Free Will

When faced with choices in life, do you make one, or sit back and allow one be made for you?

I’ve made many choices. Both good and bad ones. Choices I’m very proud of having made, and choices I deeply regret. All of the choices that I have made and many of the choices that I have avoided making have led me to the life I have today. What I have done and what I have failed to do shape me as a person.

I’m not one who always likes to take initiative, but I’m married to a person who might like it even less that I do. He has always worked hard and been a valuable and honorable employee. He dreams of better things, moving on, moving up, but doesn’t really sit down to map out the way forward. And being a man, he resents it if I tell him he might need to stop and ask for directions.

Of course, I’ve done my share of dreaming without doing, too. But I never claimed to be any other way. My own dreams have always shifted around so radically that I haven’t been lucky enough to land on an idea that sticks for very long. I’m one of those flighty creative types with my hands and heart in so many passions that choosing just one would kill off so many other essential parts of who I am. For now, I’m happy being a wife, occasional artist and novice seamstress, a mother who gets to help other mothers, fathers and babies. I enjoy my family life, my friends and my few creative hobbies if and when I get the chance to indulge in them. I’d love to know what I want to do with my whole life. But I haven’t figured it out yet, and it’s possible I’ll be one of those people who never does.

Because I am the way I am, I’ve always admired in my husband his confidence in his knowledge of what he wanted to do and be in his life. I’ve always tried to encourage and support him in pursuit of his career goals. The problem is that all of his chasing has continually left us both with nothing more to show for it than aching muscles. He has made some choices and followed a few different leads along the way. Could he have done more? I try not to ask that question because it’s not going to get us anywhere. But thinking about it today, I find myself looking back on a number of choices that he has not made, and forward at another one that may be about to be made for him.

I feel very conflicted about where I stand today. I am extremely stressed out about the possibility of him being unemployed. However, if he is no longer shackled to his current position, he will have no other choice than to finally set off in the direction of his dreams, to live up to all of the potential that he has allowed to grow dormant in him over the years. And that gives me so much hope, though there is still a lot of fear. We can always assume that we’ll be able to fly if we’re pushed off a ledge; it’s an entirely different thing to be standing with our toes hanging  over, staring down into the abyss.

I am trying to be positive. To trust that our needs will always be met, no matter what kind of sacrifices we may have to make along the way. There will always be more choices to make or to avoid. But I’m one who would prefer to act rather than be forced to react. So in reaction to events that may be closing in, I intend to make a plan, chart a course, go forward, and see my whole family soar.

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