A Teeny, Tiny Yes

Sometimes, it’s hard to make decisions. (Okay, pretty much all of the time.) Even when the hardest decision of your day is choosing what to eat for dinner, it can stump you. Well, I don’t want pizza because I had cheese last week, but if I try to cook something at home, it’ll be nothing short of a Chopped competition to put together all of the ingredients I have left over from last night…

So, what do you do? You ask for advice. Or shake a Magic 8 ball. Or flip a coin. And suddenly, the onus is not on you. You don’t have to worry about making a decision anymore because it is up to another person, toy-making skills in the 80’s, or fate itself. You’re like, I’m so glad I made the “Wheel of Food” where I just spin the wheel and out comes the menu choice! Chinese, again! Yes! I have high blood pressure and pork fried rice!

But the problem is that you quite literally lose control of your life when you leave it up to something or someone else to make your decisions for you. Because that’s all life really is in the end, the times you made a choice. Who you’ll date, where you’ll live, if you’ll go to the gym at all. Even the teeniest, tiniest yes to something can set you on the path to something great. Even the littlest, quietest no to something can carve out your place in the world. And if someone else is telling you what to do, if someone else is making the choices for you, can you even it call it your life?

So, yeah, it’s really hard to make some of the big decisions. You think, I need to talk to my elders. They’ll have more experience with choosing what to eat for dinner, and so, they’re wiser than I. But the fact is that they’re not living your life. Which makes you the only expert in that department, and thus, the only person who should be able to answer that question with any semblance of confidence.

Don’t complicate things. Just breathe, reach down inside, and pull out your decision. Whatever you choose, even if it is just a guess, will be better than any informed decision from anyone else.

I Wish I Had Something Different to Say

When I was a teenager, I had two thoughts. How am I going to hide this pimple on my face? and How am I going to hide myself?

Now that I am an adult, I also have two thoughts. What the hell am I going to do with my life? and I don’t have a life to do anything with.

You see, that first thought governs much that I do. Well, plagues me, really. I struggle against it frequently when I am trying to blog because I have an open forum to voice my opinion. If you look at past posts, you will find that I do not often win the battle. I do not often tell myself to put my own life journey aside, so I can write something pithy and engaging for a blogging public. But by most accounts, I am completely consumed with deciding on my passion, my calling, AKA what to do with the rest of my life. When I’m not writing this blog, I’m researching, calculating, and planning the next 50 years.

But it’s strange because I started out this blog post by telling you how I felt as a teenager and as an adult, but in reality, I still feel like a child. I see someone working construction, and I suddenly feel the need to put on a hard hat. I watch someone treat a patient, and I am convinced that I should be healing the sick. And yes, an astronaut may have been out of my reach as an actual kid, but I suddenly feel like the stars have never been closer than right now. So, am I ambitious or indecisive?

I don’t know. But the only thing I can say for certain is that I wish I had something different to say. I wish I had my life planned out. I wish I could say that I have the courage to pursue whatever I am “meant” to do. I wish I wasn’t worried about making the right decisions. And truly, I wish I had something different to say about my future.

The only thing, and I mean the only thing, that stops me from having meltdowns daily about all this is one simple quote whose origin is heavily debated. But let’s just say Abe Lincoln said it because, you know, it’s a good quote and he’s a good guy, so he deserves it.

“Whatever you are, be a good one.”

I feel like a cork on a champagne bottle when I read that quote. It doesn’t matter what I am. It doesn’t matter if I’m selling out. It doesn’t matter if I don’t pursue my passion. It doesn’t matter if I never “make it.” I just have to be good at what I do, whatever it is. Hopefully, it isn’t axe murdering, but you get it. I just have to give 100% to whatever it is that I am doing. And I am about 95% sure I can do just that. (Did I say I was indecisive?)

And that’s all you can hope for, too. You should give yourself a little wiggle room to be good. But you should never stop striving for it.