Indecisiveness and impatience are probably my two worst qualities. My friends are always telling me I can never make up my mind, and my mom is always telling me patience is a virtue. So when it comes to the big crossroads at life’s new chapters, I’m a lot worse off than others. Decisions give me angst and waiting makes it worse.
It’s tough when big decisions come into your life and you do not have a lot to base it on –moving to a new city, taking a new job, taking a risk on that potential special someone. It can be a lot when you are unsure of how things will turn out.
That’s when I realized one important thing when it comes to decision-making. Most often you do not know the outcome. You can move to a new city and realize you hate it or can take a new job and realize this isn’t the career for you, you can ask out that special someone and they just aren’t that into you. Things could turn out pretty darn crappy. But then there’s the opportunity that whatever decision you make will turn out incredible. I’ve allowed too much of my life to be determined by negative what-ifs. What if I fail? What if I hate it? What if no one thinks I’m good enough? The mind games can be paralyzing.
But I have recently come to a new understanding when it comes to big decisions. Whatever decision I make will lead me to where I’m meant to be. It could be the destination or a pit-stop, but either way, I have faith that whatever decision I make leads me in the right direction.
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” – Rainer Maria Rilke
This quote inspired me on a retreat I took in college and helped me realize that even in times when we are unsure if we made the right decision (spoiler alert there is no right or wrong decision), the process unfolds to reveal its answer to us. It may not be right when we need it to, and it may not even long after we have made several decisions following. But there is something serendipitous about the choices we make.
When I graduated from graduate school I had every intent on moving to California. Well, things didn’t go according to my plan, as I’m still in Buffalo two and half years later. But I realized a meaning in that decision. If I was in California I would have been alone and on the other side of the country when I found out my best friend passed away. That would’ve been unbearable. My last memories of him would have been even more distant. So I find an incredible blessing in knowing during that particularly hard time, I was close to family and friends. The second was that in choosing to work in Buffalo, I met incredible colleagues and friends that I will carry with me forever. Of course, there are times when I question my decision, but I think back on these two factors and realize that the decision I made was the best for me, even if it contradicted my plan.
Now, as I take on a new job, I can already feel that I made the right move and I can only imagine how things will continue to play out and reveal even more meaning. I can feel the difference both physically and emotionally.
I’ve gotten better when it comes to indecisiveness and impatience. I’ve learned that if I couldn’t make a decision because of fear or doubt, or if I had waited for an opportunity to find me, I’d only be robbing myself of potential to be the best version of myself. I’d also be robbing myself of the chance to meet new and amazing people, and experience different and exciting challenges.
So if you have a big decision to make, don’t think about right or wrong, don’t think about change or status quo, just give it to God, have faith but most importantly trust yourself. You won’t regret it and who knows, maybe you’ll find meaning in your decisions sooner than you think.