Owning Your Choices

Last week, I wrote an article about fear; whether it was motivating you or holding you back. Sometimes, it is the fear of other’s opinions and perceptions, perceived or otherwise. By this I mean, making a choice because someone has either told you that you should take this road, or you believe that is what they want; you toss your own ideas aside and follow someone else’s perception of what is best for you. While seeking advice from others is always highly recommended, learning more about your choices, especially when you can’t discern which fear is true, is helpful in coming to a decision. However, you need to file those bits of advice away and use them to find your own truth, your passion, your answer: not theirs.

A choice that might be right for someone else, may not be the right choice for you. Only you can know what it is you are hoping to gain, in the end, after the madness. There is a chance that the decision you make will let someone down. That it may not seem like “the best” choice. But, there comes a time when you need to understand that the choice you make, while it may make no sense to anyone else, is the best choice for you, in this moment.

Chances are, if you are struggling to make a decision, trying to learn which fear is holding you back and which is motivating you, you have carefully considered the decision: weighed all the options, considered the pros and cons. You have even possibly argued with yourself trying to debate the proper conclusion. So, when you come to a conclusion, and one that feels right, you have to own it. State it with confidence, and hold onto it, knowing you are making the best choice for you at this time; you may let some people down, and they may not understand the choice. But, the only person who needs to is you.

I have been lucky, any decision I make I have support behind it. If I believe it is best for me, then so do those around me. Though that doesn’t mean I don’t feel pressure to heed their advice. This pressure, though, is entirely self-inflicted. I have made the choice about holding off on pursuing an MFA several times before I decided I needed to own it. I understood I needed to face the fear of failure first, that I needed to take some time and find my voice before I pursued more schooling in it. However, each time I came to that conclusion, when I felt solid in my decision, the foundation wavered with a single thought of doubt. Doubt that came with anyone asking the question, “what are you doing” I could never answer, “writing, not doing an MFA, working on my book.” Instead, I would answer, “I don’t know, I’m giving myself a bit more time to decide.”

After wavering so many times I have finally found strength in my choice. I argued with myself, I tried to understand and interpret my fear, I talked to those around me, but in the end, the choice was one which felt comfortable within myself, it was the feeling of right. The feeling that I had made the best choice for me in this moment. I will never completely close the door on the pursuit of more education, I’m the type who loves school, but, I am closing the door on it for this year.

Deanna Roney is an AU graduate who loves adventure in life and literature