Decision

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In the limbo… hang on a minute, I use this phrase without even knowing the roots of it, just the colloquial meaning… quick, Internet to the rescue… goodness, some Catholics really have too much time on their hands, and the Witnesses’ doctrine is quite merciful in a Gordian sort of way…

As I was saying, in the limbo that stretches from intent to action, choices are fighting it off with societal and environmental weapons to become winners. In other words, decisions. Choices are quite general, really, to begin with: to act or not to act. The more they are thought about, weighed and tumbled over in our minds, whittled in both numbers and generality, they start to become potentialities. And then we figure out the ones we can live with, rarely more than three, and we enter the realm of practical ethics. You can argue that intent has its place there too, it’s just that intent is a thought and no more, while decisions are a lot closer to action than most of us care to examine.

In a magical sort of way, decisions can only be defined at the precise moment of action, until then they remain choices. I am sure we can all think of a choice we had every intention of putting into practice that has been changed at the last possible moment, changing therefore the entire world with it. And when you think of it this way, it’s no wonder some are never making any decisions, remaining paralyzed at the choice level or alternating between possible choices until the very future is confused.

A soft spot of mine has always been for the choices that will become decisions. You know what I am talking about, for the theory above has a hole the size of Antarctica in it… or does it?

Let’s say my intent was to go to university – thanks, mum! The choices are many, but the decision has been made way, way before I even started to notice boys. The choices remain what they are, choices, but a streak of “happenings” make sure that most will never see daylight. A vocation. A teacher. A failure. Meant to be?

Between the time the decision was made, until the time the action was taken, five years. A long time in limbo for such an earthly thing as university, don’t you think? A bit far from the “magical” action that’s supposed to define a decision, isn’t it? And yet, who’s to tell that a decision doesn’t act like a rope between the boat of choice and the land of action? I could have changed my mind at any time… couldn’t I? Well, no, vocations don’t change easily, although they do allow several choices within. That teacher removed several of those remaining choices by his actions. And then I failed, so the first choice I had made was no longer available, leaving me with second best by default. Decision.

Resentful, disappointed, defensive, I was all three. My pride… ah, my pride was smarting! And then, discovery. I was meant for the second best. I would not have liked either the first or the third choice. I was now even closer to my vocation than I could ever have hoped. I had five years more to realize this. Decision.

And when I look back, I remember sitting by myself, waiting for the food to arrive and thinking, wishing, yearning for a particular boy…

Hunting

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I believe in going after the things I want or need. I also believe in opportunity – I did mention I am very, very lucky, right? But I believe that those opportunities meet me because I am already moving in the direction I believe best… and then billiard happens (or opportunity), and I change directions. Sometimes it also happens that I am letting things change around me and I go in the direction that is shown to me, experimenting and trusting.

But most of the time I envisage myself as a huntress. I live with one, but I don’t mean hunting animals for meat (don’t even get me started on hunting for sport!). I mean hunting for the experiences that people provide just by being alive.

I spent my childhood and some of my youth reading as much fiction as I could. Classics or Nobel prize winners, chicklit and teenlit, crime and romance, SF and fantasy and everything in between in order to get some understanding about people. At the same time I tried to learn about myself as much as I could and then test my theories on myself.

But the best of all experiences has always been getting to know other real people. Getting close enough so that I may see that person in all the glory that it’s theirs… there are no words to describe this! And that means hunting.

Meeting people is not very difficult. But I have to confess to a great disability: I do not understand chatter, small talk and gossip. You could say that limits the numbers… but as I explained in another blog (Community), numbers should be limited, as we only have a limited amount of time in which to do things.

There is one other thing that tends to make life interesting: I am attuned to power. The control one has over his/her emotions, the stubborness with which some resist the things they don’t like, the freedom with which one expresses his/her desires, the leadership that is ingrained in some… all forms of power are extremely attractive to me. It doesn’t mean I always like it. I may be completely fascinated by a tyrant at the same time I reject categorically what that person does.

It looks as if I still had a lot of subjects to observe… except I don’t like having subjects. I am a huntress, and as such, even if patience is not my strong suit, what I like is to abide with the person, and while I get my fill of discoveries, I find out what that person requires and I endeavour to give something back for the joy I take. That person doesn’t have to do anything out of ordinary. I do not require people to change in order to please me. But it is a taking, even if I try to give something back.

Knowing that a person can bring me so much pleasure makes it easier to wait sometimes years for the discoveries. Some people require that time to open up or to let me in close enough to matter. Sometimes it doesn’t happen or I may leave it a few years and try again. From each person I learn and in that learning find peace.

There is something else though, because I am human and complicated. I take a lot. I don’t mind taking and going after what I require. I try to give back and most of the time manage to do so.

And I would like, in quiet moments, for someone to offer, so that I might receive.