Posted by: nancykenny | January 21, 2011

A World of Possibilities

If I didn’t have to take care of the kids, I’d do it. If it wasn’t for my job, nothing would stop me. If I didn’t have a significant other, I’d go.

If… If… If…

What happens when every obstacle to risk, every barrier gets removed? What are you left with?

Choice. The opportunity to do anything, absolutely anything you could possibly want to do. Anything. People kill for that kind of freedom.

The papers are signed. A stranger is moving into my condo for an entire year. I have no home, no attachments, no real responsibilities. I have a pocketful of change and a shiny blue suitcase. And most of all, I have a staggering amount of choices.

Living the dream, right?

I won’t lie. I’m scared. Sometimes, the more choice I seem to have, the more paralyzed I feel. I think too much. I create lists and analyze them in my head. This city or that one? Who do I move in with? Strangers or friends? When can I go pick up Winston? It’s started to affect me, even though I pretend that it doesn’t. I have trouble sleeping and my digestion is a mess. I’m frustrated, distracted, tired. And worst of all, I’m dragging all this muck into rehearsal with me. I become a bad actor is some twisted game of self-sabotage. You know, because if I suck well then I can’t be disappointed if things don’t work out.

And all because I have a wonderful blessing that people all over the world strive for: choice.

Nancy, Nancy, Nancy. What am I going to do with you?

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Responses

  1. Ah Nancy, I feel for you. Choice is a blessing and a curse, no matter how you look at it. And why is that? Because we are terrified of making the wrong one. But what if there is no such thing? There are of course wrong-headed decisions, ill-informed choices, and the ones we make in order to procrastinate or avoid doing something we just plain don’t want to do, as well as the self-sabotaging ones.

    I was particularly struck by your remark that if you suck well then you can’t be disappointed if things don’t work out. I don’t know about you, but that’s something I did for many years without really knowing I was doing it, and it had nothing to do with choice. Once I knew I was doing it, I had the choice to not do it. Now THAT is a choice. But the choice isn’t to simply change, the choice is to work at it – forever!

    As for choosing where to go, where to live – speaking as someone who could be said to have made many ‘wrong’ choices in my life, try looking at it this way: with hindsight, it is easy to see that I only ever made the choices that I was capable of making at the time. There is no right or wrong, there’s only what I did. So fast forward to the present, any choice I make is going to take me to the next adventure. I may miss out on this job, or that trip, but my life will still be full of whatever it is full of in the moment.

    I tend to wobble precariously in my life between jumping in head first without thinking, and missing out because I can’t make up my mind. Finding the middle ground is tricky, and making list helps. But when it really comes down to it, so does tossing a coin. If you fancy several options equally, seriously, toss a coin. When ‘fate’ makes the decision for you, you’ll have an instant reaction, which will be one of 3 things
    1 – goodie, I really do want to do that
    2 – Oh no, I really didn’t don’t want to do that
    3 – hmmm, I still want to do both.

    If it’s (1) then go for it.
    If it’s (2) then do the other one
    If it’s (3) toss again, and go for it. It doesn’t matter which one, you’ll have a blast anyway.

    Never forget that you can always change your mind.

    Oh, and on the matter of being a vagabond, I’ve been homeless for nearly 4 years now, going from house-sit to friend’s couch to house-sit to family visits etc, with my life’s stuff in my car (what doesn’t fit is in storage). It has enabled me to travel overseas fairly regularly, while working freelance, developing my own work, and studying part time. Not a bad life for a pensioner.
    Good luck.
    Flloyd

    • What an incredibly insightful post! Thank you, Flloyd!


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