Lately I’ve been struggling with making decisions in my life. I’ve referenced it many times before but Sylvia Plath put it well in about a fig tree. She wrote that she saw different possibilities reaching out in all directions. Sylvia sat at the foot of this tree and couldn’t decide which possibility to choose. Instead of enjoying one fig, she watched as they rotten into nothing.
Some days I really relate to this. There’s too many choices and to have one choice means that I cannot have the other. It’s poison to make a decision when you have to sacrifice other options. I want a car but I don’t want a car. There is no right answer. If I buy one, then I will be less able to save money. By not owning a car, I can’t go out on the weekends by myself. I’m stuck between two equally opposing options.
I mean, there are many other decisions I have to make in my life but that’s an easy one to explain. They’re silly and stupid first world issues but it seems like they occupy a lot of thought and create a lot of suffering. If I bought a car, I would suffer because I chose to buy a car. If I continue to live without one, I suffer because I’m stuck in my room. Either way, suffering.
To be honest, I don’t know if there is a solution. I am grateful for the life I have with or without a vehicle. Yet it still is in the forefront of my mind. How do you make peace with your decisions in life?
This is a continuation of posts written back at myself. They’re not intended to entertain but rather to speak to myself. If you find the content relative to your life and what you’re going through, great. The point of these posts is to express this out of my system.
There will be points in your life where you could walk on 15 different roads. None of them lead to the same place. None of them are better than their alternatives. Yet we always look for the best option. I find myself guilty of stopping at every forklift to contemplate where each direction will take me.
These forklifts almost tear me in half with where they potentially could lead. I’ll sit for days on the most rudimentary decision. Or wait another ten minutes to reply with the perfect response. The silly thing is that this added wait time doesn’t contribute to a better result. More often than not, it’s just a waste of time.
Tim Ferriss has a podcast where he talked a bit about this. Procrastinating what you truly need to do is a waste of time. The advice he transcribed says that we should write a list of our greatest anxieties. Those are the things which we need to carry out the most. These rudimentary decisions I need to make are all about avoidance.
I’ve avoided stupid things like calling the cable company to set up internet (because I hate phone calls), taking photos (because I’d have to buy Adobe CC again), and getting a new car (because there’s so much hassle in buying something). Believe me, the list goes on way beyond this.
Many days I’ll just go for walks to kill time. The truth is, I don’t really have time to kill. There are so many things that I need to take care of that going for a walk is just avoiding what I really need to do.
Sylvia Plath once wrote a poem about a fig tree. She saw all these potentials growing out in front of her but she couldn’t just choose one. If she chose one, that meant she wasn’t choosing the rest. Instead of picking one and enjoying it, she sat at the base of the tree and all the figs fell dead at her feet.
I have no idea how to say this to you but you need to make decisions. The things that are important to you are disappearing and it’s because of your simple fears like making phone calls that you’re not achieving what you want to. Everybody struggles with procrastination but I fear I am a master of it.
If I delay too long I will run out of time!