on decisions

I have pretty much the best life – a college degree, a job I like, and most importantly, no career or person to tie me down and make me do things I don’t want to, what with their “love” and their “compromises” and “stability” and all that.

This is at least what you would think listening to older people congratulate me on my life situation, here makin’ a difference in the world, far away from home, and ready to flit away to any thing or any place that calls come next July. They tell me all the time how wonderful it is to have the kind of freedom I enjoy. And I can’t disagree with them in some respects.

In other ways, though, it’s clear they forget or have never experienced this situation, because frankly it is terrifying. Trying to choose the best path while wandering about, rootless, wouldn’t be easy if people weren’t always telling me that my 20s are the biggest worst thing I could ever waste. And if I didn’t hate and fear loneliness like… a human being hates and fears loneliness. And if I weren’t horribly familiar from childhood with the phrase “paralyzed by indecision”.

My job is still completely up to me to invent. Choosing a graduate school for myself feels like being forced to make a high-stakes draft pick for the Falcons (I’m totally guessing). I could go in several directions with my writing; I could stay out of school for another year; I could plan to do some extra school; I could decide to prioritize money, time, traveling, or relationships in the next few years. I vacillate between these hourly.

Paralyzed by indecision. I love this phrase, not as a cliche, but as a diagnosis. Because when that familiar paralyzed feeling settles over my head, I’ve finally figured out what to do: Run. In any direction. It will fall off. Do something with conviction and vigor and believe you haven’t ruined things.

So when I know I need to write but there’s too much going on in my life, too many thoughts and feelings and ideas floating about like snowflakes I can’t grasp – then the main thing to be done is to write something. Anything at all.

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