Life Decisions and Other Nonsense

Being young, it's customary that you, at some point, decide which direction you want your life to head in. Figuring out your plan, your path and your destination are said to be life-defining moments in early adulthood. While that can be true for many people, it's always been hard for me, personally, to hear that and actually believe it. My brain is incapable of processing the notion that I am to make concrete decisions for a future version of myself who may not want the same things. (To be fair, I may sound a bit hypocritical here--this is coming from a girl who has four tattoos and counting. But, what can I say? They're cute. And addicting.)

The most overwhelming thing about choosing a direction is knowing that there is an infinite amount of options. It makes it nearly impossible to find a clear answer when there are so many different lives you want to live. Do I want to be a film-maker in California? Or maybe a full-time photographer in Arizona or Washington? Should I go back to school, major in marine biology and move to Alaska to study whales? Can I be a film-making-photographing-whale-studying-park-ranger hybrid? What sort of degree do I need for that? Although I'm ever-changing, my passions have remained the same. Film-making and photography fuel my soul. Marine biology and traveling grow my curiosity of the world. I know what I love, the only issue is: what do I do with it? Any time I attempt to answer this question, my brain usually overheats and I just turn on The Office and pretend like I know exactly what I'm doing with my life.

Likewise, it's difficult to decide exactly where you want to head when you question whether or not it's the best choice; and in all honesty, there's absolutely no way to determine that. There's a film I watched a few years ago titled Mr. Nobody, whose premise is entirely about the fear of decision making and the very idea that one decision over another could lead to a better outcome. At the end (don't worry, no spoilers here), the main character states:

"...Every path is the right path. Everything could have been anything else, and it would have just as much meaning."

At first, this quote was hard for me to agree with. I wondered how it could be true--certainly there has to be one path that leads to a more favorable outcome than the rest. But that's just not the case.

If you're beyond confused by now, or you think I sound like a crazy person, let me give you a real-life perspective, because I obnoxiously and unapologetically love talking about life in metaphors:
Two summers ago, I went to Zion National Park with some friends. We entered through the south entrance. We drove up a winding mountain road with the windows down, surrounded by stunning, panoramic views and parked at the Canyon Overlook trailhead. This past summer, I returned to Zion with my parents. This time, though, we entered through the east entrance. This drive was mostly flat. We curved in and out through the sides of the canyon; the rock was bright orange and reflected the afternoon sun. The warm breeze out the windows was soft and mountain goats were scattered throughout, perched on the cliffs, watching as we drove by. We, too, parked at the Canyon Overlook Trailhead.
Both drives were equally as beautiful. And both lead to an equally beautiful place.

I like to think that any path you take is the right one and will lead you to the right place, so long as you make it that way. We all have our own way of doing so. Some of us have an itinerary for our entire lives, some of us just have a to-do list. Neither way is more commendable than the other. The way I see it, there are two kinds of people: those who are confused and those who are pretending not to be. And I am both kinds. But it's good to know that no matter which direction we take, we are completely in charge of making sure that wherever we're going will be great.

So, until then, who's down for an Office marathon?

Gabby HallComment