I should mention that I didn’t purposefully avoid posting last week because I was afraid to post. I was dog sitting and lost internet connection. So I should be back on schedule this week.
I had some reflections last week about decision making.
How do you figure out what you want?
The trickiest part about all of this is that I think there are many layers that are involved that make up what we think we want.
Deep down there is what we want. There is something that we know that we want that makes us happy and feel settled and resolute. It’s inside, but sometimes it is buried very deeply.
On top of what we want we could have many layers of other people’s. There is what society says we should want, our friends and family, and however we choose to lie to ourselves.
Let’s work with an example, just so I can be more clear about all of this. The first thought that comes to mind is having children. Personally, I am still figuring out how I feel about having children someday, but right now I am leaning towards not having them, or at least not having them for a really long time.
I think that children should be something that I really want, I shouldn’t be going into it lightly or unsure. And I don’t really want it, I don’t feel compelled. So it is probably better to wait, kids are a life changer.
Plus, I can’t say I have a man in my life that I want to procreate with.
So society says that everyone should have children. I know I often have articles or books that I have read that support statements like this. But this time I don’t, I’m just saying how I feel.
I feel pressure from everyone around me to have kids. Mostly it’s just that societal pressure of “everyone else is doing it, follow the herd.”
When I feel that kind of pressure, I almost always stop and go the other way while I look into what is really going on. Not because I am contrary or I think it’s cool to do what everyone else is doing. Because doing what everyone else is doing isn’t a good enough reasons for me. I need to look at the other options and sort it out for myself.
When it comes to friends, they just want what is best. They want you to be happy and they want to spare you pain. It is easy for people on the outside to see the path of least resistance has no pain, therefore that’s the one they want you to pick. But that path isn’t always right for everyone, sometimes you have to go your own way and make your own path despite the difficulties that you encounter along the way.
It is hard for us to watch friends struggle. Especially if the friends think that they see the easy answer. I know that it is so much easier to be on the outside and tell a friend what to do It’s easy because my emotions and feelings are wrapped up in the decision, I can see things with only logic.
Unfortunately our lives aren’t only logic, there is a lot of emotion that gets tangled up in our lives. And some decisions we have to follow our heart and not our head. Our friends can’t do that for us.
With some decisions it also feels like there is outside pressure from our friends and family to make the same decision that they made. Or at least that is how it feels to me.
Friends have a baby? Join the baby club and have one also!Everyone’s doing it! Mom wants grandkids! All of her siblings have grandkids of their own and my mom is feeling left out.
And then there is my mom. Trying to go to my mom for advice sounds like it should be easy to do. That’s what most people do, right? Talk to their mom for advice, right? My mom means well, and comes from a loving place, but we see things completely differently.
My mom is great when I get dumped. She is incredibly comforting and loving and supportive. But anything other than that, her advice falls flat.
My mom not only comes from a different era where marriage was not really questioned, it was expected. Much like when you took a job and stayed with that job until you retired.
My mom is so eager to get me settled down, married and with a set of kids. It’s all she can see. She asks all the time about whether or not I’m dating anyone. She has a hard time when I am single because she thinks that I am less stable.
Like when anyone gives advice, people can only give the advice through their own filter. My mom’s filer for relationships and marriage is completely different from mine.
Actually, part of the problem is that my view on relationships is completely different from anyone else I know.
So how do we figure out what we want when our friends and family have viewpoints that are so different from us? Their opinions inevitably seep into our heads. How do we know what we think is really what we think and not influenced by outside sources?
Do the outside sources really influence our thinking and evolve into our own thinking? Or does it cloud our own inner guide?
And worse yet if you’re like me a rebel against the flow of normalcy, how do you know you’re not going against other people just for the sake of it?