The Recurrence of Difficult Decisions

Most of the people that are in their early twenties – and that I know of – seem to have no clue about what to do with their lives. And I am not talking about the “I don’t know what kind of shirt to wear” kind of don’t having a clue. No, I am talking about a fundamental – almost existential – sense of doubt. A sense of doubt that – at times – seems to come awfully close to a desperate confession of the inherent meaninglessness of life; a confession of the lack an innate purpose in life. But why is that so? And could there be something wrong with this view?

We all know that feeling of “standing on a crossroads in life”. In some sense you could say that every new situation we’re faced with in life is such a crossroads. Shall I go to the grocery store, or not? Shall I sleep a little longer, or not? Shall I go left, or shall I go right? These are choices we’ve got to make on a daily basis. And having to make choices is an inescapable part of life. It’s just as true as that other truism of life: the fact that we are all going to die. But why then are “the students” so hesitant in cutting the cord and making a choice? Well, frankly, “we” believe that – compared to all the decisions we’ve made before – this time a truly big decision has to be made that is truly going to influence our lives for now and forever.

Some decisions are likely to have a bigger impact upon your life than others. Deciding who to marry is likely to influence the course of your life more than the decision to buy that cheap peanut-butter in the grocery store. And it is this realization of “influencing the course of our lives” that seems to paralyze many of us in the student community, and leave us with a sense of despair. And that’s understandable, right? There’s reason to be afraid. Choosing – for example – what to specialize in within your field of study is, from all the decisions you have made up to that point in your life, likely to have the biggest impact upon the type of job you’ll get, and therefore upon the way you’ll spend a big time of – the remainder of – your life (both financially and time-wise).

But, when you dig a little deeper into the caverns of your mind, and really start to question the nature of life, aren’t you then forced to jump to the conclusion that there is always that next big thing to worry about? That there will always be that next issue you need to get out of your system before you can “finally” move on with your life? But, and here’s the catch, what if that is life? What if life is nothing more than a string of decisions? Then we are about to live a rather anxious live, aren’t we? If we are constantly being worried about the choices we have made, and those we are about to make, we’ll pretty much have no time to do anything else at all. We would have to quit our jobs, and feel down all day. And that isn’t a very compelling foresight, is it? So maybe we (the students) just have to stop being such pussies. Maybe we just have to accept that we cannot predict the future, and that we have nothing to guide us in our life journeys besides our very own compass: faith or intuition or how you call it. Because having faith is the only manner by which we can prevent the train of decisions from killing us, and thereby enable us to “finally” go on with the rest of our lives.

But what do you think?

Written by Rob Graumans

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