There will always be a choice – this or that – for the rest of life.
We are asked to choose all the time, not necessarily because anyone is trying to make us miserable, but because life is unpredictable and beautiful. Worlds collide when we don’t want them to, when we don’t need them to, and it takes us aback. We all fumble through life sometimes and encounter forks in the road; occasionally we can have two or three forks, and often we have to pick just one. How to pick? I can’t pretend to fully know, however, these are principles that have helped me in the past and continue to help me in the future.
1. Go where the peace is.
Which choice do you have peace about? Which one sinks into your soul, and you know it’s right? This is usually not the easiest choice. Don’t know yet? That’s okay. Don’t decide until you know.
2. Talk about it.
Whether it’s a counselor or a trusted friend, seeking help isn’t weak; it’s a sign of strength and humility. This does not mean you have to listen to said counselor or trusted friend, but getting out of your own head and seeking the mind and heart of either someone who knows you deeply or someone who doesn’t know you at all will give you a different perspective.
3. Laugh about it.
One thing I enjoy about getting older is the increased ability and tendency to laugh at myself. Even very serious decisions can become clearer if they are just made slightly lighter. It’s easy for life to become heavy and feel overwhelming, especially if your decision affects other people. However, you are fun and so is life, even when it feels like not one aspect of life is headed where you want it to go.
4. Pros and Cons List
As a type A, definitely left-brained person, lists make me feel good about myself. However, when you are listing out the pros and cons of each decision, make sure they’re weighted. Comparably, just as in school, the essay questions count more than the multiple-choice questions. Think about which pros and which cons are most important to you and tally them that way. This may not lead to your answer, but it may lead you closer to knowing what you want to do.
Living life with no regrets is a cliché fantasy, for me. I look back on a few of my past decisions, and know that I would have picked a different route if I were the person I am now. However, that acknowledgment has allowed me to move on from those regrets, and the molding that inevitably happens during hard times or crossroads makes it all worth it. You are who you are, and that makes it all worth it.