“You see what’s happening here, right?”
It was rhetorical. I really didn’t.
She sat on the chair across from me and looked right at me while her hand scribbled something down. I was confused and, admittedly, a bit panicked.
She held up the paper and in slightly titled letters, there it was:
“F E A R”
. . .
I think, like all of us, I have several problems, but no other problem has given me as much grief as making decisions.
We’re supposed to weigh options, right? When you’re in elementary school, you make pros and cons lists. The teacher tells you to fold your paper in half and label each side, fill it out and then duh duh duh…you make a choice.
But the choices are low-risk when you’re 7. No matter what, you’re going home at 3:05 pm. The following September, you know you’re going to 3rd grade. Sometimes you’re not sure if you remembered your lunchbox, but like, someone will make sure you eat.
Something strange happens when there’s suddenly an entire world in front of you, with no clear direction as to what happens next.
These days we have all of our basic needs met. Leaving us an insane amount of time to sit around and just live in our heads.
I’ve been working on this daily. Which is, hello, why I’m writing about it. But I needed to. I needed to learn how to navigate this question. I needed to realize that most choices in life— regrettably — are hard. Every choice requires a sacrifice. There is no perfect situation. There is only forward.
It requires a change of environment. Even in some small way. It requires saying goodbye to partners or friends. It requires consciously knowing that you cannot have what you leave behind. At least not right now.
I guess, what I’m really focusing on, is where we got at the end of the session. When we were both giggling and holding our noses. She said it best, I think, and it still echoes through my ears.
This post was previously published on Medium and is republished here with permission from the author.
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