Stop waiting. Stop overthinking.
I tell myself these things every single day.
I often feel like I need to drag myself out of analysis prison with one of those baby leashes parents use to keep their wild two-year-old from running away at the mall.
When I left my job because I knew it was unhealthy for me to stay, I needed the baby leash. When I wanted to get a dog but everyone told me it was a terrible, horrible, dumb decision, I brought out the baby leash.
When I wanted to move in with my boyfriend but wasn’t sure what the future would bring, I strapped on that baby leash, and pulled myself out of fear and into action. I was moving out of the paralysis prison and into the situations I knew worked for me at the time.
The whole baby leash process is not easy. We all go through the push-and-pull of trying to make the “right” decision.
But we don’t have to struggle. We don’t really need the baby leash. What do we need instead? To soak up every second of feeling fired up about something in life. We need to embrace the ideas that give us goosebumps on our faces.
The face-goosebumps and following our hearts sounds like a blast, right? So why don’t we do it? Why is it so difficult to make decisions?
Because we have a tendency to weigh pros and cons. To balance out what could go wrong with what could go right, as if those two things are like sugar and salt in a cake recipe.
They’re not at all like sugar and salt.
There’s no equal ratio of good and bad outcomes in life. We don’t get to pour the bad things into a measuring cup and stop when they hit the appropriate red line.
The only thing we can do is decide. Anything else is madness. Anything else is torture.
We were taught to make lists. To draw a line down the middle of the paper like an equation, picking a side only when we were sure the great outweighed the not-so-great.
Here’s the problem with that advice: Weighing pros and cons will help us understand our situation, but it will not help us actually make the decision. Sometimes, understanding the situation proves that we need to make the illogical decision anyway. Because the illogical decision is the one that brings us to life. The illogical decision is the one plastered on the back of our eyelids.
So make the decision.
But only for the sake of taking the journey—not because of what might happen when the experience is over.
When you decide to do the thing because you’re excited, you’re interested, you’re curious, or you’re so over-the-moon-happy about it, then the rest will take care of itself. When you feel the desire, take action!
Life is so much easier this way. So much lighter. So much more peaceful, because there’s no wasting time sitting in a neutral zone. No time spent feeling torn and indecisive. (Let’s be honest, that middle-ground area is painful!)
Instead, follow the call of the heart when it speaks. Don’t hesitate.
Learn about the stars, or plant a garden, or dye your hair that crazy color. Ask the guy out. Quit the job. Get on the plane. Like like a 12-year-old again. Wear the bikini. Eat the freaking pizza! Take the class. Ask for the raise. Say yes…to life, to happiness, to not wasting a single second wishing things were any different than they are.
Here’s to the dreamers, the misfits, and the rebels! And here’s to those who are just learning to fly.
Let’s stop hesitating and start living.
Author: Djinji Jimenez
Image: Movie Still, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Editor: Travis May