When I was a teenager, I acted with little thought to what the effects of those actions would be. My early twenties were much the same, with more consideration of others as the years went on.
Now that I am knocking on thirty, I’m at a point where I consider all the ramifications of my decisions, particularly the big ones like work and relationships. I’m afraid I’ve slid too far toward this end of things, though, as all of these perspectives is causing paralysis by analysis.
Take vacations, for example. In the past, I’d be able to choose a location almost at random and be more passionate about it than a Bernie supporter. These days, there is a part of me that wants to go out and have wild adventures while the other wants to stay home and nest. Which one is loudest depends on the day (or time of day). As a result, I feel stuck about making a decision.
Intellectually, I know that I am taking a risk no matter what I choose and that I’m willing to make the best out of any situation. But intuitively, I’d like to make a decision that most resonates with where I am. I go back and forth so much that I don’t actually know exactly how I feel.
It’s a weird thing. Like a doctor that smokes cigarettes, I know better. I know that patterns of inaction replicate and the more indecisive I am about little things, the more indecisive I’ll be about big things. I know that as humans we only have a limited amount of executive functioning, so every time I am unable to make a decision I am having the same conversations with myself and am less effective at everything else. I know that if my decisions impact other people’s decisions, my inaction is impacting more lives than my own.
I know. And yet, I struggle.
I even know my way out of this state (intellectually, anyway). I need to get into the practice of sinking into my body and listening to what I think. Develop a higher sensitivity for how I feel. Start small and gain momentum. The practice of making decisions in one arena impacts others. I need to start where I am, not where I think I should be.
Intuitively, however, I still feel like a ship in the night. Following the compass and trusting that it’s right, but not being able to see where I’m going with any real clarity.