I believe in choice. I am the agent of my own agency. The choice is mine and mine alone. I can choose to be a rockstar or perhaps a poet. There is no one to blame for a poor decision, I need only look in a mirror. As each decision pasts another comes along, so I’m left looking forward.
I’ve learned that decisions pave the way for results. I’ve grown up with a strong willed father and kind hearted mother teaching me the skills necessary for life outside the home. As a young boy, I learned that parents make more decisions for you than you think. My mother, each year for school she would energetically arrange my wardrobe for the new school year. I would embarrassingly shuffle alongside her, eyeing the concourses of people throughout the store hoping to not spot a familiar face, as she would rummage through the outdated clothing line; occasionally holding up an oversized cotton shirt to my chubby figure as if she was a enthused clothing designer trying to make it to the big times. After a visit to the underwear department she would be convinced that I was going to be the hit at school. My father, on the other hand, pushed me harder. “Son!” he says, “Now I’m not going to tell you what you should do but I’m encouraging you to-” He is always so profound with his words that I felt like I should always carry a pen and notepad around just to record his words of wisdom. He was not making my decisions for me but he was offering parental advice that I knew would have repercussions of disappointment if not heeded. But disappointment came in many forms, whether in the palm to rear combo or the increased tension of raised voices. Under my parent’s roof it seemed that my choices were heavily influenced by the fear of disappointment and ‘life lessons.’ Yet this mentality was not at all a detriment to my personal growth; it allowed me to discover what guidelines I should have in decision making for the rest of my life.
Now my parent’s roof of security and close supervision has been removed and I’m left to be my own parent of disappointment. Yet in this time of life altering decisions, I find myself mixed up with the confusion and fear of the power of choice. With everything made up of choices and every decision after another moving me forward. I find the desire to look back weakening, and the urge to move forward exhilarating.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.