I started an article a couple weeks back where I started explaining how I tend to always be at different extremes within myself. I have the creative dreamer side that wants to go off into the world and explore, paint and photograph anything and everything I see. Then I have the logical realist side that wants to go into business, run a company and make a ton of money, so I can have a stable environment, the ability to say I’ve achieved great accomplishments and eventually indulge my creativity.
The problem with choosing a side? I never know which “one of me” will come out on any given day. I like both sides and the way you can’t have dark without the light tends to be how I feel when I think about myself.. I can’t have the logic without the creative. But then you’d think that somewhere in the middle would be best… but the problem with being somewhere in the middle is it never seems like it’s enough.
I consider myself to be an intelligent person and someone who is very self aware, but I tend to always be the one to sell myself short. I’ve always been and always will stand in my own way. But it wasn’t until recently that I realized how much I’ve already done in my 25 years… I’ve traveled to 8 countries. I’ve been in another country in which I don’t speak the language completely alone and didn’t freak out, ironically I liked it. I received two bachelor degrees in three and a half years with honors. I’ve lived in multiple cities in multiple states alone. I’ve written half of a book – still in progress. I’ve had plenty of jobs I do and don’t like. I’ve owned a car. Paid my bills. Read countless informational things on the internet in hopes of learning how to do this whole “adult” thing.. only to find out no one really knows… I’ve been in a commercial and on television. I’ve performed on stages in Hollywood at Disney and Universal as well as Pearl Harbor. I’ve stood in history and been in complete awe of my surroundings in multiple places. I’ve been on top of the world and in the depths of hell (metaphorically). I’ve visited about half of the 50 states and it does go on as does everyone else’s. I know people who’ve suffered greatly and live their lives in such a way, that I just have to sit back and be in awe of their nature. I don’t disregard anyone’s hardships, but I’ll narrow mine down to something along the lines of first world problems.
My biggest first world problem leaves me with choice paralysis… It’s a question that you’re first asked when you’re in kindergarten and still asked when you’ve think you’ve become an adult… “What do you want to be when you grow up.” Honestly, I know that things grow and change as we grow and change and it’s come to my attention that despite what we think, as humans we always underestimate change (and how much we’ll actually change). I don’t mean only on a physical or emotional level, I mean everything, values, wants, needs, beliefs, everything. We also are a product of all of the things we’ve experienced and done throughout our lives. But I still don’t have an answer to this question.
I know what I like and dislike, but I don’t know what I want to do when I grow up. I have so many options that I can’t decide. And if I take a chance and make a decision, how do I know it’s the right one? I’ve taken a leap of faith recently and the fall out of that choice left me entirely shattered. I’ve finally gotten past the aftermath of wanting to go back to how things were in the beginning when I left and went to Boston vs. how they became when I left Boston and returned to New York State. But that wound is still there. I’ve tried a few different things this last year and I’ve done a lot of things I did and didn’t like. As I write this my parent’s voices ring in my ear “you have to have a job, you have to pay your bills.” Yes, yes I know that’s true. But when you’re in a position to be so unhappy because you keep taking jobs you “have to” to get by… where does that leave you when it comes to choice? It leaves you afraid to make one. And like depression and anxiety- fear is a bitch.
As if a life changing decision or even a concrete decision wasn’t hard enough to make knowing what you know about yourself, knowing what you’ve been doing isn’t working in the slightest, and knowing that the last leap of faith you took pummeled you into the ground – how do you make a decision?
How do you narrow down what you want to do with your life in terms of a career? I can read anything and everything I want on the internet to help myself choose what I may want to take a chance on but that doesn’t leave me with success. I can try this job and that job and just take what I can get and hope I get by but that’s never been the kind of person I am. I want to be out in the world and I want to take charge if not only of my own set of circumstances… But how the fuck do I do that without taking another blind leap or even a baby step in hopes I don’t get my ass handed to me again? I’m sick of being afraid but I know that if I ever had the chance to leave this place again I’d do it in a heartbeat if I knew I didn’t have to come back… but if I ever had the slightest chance of having to move back here devastation isn’t a strong enough word.
So does anyone out there know how to help me be a little less like Dorothy asking the Scarecrow which way she should go? And while I’m on the subject less like the cowardly lion as well… how do you take another leap when you can’t make a choice? How do you make such a major choice when you can never fully commit to something because the things you’re debating you don’t tend to know if they’re “right” until you do them… Where do you find balance in the extremes? How can you choose which path or which self? Is it even possible?