Once upon a time there was a woman. We’ll call her Little Miss Organised. The woman had a life plan, and was happily ticking things off her wish list in the order they appeared: study hard, pass exams, get a job, meet a man, fall in love, buy a house, get married, travel. Tick, tick, tick, she went, fulfilling her goals along the straight line that was her Life Path. Of course, it wasn’t always plain sailing, there were challenges along the way, but she was savvy and streetwise and had the nous to negotiate the grenades slung occasionally into her path with relative ease. There was a minor hiccup in her mid-twenties when she was diagnosed with pre-cancerous cells on her cervix, but the operation to remove them was a success, so on she trotted, merrily forging the future she had put in the groundwork to achieve.

When Little Miss Organised hit her 30th birthday, she took stock. Now, she thought, would be the Perfect Time to start a family. Only Life had other plans. After a year of trying to conceive became 18 months, Little Miss Organised took herself to the doctors. Being a headstrong and determined kind of girl, she was sure she could overcome this little hiccup, as she’d always leapt every other hurdle in her path with ease. She was a strapping six-footer, after all; healthy and strong and otherwise fit.

The doctor referred her for a series of tests, which revealed blocked fallopian tubes, probably as a result of an infection following that pesky cell-removal op. He said the tubes must be removed. “Sterilisation?” she asked, dubiously. “But I want a family.” “Simple,” he replied confidently, “we’ll perform IVF. You’ll have a family, don’t worry.”

A decade later, and Little Miss Organised has a completely different life to the one she’d expected, the one she’d worked so hard to create. She is sitting on a pile of rubble, rubbing her eyes, shell-shocked. Looking around at the devastation, she strives to take it all in. The big house, the husband, the perfect life – all gone. There are no children; no happy family. Instead, she has an empty feeling in the pit of her stomach, which is partly from the loss of her life as she knew it, and partly from the missing organs that were removed without the potential consequences being explained.

Because not only have her fallopian tubes been removed, but also any hope of a family, and her health as she knew it. The operation plunged her into premature menopause, robbing her of her fertility, her marriage, her health….and almost, for a while, her sanity.

Now Little Miss Organised has a new life. It is not the life she wanted. It is not the life she planned. But it is the only life she has. And, by fuck, is she going to make the most of it. But she’s not going to plan. Well, not in the way she used to, anyway. Because she now understands that, ultimately, she is not in control. She just hopes and trusts that the journey will unfold as it should.

Because Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

Let go. Let life happen.