Recently I was told that the bane of our generation’s existence is our inability to make a decision. The TED talk that provided me with this brilliant insight referenced the obscene amount of choice that we have today and our brain’s inability to process the options. Somehow this talk made me feel normal because it gave an explanation for my unoriginal and chronic feeling of being “overwhelmed.”
After having many conversations with friends and watching this 20-minute talk online, I donâ��t feel so all alone in this overstimulated society. There were suddenly real facts backing up what my brain already knew like when youâ��re given more than three options, our brain flat out shuts down and refuses to make any choice whatsoever. So, itâ��s no wonder why we vacillate between this and that, swaying like palm trees with a different thought about the same decision often producing mild cases of insanity.
Now that I am aware of this daily purgatory, I have found myself in a lukewarm pool of self-imposed mediocrity. In short, I have gotten comfortable, stopped challenging myself, stopped taking risks and doing things that scare me. In that state, a duller version of me exists where a resplendent one used to be a commanding presence.
I am a fierce competitor and a hopeless optimist, though. Every now and again, Iâ��m reminded that Iâ��m not above my own advice or in need of a spoonful of my own motivation-infused concoction. I sat down over the weekend with my own thoughts and analyzed my own life, took an inventory of whatâ��s working and whatâ��s not. I asked myself some hard questions. Are you happy? What do you want? What are you willing to change? What are you willing to sacrifice for that change?
I realized that I do need a change. I mulled over moving to India, taking a writing sabbatical in New Zealand, and volunteering in Africa. I acknowledged that my dad having cancer is a bigger deal and more scary to me than I want to admit. I realized that questions had plagued me for the past six months and rather than stay in a state of total and complete paralysis, I was going to close my eyes and make a choice. And just like that it was simple; I’m moving home.
Now I don’t know for how long or what exactly that means, but I know that after having lived in California for 10 years that an adventure certainly awaits me. Not the traditional one of riding camels or doing yoga at an ashram in Tibet, but actually, a far more radical one. I have the opportunity to reacquaint myself with my loved ones, witness my dad’s daily morning routine, reintroduce myself to a city that I have only known as an adolescent and rekindle friendships with my best friends. It may not be the most groundbreaking decision I’ve ever made, but as I pack up my apartment and hand the keys over to my new tenant, it feels huge. As I pack up my car and drive 24 hours east, it feels enormous.
I’ve also decided that I’m leaving this version of me behind. An awesome adventure awaits, and the possibilities are endless. So my challenge to you is big or small, do something that scares you, that makes all the sense in the world or none at all. You’ll never be ready and the world won’t suddenly become less complex; you just have to take a leap of faith and make a choice.Images courtesy of Forbes.com, Tnchurch.wordpress.com