Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What we truly are

When we come to a point in our lives where we have to make an important decision, whether it is seemingly large or small, it is usually not easy.  It’s amazing how much more difficult one decision can be, when we make tons decisions everyday all day without a problem.  We can decide on what we will be wearing (sometimes), what we will be eating, where we’re going, and who we will be with.  I would consider these no-brainer decisions.  They are mechanical and on the totem pole of importance, they are pretty low.  On the opposite end are the dreaded ‘big’ decisions that wander into our minds and play on our jungle gym of doubt and confusion.  They are the life-changers, the deal-breakers.  We believe them to carry a weight so heavy that it will determine our dreams and our future.  These choices are placed on the pedestal of destiny. Which college will I attend? What job do I want?  Is this friendship worth continuing? Should I pursue my passion, albeit risky?    
While I do believe these decisions to be incredibly important, I am beginning to believe less in the gravity of these decisions.  For example, during my senior year of high school, choosing a college was a huge deal.  It was supposed to demonstrate your intelligence, your competence, and your ultimate guide to the life you will lead.  I agonized for hours fantasizing about the life each college would offer me.  After going through the whole process, I was devastated and angry that (for various reasons) I was left with little choice.  In other situations, the choice is made for you as well.  Before you can weigh the pro’s and con’s of a relationship, whether professional, friendship, or romantic, its ended for you and life goes on.  When I look back at my college experience, I wouldn’t change a thing.  Even though it was a decision I didn’t want, trudging through it and making the best of it has given me so much.  It was a choice.  It was an important decision to quit whining and choosing a better attitude, ending up being the best thing I did for myself in college. 
What I believe are truly important choices are these ‘middle’ decisions.  They are the choices we make once something happens.  The middle decisions carry social weight but may not directly or drastically change our lives as we see it.  These choices are also made when we decide to gossip about an old friend, help a stranger, drink at a party, tell white lies, or start a fight.  They are the choices that slowly, quietly, and eventually define us.  It’s the decision to handle a bad situation well; it’s our decision to take responsibility for ourselves.  So whether or not you can make it into a particular college is not as important as what we do once we know where we are going. 
This is also important in terms with our relationship with our health.  Getting healthy and fit is not a big decision, rather its a bunch of wonderful, little choices that will change your life forever.  Eventually these little choices make us who we are because they become embedded in our way of thinking, doing, being.  You don't choose to be balanced, but through your choices you can become balanced.
Once again, as my favorite philosopher said, “It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities”—Dumbledore. 

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