It is very hard for me to make decisions. If you are an over-thinker like I am, it may seem impossible to make any. The problem is that there is no definite ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. The world isn’t black and white and although that makes life a lot more exciting, it also makes it more difficult. As for making decisions and why I can’t make one; I am torn between the positives and negatives on each side. What makes making decisions even harder are influences that come from the outside. Think about your parents, friends or teachers; anyone who can make you feel like you have to live up to their expectations. Perhaps you even value other’s opinion more than your own. That aside, in the end making decisions comes down to us trying to protect ourselves from possible negative consequences. Not deciding ensures you that you are safe from harm. Letting someone else make the decision for you, enables you to blame them if something goes wrong.
Last September I started a study in Journalism even though I knew it wasn’t something I wanted to do. Rejected by ArtEZ (Academy of the Arts) and with no other plan for the future, I felt forced and made myself believe that this was the only and best option for me. I was influenced by my parents as well as by society in general. Who are you, if not a failure, if you end up doing nothing? If you have no education? No job? No plan for the future? I told everyone I would start Journalism. I was positive because if I didn’t try to believe in it myself, I knew it would never work out. But when I started the education, my initial deeply-buried-away-feeling floated right back to the surface. This study isn’t what I wanted. It would not make me happy, and so after a month full of struggles, I quit. I had no plan at that moment. I did not have a job. Nothing else was going on. I was a ‘failure’.
Now, 4 months later I have in fact a job, as well as an education lying ahead of me and with that, a plan for the future. I don’t refer to myself as a ‘failure’ because others have put that label on me. It is something I’ve created in my own mind. It has a source, of course, but it is my own responsibility. However, I can’t shake the thought of my self-proclaimed pressure. To show the world I’m socially acceptable I used to built up facades so as to say: look, I am normal. I do have a life! I play a lot of sports and I am among human beings. I have close friends, I watch movies, and now this year I could finally say: I have a job, yes, I have a job. It felt good to say because I suddenly felt normal. At the same time, it felt bad to say because this isn’t who I really am. This isn’t what I stand for. This isn’t what really I wanted. I don’t want to be a cashier in a supermarket and this is not because it isn’t an educated job.
My past psychologist said it would be good for me to take a job. My dad said taking a job is what normal teenagers do. My dad also says the money is a good thing. The general view of society is that it is a good thing to earn money if you have nothing else to do and I agree to some extend. It is a good thing, but not at all cost. Being a cashier is not good for me. I don’t like the contact with people because it frightens me. Yes, it does. I am afraid of disappointing them, of not being good enough, of giving them the impression I do not like them. All these people that pass my counter equalise the amount of opportunities in which I can fail them and by failing them I am failing myself; I wouldn’t be normal. Apart from that I simply don’t enjoy small talk and I don’t like to smile if I don’t feel like smiling. I don’t want to pretend to be someone I’m not. Next to that, the job isn’t challenging, it is rather mind killing and boring. You don’t learn new things, you don’t expand your knowledge, you are not making any sort of satisfying difference for anyone. And most troubling of all; I am not fuelling my own purpose in this life. I quit because I feel like I am wasting my time. It is not worth the money. Life isn’t about earning money and even if this job is only temporary and for the future, that doesn’t mean that this moment doesn’t matter enough to be wasted away. By taking this job, although I do not regret it, I’ve let my own ideals disappear in the back and although the money has been and will be useful, I no longer want it. I feel like I’m losing myself and that is not worth it.
I resigned last Wednesday. I’m afraid for the responses I might get from the outside. I’m afraid that they won’t understand. I’m afraid that my dad will not understand it. I am not happy with my decision, but I am proud for making it. Feeling as if the only way to get through a day by taking an overdose of pills is not the way things should be.
How did I make this decision? I realised that it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. It doesn’t matter if other people can do something that I can’t do as easily. It doesn’t make you worth any less and you aren’t weird. You are you and you have to live with yourself and live your life. No one else does.
Therefore, this is my advice to you: stay true to who YOU are.