Choosing between the moment and the reality that follows can be life’s most difficult jump.
“In the space between yes and no, there’s a lifetime. It’s the difference between the path you walk and the one you leave behind; it’s the gap between who you thought you could be and who you really are; its the legroom for the lies you’ll tell yourself in the future.”
For one year, I straddled a decision. I stood on either side of the line. I went back and forth, hemmed and hawed, talked to my friends, cried to my mom, laughed at myself, took a vacation, grew my business, ignored the problems, lived in denial, and negotiated with myself. I turned myself into a pretzel trying to decide what to do. I examined my past, my future, my present. There were no “signs.” Nobody told me what to do. Well, if they did, I could not hear them. I was immobile and had turned from being a healthy decision-maker to someone stuck in analysis paralysis. I moved. I changed gyms. I practiced more yoga. I joined new clubs. None of these external factors made the decisions easier.
And then one day, the decision became clear.
Something so strange happened: I was told some information, and a sense of peace washed over me. I knew it was happening. I knew this was the “sign” I needed. I felt my slowing heartbeat and felt my strength rise. I knew I could not live like this for one more day. Not one more minute. I would not put up with being misled or lied to by anyone or myself, and I committed to me.
I’ve cried and felt relief, anger, rage, contempt, deep sadness, indifference, but mostly pride for my ability to make a sound decision.
The best part of making a decision is reducing the anxiety of “what if?” What if I fail? What if I will wonder later? What if this is the wrong choice? What if this is the right choice? What will others think? What do they think already? How will I be? Well, turns out nobody really cares. People may empathize, but they just want to see me choose something. My friends and family see me returning to my strong morals. More importantly, I see me: I’m returning to laughing and joy of small things, enjoying possibility, not looking over my shoulder or feeling stuck. Decisions give me something to pin my beliefs. Indecision is constantly looking for a hook for my coat and walking around encumbered with so much stuff in my arms.
But do all decisions stick? They stick until the adhesive wears off, which is also a giant fear. How do we keep the adhesive sticky? One of my former CrossFit coaches, Jonesy, has always coached me to “stick the landing” during weight lifting practices. He reminds me to commit to the full movement, and to invest in myself in the entire process. I’m trying to “stick the landing” now. Well, for today, for tomorrow, the landing is sticking. I leave possibility for anything that comes my way as long as it serves me and my greatest good. I’ve always known what I want and what I need, but I’ve twisted my views into something that hardly resembles what I know to be true. I do think there are people who naturally fit, people with whom we organically connect.
This is the tricky part. How do I make something stick that feels tacky? I must keep committing to my greater values and to myself. I’ve also learned that all (most?) decisions can be reevaluated and there is space to decide again. I’m trying to be gentle with myself and allow possibility to enter my life while still keeping my eyes open.
This is another decision: to stay with the moment and live in pure reality and not allow myself to lose sight of my needs.
In essence, my truth is this decision and the commitment to myself.
This piece originally appeared on afterdefeat.