It can be any decision, truly—whether or not I should buy a cute dress, whether I should move forward with a tattoo idea now or later, what I want to ultimately do with my life, black or brown, floral or stripes. I find myself asking the opinions of everyone I know and coming to a consensus because I simply don’t know which one to pick.
I think the greatest specter that reigns over and manages this indecisiveness is the fear of failure and corresponding regret.
One thing you may not know about me is that I am excellent at giving advice to people with similar thought processes as me without actually internalizing said advice. As an example, a friend of mine was lamenting about the possibility of regretting a tattoo that she wanted now. I told her, “You’ll only regret it if you decide to regret it. An experience in your past is all in how you frame it; if you choose to see it as a horrific failure, then yes, you will regret it. But if you see it as one choice in a long line of choices, as life is, it will be something you can appreciate and love.”
Ultimately we ourselves are responsible for how we frame our life, our failures, and the choices we have made. I’m not suggesting to never admit failure; frankly failure equals progress and we wouldn’t move forward without it. I suppose it’s just that I’ve never learned to frame failure in any other way as something to be avoided like a pox and the ultimate downfall of a person, and I don’t think that it should be this way.
Rob and I got into a bit of an argument the other day over my self-esteem issues (which I feel I have sufficiently chronicled here in previous posts) and my insecurity about my body and his solution was, “well, just don’t have low self-esteem.”
Which, as you all know I’m sure, is just what I wanted to hear.
But it got me thinking about how a lot of what I do is to please some imaginary person I concoct, or some shadow of a real person that I flesh out in my head. For example, I think that a lot of the reason I’ve been going to the gym and running is to make Rob happy, or the Rob in my head that really gives a shit whether I go to the gym every day because he is a frequent gym-goer, and one day will realize that I’m not in shape and find a girl who is in shape.
Truth is, while my husband wants me to be healthy and live as long as he does, he loves me for more than my gym-going skills. And though he may be a little upset with me if I sat around the house eating cookies, his love is not so fragile as to falter at the first sign of a younger, skinnier girl. To subscribe to this belief is disrespectful to him and to all he’s done for me, and for us. In reality I should go to the gym and run because it will make me a healthier, stronger person, and there are innumerable benefits in the long run.
And because I have to figure out what this magical non-existent being wants me to do before I can make the absolute “right” decision, I am selling myself short and truly, not living life to the extent at which it should be lived.
I think it’s time I learn how to make a decision, regardless of the opinions of those around me (unless of course my decision is to leap off the Empire State Building in a fit of daring or wade in a pool of piranhas, or something) and to stand by that decision. I need to stop blaming outside forces when something goes wrong or when I have done something incorrectly.
I need to own my choices, my successes, and my failures.
If you have made it through this mess of thoughts then I truly commend you, since I’m not positive that it even makes sense to me. Also I would like you to forgive my excessive use of adverbs…I love ‘em.
And here is a completely superfluous beast picture from Cypress's adventures yesterday:
|Cypress is the demon-hound on the right.|