Prompt: Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)
I originally thought I would write this post not about any decision I made THIS year but several that I made in a row that led me to many of the outcomes I’ve seen come to pass recently. What stopped me was my desire to write in the true spirit if #reverb10 and reflect on *this* year.
What makes this difficult for me is I often weigh the wisdom of my decisions based on the outcomes, the aftermath so to speak, of those decisions. It’s easy for me to look back on decisions I made in 2008/2009 and how they led me to the very happy life I am now living. I know those were wise decisions because I can see what came of them, very clearly in some instances.
But the decisions I made this year? Wow. I have no idea what the impact is going to be from any of them, and that scares me to death. How can I measure the wisdom of those decisions without being able to look back down the road at whatever brach of the path I chose at that earlier moment????
So this is where I stop, and take a couple of deep, calming breaths, and listen to my heart. I know what I’m doing is right, I know in my heart of hearts it’s what I want. I am giving up part of a dream I had, one that came out of ease rather than from a grounded desire.
It was way back during my undergraduate days when I picked the academic over the creative career path. Textual analysis, close readings, tying theory to novels, poems, films – all that comes relatively easy to me. I’m a natural critic, I guess. But my focus on the academic instead of the creative side of writing comes from a rejection. I didn’t get into the creative writing major for my undergrad, so I went this way instead.
And to some degree I’ve been running from that rejection ever since.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed the choices I’ve made and I love my research. It’s been fun and engaging, but it’s not really what I want to do and it never really has been. So stepping back from that push forward I know now that what I really want is to write creatively, to focus on writing that gives me true pleasure for myself and not because I get external validation for it.
I feel like I at least need to give myself a chance, the opportunity to write something different, and maybe mend the wound that rejection caused me almost 15 years ago.
I wish I could look forward down the path and see how it all turns out, what twists and turns are to come. But instead I am going to have to trust my heart to lead me to that wisdom.