Clarity does not always come quickly or in a flash and you do not always have a quick and sudden lightbulb moment. Sometimes it occurs over time; hindsight; emotional turmoil and finally listening to your inner voice.
Two specific times in my life stand out when I made incredibly difficult decisions but knew, instinctively or purely, it was the right ones. Not being driven because it should be morally or ethically right. But driven because it was right for me. Clarity refused to be ignored. The first time was when I was making the decision of which university to study at. I wanted to go to a place relatively far from home. A few family members wanted me to stay closer to home and there was a lot of pressure to do so. Arguments took place and guilt trips were made. Conversations were constant with people giving me their opinions on how far and unsafe it was and it was a very confusing time. But somehow I just knew.
The second time was when I started living by myself. By now, I had lived away from home for years but living on your own is an entirely different experience. For one, I was so conscious about my safety I slept in the lounge for 2 weeks because it had a better view of all entry points (don’t worry, I slept with a hockey stick next to me). Two, you’re entirely by yourself. Which for me was a great experience. This decision, at the time, was even more difficult and it brought up the “why” question even more. This led to even more opinions being shared; even more voices trying to block out mine and more arguments. It took months to work up the courage to make the decision. An even more confusing time. All I knew was that I had to make sure that if I moved it could only be for me and be because of me. Nobody else.
Something I’ve learnt this year is that difficult decisions do not become easier to make as you grow older. It becomes harder as you and life become entangled together and there is a feeling of responsibility as the realisation hits that your decisions affect those around you. As we grow we become more sentimental and emotional. BUT this does not mean you should ignore what you know you need to do. The difference in this case comes in the way you make those decisions. Do you wait and hope someone else will do it for you; do something that will create a storm out of your control and have even worse consequences or do you tackle it head on acknowledging how hard it will be but knowing how right it is? For a long time I had forgotten the manner in which I make these types of decisions and I had tried to cater for too many parties, in fear of creating pain or hurt. Over time I have watched those I care about (as well as myself) suffer because of my inability to be decisive and I had forgotten that something even worse than making the wrong decision is not making a decision at all.
To the future of decision-making.
Clarity with its quiet, nagging voice has hit again.