it.

    Looking back at all the major “how could this be” events in my life, I now realize how what was awful actually turned out to be a good thing.

  • That’s just beautiful, thanks Kate.

    It’s funny, when our brain is expecting one thing, and gets another, it immediately thinks that there’s something wrong. One day, I had a cup of tea and a cup of water next to me. I was immersed in what I was reading on my computer and accidentally picked up the wrong cup. I took a sip and immediately spat it out, because I was expecting something else. The truth is that I like both water AND tea, which is why I had them next to me. But when the brain expects one thing and gets another, it immediately rejects it.

    I suppose the lesson is to take a moment and be present, and fully experience the joy of what it is you have.

    On a side note, I really enjoy Glimpse TV, have done for a while, and I recently purchased your book. I just wanted to say that I LOVE what you contribute to the world. Thank you! You’re a true inspiration!

  • Cindy

    When your husband and best friend dies at 57, i just dont see that this reasoning is gonna work

  • Loved this! Eloquently put! Every mother should share this with their children at a certain age.

    Thank you! Passing it on.

  • Thank you for this! The timing is perfect. This practice requires a level of trust and surrender that I’ve never had before. A true belief that what the Universe has planned for us is so much better than what we can plan for ourselves. Now I just need to trust, get out of the way and keep saying, “YES!” to all the amazing gifts and opportunities that are being laid out in front of me. #feelinginspired xo

  • M

    So I struggle with this. I wish I didn’t and I’m not sure how to stop the struggle. I believe things happen for a reason. I believe that they happen when they are supposed to. (There are even moments when I say, divine right timing and it’s all coming when I need it, how I need it.) This doesn’t always make it easier.

    I get that sometimes I need to sit in the mud and let things settle. Hell, I even realize mud is good for my skin. It doesn’t make it any easier to tell if I’m marinating or wallowing.

    More than once I’ve told myself, I’d rather be a Pinot than Welch’s grape juice, but what happens if I head right to vinegar? How do I figure out if that’s happening? How do I preven it? I don’t want to be vinegar, not even good balsamic in a double reduction sauce.

    Is it something I’m doing wrong? Did I miss something? Late bloomer? Old maid? The darkest moment before the dawn?

    It’s not going to turn out the way you thought it would. IT WILL BE BETTER.

    How do I get better to show up now?

  • Rachel

    Thank you – I really needed this today. Brought happy, fantastic tears to my eyes!!

  • Sara

    So very true, it reminds me of the poem that Maya Angelou wrote “If I knew then, what I know now”…. I came to learn that through experience just like you and realized that is not about the destination but the traveling we do that makes a difference when we realize it. I am in in a very different country, speaking a different language, meeting and creating a whole new world for me.
    Thanks for your inspiring thoughts.

  • My challenge is to ‘Trust in the moment’ as opposed to ‘anticipating’ and thinking that ‘it’ has to look a certain way. Every situation gives me another opportunity to relax and let things unfold.

  • Aymara

    Divine. I have recently experienced the moving away to feel freer and moved back because I somehow felt trapped. You put it beautifully into words..and I’ve read them at a time when I’m thinking about leaving again. Except this time I have my last experience to learn from. To learn to relax and curiously observe the unfolding. To accept that it’s not going to look or turn out the way I thought it would. Thank you, Kate.

  • Jackie

    So true, Kate. If I’ve learned nothing else in my 60 years, it’s that we just don’t know what’s around the next corner. It’s so important to trust our intuition implicitly and if there is no flow to a path we’re on, it’s time to switch paths.

  • It is true so far in my life. I just am frustrated now because I want to push my romantic relationship forward after two years.
    I guess I should just take a big long breath and remember patience and that everything will work out in the end…maybe even better!

    Thank you for this.

  • Jessica

    Wow, so powerful Kate! This is just perfect to share with my little sister who is just about to graduate college in a month! I wish that you would have been in my life when I was graduating college 10 years ago….when the world seemed so black and white and I had it all “planned” out. Funny how in retrospect, we just have no idea.
    Thanks for reminding me that anything is possible. Just because we are at this place now, does not mean this is all that there is.

  • Belen

    Thanks for reposting it. A truly wonderful post! In the end what do we really have control over? Not much. So yes be awake, be thankful for where you’re at and just embrace it all. The good, the bad and the ugly. This too shall pass and the best is coming.

  • This is hilarious! Things are unfolding so perfectly for me, I’ve just bought your book and I’ve been watching your interviews. Last night I asked my angel cards for advice on Money and my situation! ‘Release and surrender’ this post is now 3 years old but it arrived in my inbox in perfect timing for me today. I love you’re outlook as it’s teaching me so much. I’m a big Abe-Hicks fan but have had my head in the sand too long that it’s not working to plan financially as I had hoped. You’re approach sounds like exactly what I need.

  • Jaw

    Warming piece, thank you for the smile it has brought.

  • Sahira

    wonderful Kate – Im abslutely with you on that journey. Stay open and welcome suprises!!

  • Meghan

    Dear Kate, I find you incredibly inspiring. Right now, this speaks to me on so many levels– my husband is divorcing me AND THAT IS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN. I can’t find a job and I AM SUPPOSED TO FIND ONE. I have two little girls and THEY AREN’T SUPPOSED TO GO THROUGH THIS. I could go on and on. But I love that I found you, randomly, online; I love what you say; and I think it is SO COOL (yep, I used that word!) that you are related to Dr. Christiane Northrup, one of my absolute heroes… There must be amazing genes running through your family, and its even more amazing what you do with them. THANK YOU for this beautiful essay, and for others you have written. Thank you for making my life shine, at least for these few minutes. Blessings to you.

  • Elisa

    It’s not going to turn out the way you thought … it will be better!
    Yes! For sure!

  • Helene

    Love this, thank you. My mantra is “Let go, let Life” (the universe, the Divine, God, whatever you want to call it). Life always knows best: what to teach and how, what to give and what to withhold, the right time, the wrong time… I could go on and on, I have witnessed it over and over again for me!

  • Joanna

    I Ab”SOUL”utly LOVED this post!! (I really do know the actual spelling of absolutely..but this post so resonated with my soul that I spelled it like I did;)
    I want to thank you so much for this-it’s really what I needed to hear..I have been in a very “sad” state lately, being I am not anywhere close to where I thought I would be at this point in my life. Even though my career isn’t what I planned..I have met wonderful people-new friends and have been learning a lot about myself!
    I am so printing this one out and framing it!! :)
    JoAnna from Montana

  • I am new to you, and I have to say I really enjoy what you have to say. This was a great post, because a lot in my life didn’t turn out the way I was planning. I have my sweet husband, two wonderful kids, incredible friends, so fortunately for me I let life happen the way it was meant to be. I am who I am today, because of everything that wasn’t supposed to happen…….

  • Catherine

    What a great piece, I had goosebumps the whole time I was reading it. Pretty much sums up life!

  • Thank you for your gifts of loving kindness.
    I am grateful to receive the warm energy from you.
    Love ya,

  • What an absolutely beautiful piece. Beautifully felt, beautifully thought through, and simply beautifully written.And so true…

    Five years ago, when I had heart failure, my celebrity fiance split when I was in the hospital, Most of my closest friends left because I wasn’t with a celebrity anymore, and/or assumed the worst about me (erroneously, as facts later showed) in a public misunderstanding.
    I found myself alone, ill, friendless,broke, slandered and taking care of a terminally ill mom after my father’s sudden death.

    Through my practice of Buddhist chanting, and a 12 step program where I learned to turn things over to a higher power, I gradually “turned poison into medicine”…and learned to recognize ;life’s improvisation as being better than the script I had been clinging to.

    Today, I have a beautiful life, with friends who know and love and trust me, as I do them; a career I enjoy and am good at, and trust that every “stumble” is a dance step, in a dance I cannot see.
    Thank you for this, Kate. Sending you all good wishes, and love what you’re accomplishing and giving the world.

  • Tanya

    And now I’m ugly crying! I have a 17 year old, and I can imagine myself telling her these exact things. There are no mistakes, only decisions. Some better than others, but none of them wrong. We’re all doing the best we can, and since we can’t control the other 7 billion people on the planet, nothing is ever going to go exactly according to plan. And that’s ok!

  • Lisa Jenkins

    I’m glad you reposted the link to this article because it is a reminder to me that life is better when I don’t let “the way things are supposed to go” hinder my enjoyment of life. I didn’t remain at my first college but now I have life long friends (27+ years) that I met at my 2nd college. I will choose to remain open to wherever life leads and know that things will be better – no matter what!

  • Tanice

    Thank you for reposting this because it has truly given me life!! I realized while reading this that I am exactly where I’m supposed to be; my life is great and it’s unfolding exactly the way it should and I’m happy about that. It is my hope that your honeymoon turns out better than you thought!! <3

  • Elsa

    beautiful!!!! Loved it

  • Suzie

    So beautiful it made me wanna cry.

  • Lesley

    Sweet truth, Kate. Thanks for the ‘rebroadcast.” I have shared on my 23 year old daughter’s timeline.

  • Aloha Kate! Loved this piece – very good read. Wishing you a happy honeymoon! Lots of love<3

  • Yes! This is true. And it is all in how we see these changes to our plans. I have recently come to the awareness that maybe everything would have happened the way it did no matter what we tried. So it takes the pressure off of us to try to make something happen. When really what we need to do is love every minute that we are alive. And stay amused and surprised at every turn in the road. Thank you for sharing this one, I didn’t know you back then. Enjoy your honeymoon! You two are the best!!

  • So cute. I love it. Thanks for sharing. :)

  • Dear Kate

    I guess there isn’t really anything else that I can say on this post that has not already been said by another who has been left fragile and teary-eyed after reading your post, because the reality is that this post can apply to us all and appeals to our lives personally, because it is true in ways beyond just a “personal story”.

    At 19, I sit here after reading this post feeling a little calmed. I can imagine that if I still had an active mother in my life, she would affectionately run her hand along my head repeating all the examples you listed above, in an attempt to ease my troubled heart and remind me to stress less and live more.

    This post was that moment for me.

    I have been following your blog and watching your videos for over a year now. I always love what you have to say and what you have to share– but I’ve never added my comment. I appreciate what you teach, and soak in what I learn.

    But this time I want to say thank you, just as everyone else has. Because this time you have given me a little more hope. I am no less scared of my unknown and uncertain future. But I feel a little more confident that I can get just where I need to be with my own support and my own two feet.

    Thanks :)

  • Patty Hood

    And…that will be true at 55 or 60 or 45 just like it was true when you were 18 or 23 or 29 or 37….great reminder for me at 56.

  • You moved me almost to tears. What an awesome post! Thanks Kate :) Love from Arnhem, The Netherlands

  • Regina Bedolla

    Hey Kate! Thanks for your lovely words, they really made sense to me and I would like to share why: I am a ballet teacher from Mexico City, where 95% of the population is catholic and so is my family. When you are brought up by a very established religion like Catholicism, you are usually taught what to think, how to behave, what is good and bad etc. I am not criticizing, it’s just usually the way it is. So that was me, going to church on Sundays with my family, praying every night etc. but I always felt an emptyness, for some reason my soul was hungry for something that I wasn’t getting in church or through prayer.
    Then one day less than a year ago I don’t remember how exactly but I was on the computer just killing time online and I stumbled to one of Abraham Hick’s audios. And it made so much sense! So the same day I found out the story of Esther and bought one of their books online, then some time later, looking for more information found about dr. Wayne Dyers teachings and also read one of his books and then I found you! I haven’t read your book yet since I am kind of a slow reader =). But I l see your videos and read your blogs often and they always vibrate with me. Specially today’s writing seemed to fit me very well in the sense that I kind of knew what my life was going to look like, having my ballet school, teaching and dancing, getting married, having kids, etc. and know I am discovering things inside me that I feel will take me to a whole different and exciting journey!
    Anyway, thanks for sharing this with us and hope to read more soon!

  • Pamela

    Hi Kate,

    (I am in a wonderful group of women who meet every other Tuesday eve. to discuss gratitude and “magnificent outcomes”. We’ve been watching your Mom’s “Ageless—” DVDs and just watched the one where you and your Mom had an incredible dialog. It seemed so unscripted and REAL. Thank you for that. As a result, I “liked” you on FB and now receive your emails.)

    This is better than the “Wear Sunscreen” song! :)
    As I read this, I’m thinking of my two sons, ages 17 and 20, but also thinking of myself as I just went through a divorce after a 21 year marriage.
    I do strongly believe that things happen as they should and even though we may not realize it at the exact moment, there is always the proverbial “silver lining”. I could go on but won’t. :)
    Thank you for this.


  • Belinda Lee

    I think I live a boring life until I review my ‘year’ and realise that at the start of the previous year I could never have even imagined stuff happening as it did ! Proves that the Universe does indeed have bigger plans for us than we can possibly imagine. So I go with the flow…

  • Catherine

    Very true! Things don’t always o according to plans You just have to ride with the wind.
    To find out what’s best for you. Not always easy to do, but a must.

  • Kate- It is definitely nice to hear a fluid, real depiction of what living your dream looks and feels like. Thank you for spreading your kindness and encouraging vibes xo Ashley

  • Probably a good piece to reread weekly! The only thing that is certain is that nothing is certain……might as well learn to enjoy the ride :)

  • Kim

    hi Kate,
    THANK YOU, thank you, thank you.
    Just last night when I was in a “icky place” I said to a friend, “my life is not how I thought it would be”. You, kind woman, healed the “ick” and I thank you so VERY VERY much.

  • ma. cecilia

    You know Kate, I am really trying to be the person who readily adapt the life’s surprises.
    I just love your post.I realized how important it is to be resilient at all times. More especially that I am some kind of an everything-must-be-smooth-as-planned person. Funny.
    Learning much! Thank you.

  • Rich

    Hi Kate! yes, everything will never turn out the way i imagined it. good write up! keep on writing and inspiring others! ^_^

  • Laura

    Very recognizable!!! The job that I just had to have didn’t even reply to my application, the guy I thought I would marry and have babies with left and now at 27 (when I was sure I would be married and have children) I am living on my own for the last 2 years in a big city. But living MY OWN life. Wouldn’t have wanted to miss out on any of it! So nice to realize we have a choice in every step we make. It may not always work out the way we wanted it, but maybe life was just saving us for something much better, greater than we would have ever imagined :-)
    Thank you Kate!! For sharing all your wisdom with us and giving the restless a hand-out!
    xo – Laura from the Netherlands

  • Rhonda

    Couldn’t agree with you more, though I have to say letting go when you’re used to being a OCD, A type personsonality is a little hard. I find it truly amazing that information just seems to pop up on my computer when I need it. Law of Attraction seemed to find it’s way into my reading and it led me to one of your videos that I thoroughly enjoyed. So thank you for inspiring and guiding:) Hugs, Rhonda

  • Sherry

    Love. This. That’s all. Oh, and thank you.

  • Emilia

    :) Seems “it didn’t turn out the way I thought” :)
    Loved reading this. Put a smile on my face. Thanks.

  • Crazygrandma

    You are awesome!! BUT this was definitely one of your BEST blogs!
    Congratulations on your beautiful baby girl and wishing you so many more days, months and years of LOVE!!

  • Dianne

    I clicked on this link in your birth announcement, not knowing where it would take me. Such a wonderful, affirming message.
    I have come to realise that things do happen for a reason and what seams like a black hole end of the world can open life to a totally awesome unexpected journey. My husband ended our marriage, I was bullied then sacked, had a breakdown and thought I would never work again. From the depths of despair, I feel like a Phoenix. I now live next door to my daughter and her family (so daily grandbaby visits), work with my son and have two other part time jobs as well. I wouldn’t go back to either the old job or the ex husband for anything. Reading your blog has reminded me to continue to “go with the flow” from now on. Thank you xx

  • Patrycja

    Kate you’ve inspired so many people! That’s great thing to do. And you’ve inspired me as well. Thank you very much :)
    Greeting from Poland

  • Olivia

    Love love love this. Exactly what I needed to read, both because it is so true in my life up to this point, and because I need to be reminded of it with some of my current challenges. Thank you Kate for reminding me that everything always works out EXACTLY. the way it should ????????????

  • Rita

    Hello Kate
    that is sooo inspiring and so true. Yet, how do you handle family that continually criticize your decisions, who denounce you to your own children, and manipulate them about your life?
    What can I do to help get over that?

  • Janet


    I come back to read this over & over. I have sent it to so many friends. I actually want to write it on the wall in my office. Just love the inspiration that you are! Thank you!

    • Kate Northrup

      Get ready Janet because we’re coming out with a poster of it soon!

      • Anna

        Hi Kate!
        Would love to know when the poster comes out! I come back to this and read it often as a reminder not to take life too seriously because it has plans of its own.

        Thank you for this piece, Kate. It always gives me a new perspective on whatever my current situation is.


  • Charlotte

    Okay, okay point taken and it did make me smile. Thank you!
    With love, abundance and prosperity,

  • Sandra

    Thought I’d marry a man who made a huge salary, instead I’ve married a man who’s a wonderful provider and he doesn’t make lots of money. I was reluctant to have children because of my unhappy childhood and I didn’t think that I’d be a good mother. I have a beautiful 17 year old daughter and she still likes me, well most of the time. I thought that I’d work on my job forever I’m now semi retired and love it. I felt the urgency to spend time with my family, especially my daughter. Great Article, a keeper.

  • And it will all turn out okay…because it was supposed to happen that way. LOVE this blog..i can see why you repeated it. Great timing in a new year. You have probably touched on something for everyone. thanks so much. xo

  • Timely, excellent piece for me to read at this exact point in my life. Especially given that I’ve just started out on a new path I never could have predicted! Being open to the possibilities is certainly the best way to be. Thank you Kate!

  • Jazmine

    Wow! Thank you a million times Kate. This resonates everyone’s life in this rat race. The most beautiful wisdom anout trust and surrender I’ve ever read just what I need right now. It’s true thag the universe always manifest what we need at the right time and place. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the inspiration.

  • Love your newsletters, love your advice, love your Mom, the pics of P, and LOVE this poster. ~Hobby

  • The longer I live, the more I witness this to be true! It is not going to turn out the way you thought it would, but it all turns out just fine! The puzzle gets bigger and in retrospect you can see how absolutely perfectly the pieces fit together when you look in the rear view mirror. In the moment, life may look like a crazy hurricane but give your life a little time and perspective and you’ll see the perfection in what originally looked like total imperfection.

    Nicely done, Kate! Many thanks.

  • Heather

    What happens when you are 42 and still waiting for it to be better? No you havn’t missed what fun you could scrape up and have been mindful to take the beauty in when its shown up on the way but no dreams or even charming alternatives happened? Just left college and ended up being a carer for a dying father then mentally ill and now dementia affacted mother? No career no wonderul man, no anything really.

  • Carole

    Great post………….yes, the “best laid plans” can many times go in a direction we never expected and turn out to be the most wonderful blessing in their outcomes !!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks again for this witty reminder to have faith in what is unfolding the way it should at just the right time……and to be open and accepting of what the divine universe has in store for our betterment.

  • Nikki T

    I suffered from horrible panic attacks last year because I couldn’t own up to the fact that some aspects of my life were a big disappointment to me. A part of me simply couldn’t accept that things hadn’t turned out how I had planned. But in time, I came to see what this post discusses. And now, I’m just happy to be living the life that I DO have, because it is truly a great one in so many ways.

  • Innocent

    Excellent way of saying it.

  • You think you’re life is falling apart when everything is actually just starting to fall into place. Thanks for the reminder, exactly what I needed :)

  • Jess

    Beautifully written. Now I just need to believe it will happen to me :)

  • Cracked open my heart, and allowed some pent up tears to flood it all.

    Deep gratitude for pristine sharing.

    Bless and bliss for you Kate ?

  • your right, that’s the camper I lived in for 8 months, after selling the condo and going to Australia than my Dad was dianosed with bowel cancer, so as I was looking for a place to live in, I couldn’t find one, so my daughter bought a condo. I’ve been living in Mission for a few months now, where I ran into these gals marching for peace, My Dad refused to see the artwork or my writing before he died. Life moves forward. What’s next?

    Yes your right, that’s how it happens. I am meant to be a speaker, a story teller, an artist. Life is way to short to sweat the small stuff !
    My math is horrible lol I’m meeting with a disabilities person today hopefully,

    You take care Kate, Great post!

    Best of 2017!

  • Love this! It’s SO true. In the moment, it’s easy to get disappointed when things don’t go as planned, but it’s such a thrill to know that life usually turns out WAY BETTER than you imagined it would.

  • Tanya

    This blog post is wonderful! Really wonderful!

  • Thank you for this perspective, Kate. At 35, life is definitely not what I thought it would be. I often feel that somehow I have failed, taken a wrong turn. I have a lot more debt and a lot less time than I had imagined. Working our butts off, living pay check to pay check. My three kids are the light of my life, but–turns out–motherhood is really f***ing hard a lot of the time. Marriage takes work too. This is real life though… in all its glory. The theme of this piece reminds me of the task you set forward in your book to re-write your money love story. The past is in the past, and every twist and turn in the broken road has led us perfectly to this moment, which is right where we should be.

  • franco

    to be honest, sometimes i wonder why can´t things be my way, so many things that could have been awesome but just didn’t happen. I’m still discovering, but sometimes also I say hey it turned out to be better. Right now I feel like stucked but I choose to feel like it’s for the best. Best is about to come.

  • Elens

    Thank you so much for this reminder email to check this blog! It is exactly what I needed today. It has reminded me that although things haven’t been working out as perfectly planned in my mind, I am on the right track. I am currently working on a new business of my own, while working in the field I want to leave for financial support. It has been stressful to multitask, but this is such an incredible reminder that it doesn’t have to look the way we thought it up in our heads. And that it will be better!

  • I can tell you that this is true. It rarely works out the way you thought- sometimes it’s feels like utter disaster. But. Eventually it does turn out- better.
    I know that to be true, yet am in one of those “looks like disaster” seasons and needed this reminder. You’d think at 75, I’d remember by now, but no. Was getting anxious and fearful. Your reminder snapped me out of that lie and re-routed thoughts. I’m looking forward to finding out what wonderful-ness God will bring from this seemingly dreadful season! Thank you, thank you!!

  • Amy Breeze Cooper

    I never saw this back in 2011. I was in the middle if my own detour, living in a new city, only to realize I belonged where I started. I’m so glad to see this now! Such a powerful message to remember…especially when we are in the middle of “it.” My life has truly turned out better than any version of it that I had imagined. Thank you for the inspiration, Kate!

    • Kate Northrup

      Isn’t it fun to reflect on how far we’ve come in 10 years? I love that you found your spot right back where you started. So poetic and beautiful!

  • Kathryn

    I love this even more 10 years later! xo

  • This was meant for me to see this at the end of beginnings and the beginning of endings. I have come to realize that it’s all such a wonderful journey in the last 80 days of doing a course on positivity.
    I am so glad for the uncertainty now – I never knew that I would have a child with epilepsy that would inspire a book that would help so many others. I never knew that my heart would be so bursting and I would live a community of people that are my framily.
    I never realized that my 7 year old son would be one of my first true meditation teachers.

    I am open to the journey – thank you for this beautiful piece of writing.

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