” All halls lead somewhere. Where there is a way in, there is a way out. Fear cuts deeper than swords”– George R.R. Martin
Decisions and Consequences
Life is made up of a sequence of decisions and consequences. Every minute of everyday is a decision. If you actually sit down and think about that, it’s enough to make your head spin. The game of decisions is not one to take lightly. We tend not to think of every action we do is a choice. Hitting snooze on your alarm…choice. Picking up coffee on your way to work…choice. All of those choices have consequences, such as being late for work or not having money to pay your bigger bills. We would rather think that external factors is what dictates our lives. That way we don’t feel so much to blame when things go wrong. We like to blame our childhood, the people around us, or even our bosses for not paying us enough money. However, all of these things can be altered and changed by conscious decisions.
For a long time I blamed my childhood for the way my life turned out. It wasn’t my choice to see my birth-mom get abused by multiple men. It wasn’t my choice to watch drug addiction unfold in front of me. I rationalized that every mistake I made, my childhood was to blame. I could have made the choice to tell my dad and step-mom what was going on, but I made the choice not to.
Some would say I was just a kid and wouldn’t know any better. I would say that’s fair, but what if I had told my dad that my birth-mom was high when she picked me up for the weekend. Would I have shielded myself from the things I saw later down the line? When I was 17, I finally made the decision to stop seeing my mom. I decided I didn’t want that lifestyle to be a part of who I was. So I changed my path with one major decision.
Consequences Are Not Always Your Fault
Even though I made that life altering decision, it didn’t mean I was in the clear. There were still years of personal decisions to be made. Drinking started off as something kids just did in college. Getting attention from guys was new to me, and I didn’t know how to handle it. Then one series of decisions I made, changed all the innocent drinking and sleeping around, into a lifestyle.
I made the decision to go out with a guy who I had met on a dating app. We talked for a day or two, he seemed fine, so we went out. Then I made the next decision of agreeing to sit in his car with him in a dark parking lot. But, I did not make the decision to have sex with him, he made that decision for me. The decisions I made in the following year were all in response to this one guy stealing one decision from me. Drinking until the world got dark. Sleeping with guys I didn’t remember. My life became one big numb mess. Soon, I started losing respect of my friends and I started losing respect for myself. I didn’t choose to be raped that night, but I damn sure wasn’t going to let him decide the rest of my life.
It took awhile to jump off the roller coaster I had strapped myself into. I started to make little decisions here and there to lead me in the right direction. I stopped drinking myself to darkness, and started actually going on dates with men I knew and could trust. Life became more about setting myself up for life after college and loving myself. I started focusing on my future.
Still Making Conscious Decisions
As an adult I have made good and bad decisions. I left multiple jobs for various reasons. I broke guys hearts who didn’t deserve it. What I can say is that I’ve learned from every single decision and mistake I have made. I think about how different my life would be without some of those decisions. Then I realize how I wouldn’t appreciate how far I have come. I wouldn’t have learned what I had. I definitely wouldn’t be writing this in hopes of helping other people.
Even though everything we do is our own decision, it doesn’t mean we should sit and dwell on it. Putting energy into things we can’t change takes away energy we should be using to change what’s happening now, and in the future. Reflect on the consequences, think of how to change them and get to work. Start making decisions to get you to that better outcome. Whether it’s working out everyday, or purchasing that GRE book to go back to school. You create your life, so start making choices that lead you to better consequences. Don’t let the past block you from you future.