Making a Commitment: Facing the truth about why I STILL struggle to make decisions...
It's difficult for me to even start in on this topic. I mean, I have literally backspaced this paragraph 3 times before sticking with these two sentences. Plus, I promised myself to put up a blog entry every Thursday and its been almost 3 weeks since my last post! Committing to being honest about myself in the post that follows will be difficult for me to share. Not due to it being "personal," but more so because when I'm faced with this reality I can feel "crazy" and even "less than." However, I want to try to figure out why I act this way and why I do certain things the way I always have.
So, ... where to start? Just commit to my story and begin, right? Well, not quite. Explaining to everyone why making commitments and even mundane decisions with confidence is REALLY hard for me is not what I prefer to write about. However, if I do share this not-so-great- aspect of myself, then I might be able to dig deeper into my own layers to figure out WHY I have such a hard time with this. So, here it goes.
I have always struggled to make commitments... Hold on, let me start over. I have always struggled to FOLLOW THROUGH with the commitments I make. I'm the type of person who gets excited about an opportunity or I'll see something that I want, then I manage to either talk myself out of doing something or buying something, or I devote some time to the opportunity only to lose interest and stop halfway through. I'm talkin' TV series, books, when I go shopping (which is not very often) and especially when I'm trying to choose what to eat... And it's fucking obnoxious.
Seriously, even as a child, I got the chance to take ballet classes at the local YMCA... Did that for 3 weeks, then stopped. Same with gymnastics (4 weeks), swim and dive team at my neighborhood pool (2 summers), tap dancing classes (1 week) and horseback riding lessons (2 summers.) It definitely sounds like I was a fickle child and I was. I was given lots of opportunities to try what I wanted and I feel incredibly blessed for all of them. At the same time, however I was also given the option of saying "No, I don't wanna do that anymore." Which is totally okay too, but that meant I could walk away from the anything at anytime without real consequence; hands clean of my future responsibility of practicing to get better at anything.
To be completely honest, it wasn't just fun summer activities where I ran from my commitments. Growing up, I learned to play the piano and the violin. 6 years and 4 years respectively. I truly enjoyed then and I WANTED to keep playing too, but I hated practicing (committing to sitting for hours on end, playing the same thing to actually get better... poor thing right?) Upon reaching my freshman year high school class registration day, I found out that the orchestra teacher (who was awesome btw) was TOTALLY LEAVING! I was incredibly bummed about it. So bummed that I just kinda gave up playing everything. (Other things simply became more important as they often do when you're a teenager.) Same thing goes with me and learning French. I took it in high school and college. I even did well enough to TEST OUT of my 200 level French class at my university... but do I speak it fluently now? No. Do I try and practice to simply maintain what I know? ...no.
I feel as though the number of instances where I have battled with myself to "just commit" is astronomical. Sometimes it makes me feel terrible too. I feel entitled or spoiled for the fact that I can just stop doing something if I want and go on about my life as usual. There are times where I even feel some level of guilt and disappointment because I actively robbed my own self of my potential gifts. Or I feel left behind by my peers because I haven't committed to moving forward with a real "career" yet... And it sucks. NO one wants to feel that way. Especially, as a young woman in this crazy world where I am told what, when, why, where and how to do things half the time; then being told that I am doing all of those things WRONG the other half. IT'S FUCKING EXHAUSTING! It should be easy to see why I get frustrated over this problem. That frustration inevitably turns into serious discouragement; next the non-committal loop of hell ensues. (Seriously, you can ask my family about it too. They have watched me fight with myself over this issue since forever.)
**A thought I just had: there are so many times when I am faced with the choice to do something or keep another thing going, I think a better option is waiting for me. In so many ways I am an idealist, an optimist and most definitely have been bitten by the wanderlust bug, so those three traits of mine make sticking with a decision or a career or even a fucking restaurant VERY hard. Literally like pulling teeth sometimes...
Thankfully, though I CAN say that I have committed to seeing some things through in my life. Some really great things. A few may be surprising to learn; others totally in line with who I am based on my personality and such. What things do I speak of? Well, these:
My commitment to my high school Air Force JROTC unit. I was in AFJROTC all four years of high school. I'm talkin' every semester. Most people laugh when I tell them this because looking at me now, I come off as the LAST person who would be interested in ROTC. Yet, it's totally true. By senior year, I was second in command over my whole high school unit. (Not to mention my teacher was the GREATEST who saw real leadership in me.) It taught me discipline, confidence and gave me the chance to tap into my real "voice." On top of being an officer over a unit of over 100 students; leading by example and building others up, I was the Drill Team commander too. That's what I mean by finding my "voice." I am usually quiet and observing, so tapping into and actually using my real voice to command attention and guide others was HUGE for me. If I hadn't made the choice to stick with ROTC that long, I don't think I would be nearly as confident when speaking my mind today.
My decision to move away from home and live on my own. Another HUGE moment for me. I had spent the first two years out of high school getting the real "college experience" at the University of Alabama, but wasn't able to stay because I didn't commit to my ROTC scholarship! Funny huh? Anyway, I moved home and re-enrolled at Georgia State University only to end up HATING IT! Atlanta was simply not the place for me anymore and I needed to get out. In 2010, after 3 semesters of my just kinda putzing around with school, the opportunity to move to Asheville, North Carolina presented itself. So, I did... I mean I didn't move up blindly or anything, but it was a quick decision. My dear friend (who was also facing a similar life choice) and I went up to visit. Within hours we already had plans in the works... and we succeeded too. We both spent 5 wonderful years in Asheville. That city and the friends I made during that time in my life has influenced me SO MUCH. My whole world changed! How? Because I gave myself the chance to grow into a real woman; in a strange new place, surrounded by weird ass people and engulfed by the transformational energy of the Appalachians. I certainly wouldn't be anything like who I have become without those 5 years. You really wanna know the whole story? Let get coffee sometime and I'll give you the low-down.
The decision to go back to school was another choice that I stuck with to the end! After NOT doing so hot at 2 other universities, I was certainly feeling doubtful over whether school was in the cards for me. (If you ask my parents, they would say they always knew I would get my degree, but were honestly a little terrified for a while there.) Thankfully, when I discovered Asheville, I also found UNC Asheville. It really was one of the contributing factors for why I moved. Which ultimately helped my mom and dad cope with the fact that their only child was moving away for real this time. UNC Asheville was pretty much the key that unlocked a new, untapped realm of my true self. My degree program taught me SO much, introduced me to so many different people whose ideas and perspectives were mind blowing to me. My 3 years there changed how I view the world and all people; especially myself and how I fit into all of it. The commitment to finishing school and earning my degree with honors makes me very proud and it's shaped me into Me!
Lastly, the commitment that I still practice and will always practice. The choice I actively make every day is to come to my mat and practice yoga. I know it sounds cheesy, but its the truth. I've made this commitment my longest commitment. Almost 8 years running now and I'm still making the choice to show up for myself. For my yoga. This began in my teens and truly blossomed while living in Asheville. (Seriously y'all, check out that city.) I committed to loving myself and my body; no matter what it looked like in the postures. I made the promise to myself that yoga is what I wanted to give back to the world and to the divine Self. Diving deeper into my practice I began to realize that I am connected emotionally, spiritually, energetically and universally to all things. HOLY SHIT! What a truth to be shown. All from the practice of breathing, meditating and moving our bodies. It makes me so happy I cry sometimes. This continual practice of getting on my mat shapes almost all of my decisions these days. Teaching yoga is something I love. I feel connected to the role of sharing my experience with others. Becoming a teacher has shown me to a new layer of my Self. I think it would be hard for it not to since it requires constantly looking inward to who I am. Why I am here? And what exactly I bring to the table? ... Jeez, I could ramble on about yoga for days, but in all honesty it changed my life. It's changing my life every time I practice and I can't wait to see where it shapes me next.
So, there is a silver lining to this (hopefully not so self-deprecating) story and it's this: For the true commitments I HAVE followed through with in my life, I feel utterly blessed, sincerely proud and honestly good about what they made of me. These are the decisions I made on my own. These were big choices; big decisions for me when the opportunities arose and many of them weren't easy... at all. These commitments are the ones where I followed my intuition; my heart. They are the choices that have lead to to where I am now. Even though I still have "work" to do in terms of figuring out why I falter in making decisions so much or can't commit sometimes; I can truly say I'm cool with that. Why? Here is why... Maybe I haven't committed to everything I wanted to do in the past. Maybe I'm moving slower that my parents or the capitalist world wants me to, so please be patient with me if you see me struggling. But those few commitments I have seen through have guided me to making the right decision for ME. I AM moving in the right direction simply because I know how to listen to my Self and that's why I'm cool the "work" I still have ahead of me.
Thanks for reading y'all. Only love and light.