I’ve been struggling a lot recently with deciding. Well I’ve struggled with it for a while, not just recently. There are things that I’m really good at making decisions for. At least when it comes to others. I’m good at being decisive and saying “HA yeah, no don’t be with that guy” and that type of stuff. Yet when it comes to myself, my decisiveness tends to go down the drain.
I think it has to do with my confidence in myself. The confidence to make a huge life changing decision and then work through what happens. Because I’m terrified of failing, really who isn’t? I found this quote yesterday on Pinterest that really resonated with me. “So, do it. Decide. Is this the life you want to live? Is this the person you want to love? Is this the person you want to love? Is this the best you can be? Can you be stronger? Kinder? More compassionate? Decide. Breathe in. Breathe out and decide.” Yes, it’s from Grey’s Anatomy. A show I don’t watch. But I like the quote.
I’ve finally been able to find a base that I want to form my life on. I want to go meet people where they are, listen to their stories and share those stories with others through writing, speaking, photos, etc. Because I think a lot of problems could be solved by simply trying to understand where people are coming from. I’ve finally, after months and months, been able to identify that as a place where I want to start in my search for my purpose. That’s my drive. But for some reason, I haven’t found the confidence to make the decision to actually take that first step and go.
I have the basic skill set already. I know how to communicate, I’ve been taught and given resources on how to write and be effective. I’ve traveled a fair amount which means I have a stepping stone in how and what to look for when at least making travel arrangements. And I have friends and acquaintances in various places who will be able to help me. When it comes to deciding, I get hung up. I get hung up on the “what-if’s” and the possibility of failure. I get stuck on my need to be separate from my parents and not using them as a fall back in case I need something. My fear is suffocating my desire to be bigger than myself. And I have to sit down and decide whether or not where I am is good enough. Because I can talk all I want about doing these great things, about traveling and getting to share these stories that I’ll get to hear but if I never do it, I’ll be failing myself.
Is this the life I want to live? No, not permanently. I don’t want to just survive, trying to make ends meet, living with family because I can’t afford otherwise; remembering the things I’ve seen and daydreaming about what I could see and never doing anything about it. Is this the person you want to love? I don’t have a significant other and I’m a huge believer in loving self first and being independent alone before coming alongside someone else and doing life together. Which means this question doesn’t apply to another person at present but applies to me. No, I’m not a person I want to love. I do love myself for what I’ve done and where I am. If I were to separate myself into a separate person and I knew that this other person had dreams, hopes, desires and they didn’t follow them because they were to scared and they let “life” stand in the way, I don’t think I’d want to love them. And because that person is me and I want to love myself, it means I have to go after my dreams and desires. This is not the best I can be. I am the best I can be on certain levels, but I can be better, meaning I’m not the best I can be. I am strong, but I can be stronger. I am kind but I can be kinder. I am compassionate, but I can be more so. Because of this, I must decide to better than myself. To be stronger than I ever thought possible. To be all that I can be and not let self stop or hinder. It’s a process. It’s a lesson in confidence and what matters in life.
I had a conversation with someone a few months back where he asked how old I was. When I told him I’m 24, he was mildly surprised. “Really?” He asked. “Yeah. Why?” “Well you seem older. I thought maybe 26, just because you’ve done so much already. You’ve lived in another country, you graduated from college already. It just seems like you should be older because of that.” It’s true, I can say I’ve done more than most people my age. Yet it’s not enough. I still have a desire to see more, to be more, to love more. I know the acute pain of not knowing my purpose. The familiar pangs of anxiety and panic attacks still threaten to cloud my head and judgment, leaving me weak. Even though I have an idea of where I want to go, now I must redefine confidence and decision making and actually making the choice to go in the right direction. And that, in itself, is one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever faced.