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Darlin’ You’ve Gotta Me Know

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

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Just FYI, since it’s the first of the month, the September Issue’s just been released. Feel free to check it out here

So – life is hard. It’s dumb. And yes, the title is a reference to an old song (I’ve been listening to a lot of those recently), but that’s not really the point. Today, I spent almost two hours talking to this friend of mine, and it’s not him, exactly, but I’ve been finding this really common theme among people my age. I’ve dealt with it a heck of a lot, most people I know have – and so I started thinking: how do you deal with this particular conundrum?

So what is this issue, you ask? Basically, how do you make decisions? When everyone has an opinion, how do you figure out what you want among all the other voices and ideas? When two options present themselves that seem equally as alright, how do you choose which one you should go with? After all, you’ve listened to countless adults talk about how much they regret some of their decisions and how they wished they could go back and change it. Not wanting that to be your fate as well, you put so much pressure on yourself to do everything right so you aren’t left with disappointment. What if you screw up? What if you make the wrong choice? What if you end up hurting yourself and everyone around you in your quest for making your own life?

With all that pressure, how are you ever supposed to pick something? You go back and forth, swayed by everyone else’s voices, and never settle on any one thing. You feel bad for being so wishy-washy, feel bad for everyone you’re impacting, and the cycle continues.

Come on guys, admit it. We’ve all been there. And I’m not saying I’ve got all the answers (although I’m pretty darn smart), but this is how I’ve handled it. Seems to be working alright so far, so maybe it’ll help some of you guys out there sort through your own stuff.

Stop putting so much pressure on yourself. Like, legit. You’re not going to get anywhere if you’re worried about everything. And here’s the thing – don’t think about life in terms of making good or bad choices. No matter what you do, you’re going to be fine. Unless you die, of course, but that’s the extreme. You’re worried about screwing everything up – and the fact is, you won’t. Alright, so sometimes you’ll make choices that lead to worse experiences than others. Sometimes the outcome will be awesome. Either way, you’ve got no bloody idea. And in the end, it doesn’t really matter, because what is life if not a collection of experiences? This is your life, your time in this universe, so how would you like it to look? What would you like to experience? What would you like to feel and see and live with? Instead of being so caught up in right and wrong, regrets or successes, pursue your best. Always.

As a golden rule, things only become regrets if you let them.

Number two – nothing’s set in stone. Your life is a big blank notebook, alright? And every single time you pick up your pen to write a new sentence, you don’t have to continue on the same. The story can be changed, altered, fixed, and you’re never trapped in anything. Make a choice and think it’s not working out for you? Try something else! Really, there’s no freaking harm in making a decision, because you’re never going to be trapped in it. Yes, it’ll come with consequences, but never those that’ll ruin you, your life, or your happiness.

I mean, drugs are a pretty bad idea, but even that’s something you can come back from.

So why put all this pressure on yourself if a decision is never the end of the line? Don’t want to go to college yet but worried you’ll regret it? Why? If you want to go later in life, you’ll do it. Aren’t sure about getting involved in a relationship with someone? Do it if you want to, because you can always back out later.

However, take time to clear your head. Get away from everything. When you stay in the same place with the same people who are tearing you in different directions, you’re never going to be able to figure out what you want to do. You gotta get your head out of it. Remove yourself from the situation. Take time to ‘detox’ from everything going on, and only then will you be able to figure out what you really want. Even if that means getting away from town or work or certain people – you have to do what you have to do for yourself. Like I was telling my friend earlier, sticking it out in things just because you feel like you have to for the sake of everyone around you is doing not only you a disservice, but them as well. Putting yourself first in these sorts of things is the best way to take care of everyone in the situation, if you feel like you’re being too selfish.

In that case, start off with the things you do know. Start small. Close your eyes and envision your perfect life – how you’d love things to look like right now. For example, this friend of mine knows he doesn’t want to be in his hometown right now, because he wants to experience more of the world and step outside of the small town he was born into. Awesome. While he might not have all the answers, that’s a really great start.

In my case – I have no idea what I want to pursue in life right now. Should I do writing? Go crazy with learning music? Get involved in theater again? Spend all my time socializing and using my early twenties for having fun, going on trips, being crazy, and gaining experiences? Go back to school? I dunno. But I do know that I want my own apartment and have a cute house set up. I know I want to be in Nakusp.

The point is, start small. Instead of tackling the big things that you really can’t figure out yet, start with what you do know and work yourself up from there. Not only will it be a lot less pressure and stress, but there’s no way you’re going to be able to tackle the big things until you can manage with the smaller ones.

And last but not least, loves, is that life is crazy. It’s unpredictable. Things never go the way you want them to, plans are made to be broken, and no amount of life decisions will ever prepare you for what the world throws at you. So roll with it. Pick the experiences you would like to have and go with them. Learn and explore and adventure. Life is too crazy to be stiff about things. So stop worrying so much about what you should do, and start being more concerned about what you want to do. After all, you’re never stuck in anything, and life is meant to be lived, not stifled away by being logical all the time.

Live your life passionately and full of magic. We’re not meant for anything less than that.

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