Did you ever have one of those decisions where the pros and cons were so evenly divided that you waffled one way or another forever, hoping that some external force or sign would help you decide?
Yeah. I’ve decided to withdraw from my graduate program and not travel to Austria. It is one of those decisions where the answer was obvious from the beginning, but I spent a year going back and forth. I wanted to give myself the chance. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but it spread me too thin. I was afraid, though, to make the decision in the swirl of negative emotion that was my interior landscape last fall and winter, so I kept trying to do the work and make the arrangements as if I was positive I could commit to it.
I spent all weekend holed up in my house, making lists. To my credit, I waited a whole twenty-four hours before dragging Josh into Decision Limbo with me, but by the time I even brought it up with him I knew what my final decision was. I think I just had to try it out on him, see if my reasoning was sound.
So even though I knew on Sunday, began telling people and cancelling my travel arrangements on Monday, it was still today before I was able to bring myself to make it official. I was due to leave on Saturday.
There were a couple of conferences and events I was going to be missing for school that now I can attend, and I will be honest – I am absolutely luxuriating right now in the knowledge that I’ve chosen to focus this commitment to Utopian.net. I feel like I have held us back from from really moving forward with our services because I had so many things on my plate. Making careful choices to narrow that focus to what is really important to me, to what gets me fired up and excited – that’s such a positive investment in myself, in our company, and absolutely surpasses the loss of continuing my education.
All I know is that I’m excited and positive and moving forward again, when I had stagnated for a couple of weeks under the stress of trying to make room in my life for school and travel in the midst of a lot of big stuff happening with Utopian.net. And even THAT feeling has met with my scrutiny – am I relieved because I made the right decision, or relieved because I made the FINAL decision?
It is so tempting to try to impose our own control in our lives, by flagrantly executing big life decisions left and right like Napoleon. I WILL go to this school, I WILL have this career, it WILL happen on my deadline. I will marry this boy or that girl, we will have these children or no children at all, we will be big big stars.
Some decisions need the luxury of time. Some decisions are organic, not binary, and are really not one decision but a series of decisions and choices that end up looking suspiciously like a jagged journey plotted out on a map.Â Sometimes you discover that by not deciding, you are allowing the decision to be made for you. Sometimes you decide and it doesn’t turn out anything like you expected.
is past. This is
the heart says,
and not even the full of it.
Though they will come
before our time
-William Carlos Williams, The Ivy Crown