Tell Me What to Do

April 7, 2013 at 10:46 pm | Posted in Life and Living | Leave a comment
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I remember the very moment when I felt the most relief I have ever had in my life.  It was right before I walked down the aisle at my wedding.  It was the moment when I no longer had to make any decisions.  I just had to follow directions. Someone was going to tell me where to stand, what to say, and what to do.

It’s kind of strange to get relief from being told what to do, but it kind of makes sense.  I have always been a decision-maker, very assertive and ready to commit to whichever choice I was making.  The world was not going to end if you chose the wrong restaurant, the wrong shoes, the wrong hotel.  As a child, one of the greatest moments is when you finally get the courage and knowledge to say what it is you want to do, and that it’s not what you are being told to do.  It’s freedom in its purest form.

But let’s be honest.  Making decisions is incredibly stressful!  At the end of the day, you are responsible for whatever decision you make.  If you book a flight too close to a meeting and your flight is delayed, that’s on you.  Choosing an apartment, a college, a car, a partner, all of these decisions rest entirely on you.  We look to our trusted loved ones to back up our decisions, sometimes calling on them to tell us what to do, but in the end it’s on you, and if things go awry, it’s on you to fix.

As an adult, this takes on a whole new meaning.  Without a provided structure to guide our time, our roles, our responsibilities, it’s totally on you to make decisions that make sense for your life in the context of the world we live in.  There is so much to think about.  Each decision effects the next and learning from the past while thinking about the present and the future, and all the other factors, is exhausting.

So please, expert on my life, whoever you are, tell me what to do sometimes.  Oh, who am I kidding? I probably wouldn’t listen anyways.

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What was I thinking?!?!

March 20, 2012 at 7:33 am | Posted in Life and Living | Leave a comment
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It typically happens while looking at old photos or videos, or reminiscing with old friends.  It’s that moment where you look at your former self with shock and awe, with one phrase in mind “What was I thinking?”

Maybe you are referring to the time that you died your hair purple, cut your own bangs, or got a perm.  Or maybe you are talking about some seemingly ill-informed fashion trends. Or maybe you are thinking of crushes you had, people you dated.  Or maybe you are thinking of the things you got into trouble for.  Whatever the case may be, it is so easy to sit here, years later, and say how stupid some decisions you made were.

But the truth is, not all of those decisions were bad decisions at the time, and many likely had no lasting consequences.  It’s also easy for some (probably insanely stubborn folk) to say that they have no regrets, but we are human. We have regrets.  We regret things we said, things we did, things we didn’t do.  We may obsess over the way a scenario played out from our perspective, how embarrassing it may have been, without ever knowing that other parties involved have a completely different memory of those events.

It’s not easy to remember how you were really feeling in the moment, what the circumstances were in that moment in time that led to the decision made.  It is so easy to judge in hindsight, and say how we would do things differently.  But I am a firm believer in everything happening for a reason, and beyond that, the role of timing.  Timing is everything.  There is a perfect storm for every occasion, a plan that goes awry, a split-second change of heart or turn of the wheel.

When I think about my past, I try to remember the various circumstances that effected the decisions I made.  I am comforted in knowing that, at the time, I made the best decisions I could make, and while I may have done things differently knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t have learned all that I have, I wouldn’t have the stories and the scars that I have now.

I try not to beat up on myself a lot.  I try to laugh at myself as much as possible.  We are all living this life for the first time (except for those who believe they were reincarnated).  All we can hope for is that, for the most part, we make the “right” decisions for us, in the moment that the decision needs to be made.  While every decision we make may not serve as a turning point in ours lives, it will likely serve as a way of shaping future perspectives, memories, and lasting lessons.

When Your Friends Don’t Like Your Man

November 22, 2011 at 11:26 am | Posted in Friends Then and Now, Relationship Woes | 2 Comments
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You meet a guy. You start dating.  You start thinking that this could be something serious, so you want to introduce him to your friends.  But there’s some fear.  What if your friends don’t like your man?

Whether you like it or not, the opinion of your friends in regards to your significant other really matters.  I remember one crush I had in high school that I wouldn’t even admit to myself I had until a friend told me that she thought the guy was cute.  That opened the door for me.

And then there are the times when you make the decision on your own and assume that your friends like your man.  Something like that happened to me.  When I told my friends I was breaking up with my ex, all they could say was, “It’s about time!”  Now, to be clear, it’s not that they didn’t like him, they just didn’t like him for me.  But for the whole time that we were together they didn’t say a word. They let me come to that conclusion on my own, and were there to support me in the transition.

So when I learned this, of course I had to ask why.  Why did they not say anything?  Because they believed I could make this decision myself.  This is a lesson I carry with me through my life.  Unless a friend is being used or abused, or going down a really dangerous path, they can make their own decisions.

Still, I seek the approval of my friends.  It is important to me that my man and my friends get along.  The fiancé and I love going out together with our friends.  Our friends mean a lot to us.  My fiancé hangs out with my friends and I hang out with his.  We are both very busy people so a lot of our going out time is shared (with occasional separation).  But we like to do the same things.  I think it’s a big reason why we get along so well.

So what my friends think will always matter, and I know my opinion matters to my friends.  But I try to make it a point to listen to my friends and let them make their own decisions, even if I disagree with them.  I try not to judge them and only provide my opinion when asked (for someone like me who has a big mouth, this was a great and important discipline to learn).  It’s their life, and if something goes wrong, it’s my job to catch them when they fall.

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