I don’t really like decisions. What paths to take and which directions to go are one thing. But the outcomes of those paths and potential repercussions are so much more. Who is to know how one path can be better than the other if one has not travelled on both, waltzed along on both and seen the endings and forks they lead to? But no one knows that. No one can see all the potential universes of “may-bes”, “could-bes” and “what-ifs” . All we can do from our place in the universe is to turn around and look at where we have been and what was. We can look at what we have done with hindsight or amazement or both. We can look all the way into the beginning of the universe – back to the start of time as we know it (or at least the early universe anyway – so shortly after the beginning of time, ignoring all the other possibilities for now).
This is where we are from. This is where we are now. But the future? It seems to be untouchable, inconceivable. It also seems so far away even though it’s much closer than the incredibly distant ancient stars, now dead but so far that they are still shining to our telescopes.
But here I am. And here I will be soon. Gazing at the paths that stretch and fork endlessly into the barren distance. Still, I don’t know where I should go, what should I choose or where should I be. Or where I will be – regardless if it was right or wrong or somewhere in the “meh” middle.
Even at age seven (or maybe eight), I thought about how every action is linked to another and what would happened if I did just one action in the chain differently. It was long before I learned about alternate universities and such (I think? Maybe I subconsciously learned the concept then…who knows?), but still, a part of the young me wondered how many different directions could I go, just from the choice of one action earlier in the day. I then thought about all the other actions in my day. Then I concluded that the possibilities resulting from a choice of every decision would be incredible and stopped thinking about it before my little mind got a headache.
Weird nerdy kid? Yeah, I probably was. I thought that during lunchtime in the lunch room. Weird mind games is what you do if you have little connection to others in the world you live in.
The chain of decisions is incredible, inextricably linked, forever bonded, entangled and entwined – one to the other and the other and the other. Of course it’s not the Great Chain of Being per se, but I can totally see how people could come up with that. It’s impossible to isolate things and everything is some sort of response to or a result, directly or indirectly of a previous decision – good or bad, intentional or unintentional, major or minor, your own decision or someone else’s (or both).
To choose this or that. I hesitate, and think, overthink – about the endless webs of paths and the implications for today and tomorrow, simultaneously filling me with awe and horror. “I don’t know” I mumble.
“What do you mean you don’t know?”
“I don’t know.”
And I really don’t know – not really. I know sometimes you have to trust what you want, even though it feels that you’re about to fall into the dark oblivion. Sometimes, one has just act with the burning faith and hope it burns brightly enough that you won’t get lost or lose yourself completely. But it’s hard. It’s easier to pace at the fork of paths – milling and mulling, doing everything but going forward. I know fear shouldn’t be the deciding factor…but it is. Oh it is, indeed. The fear of making the wrong decision. The fear of going down creating a link to a chain that you should rather not have and down a road you shouldn’t have taken. And finally, the fear of the unknown.
In other words, I don’t know…or sometimes, I do know but I don’t trust myself enough to believe it, always questioning.
It’s just easier not to know, I suppose. It’s easier not to boldly choose a path and then wonder why you went down it many steps later or come running back to where you first came, if that is at all possible. Moreover, it’s safer not to know. It’s easier at least.
But doing nothing doesn’t get you anywhere. I would still inhabit the same space of nothingness as the world spins furiously around me. That I do know.
I don’t want that nothingness. I’m tired of stagnancy.
But I also don’t want to leap haphazardly into something that I don’t feel is right, that I keep questioning and I somehow feel that it isn’t really where I should go. That it isn’t the right door. That the right doors will come later. Maybe. Or maybe not. (For some reason, the doors are red in my head. I’m not sure why.)
Arrgh. Decisions, decisions….
Analysis paralysis indeed.