Rock, Paper, Scissors

Rock Paper Scissors diagram

Rock Paper Scissors diagram (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am in a place where major life decisions are sort of throwing themselves at me. As a non-confrontational, indecisive type person who is also a dreamer, this has become increasingly disturbing to me over the past few weeks.

Of course, these things are never black and white. The list of possible consequences (good and bad) of each decision stretches out so far that it exhausts me. And when faced with these possibly life-altering decisions, there’s never a Choice A or Choice B. It’s more like Choice A, and/or Choice B, plus Choice C, which is doing nothing, or Choices A and B PLUS these extra things over here, or maybe even Choices A and B, modified a little until they’re something altogether unrecognizable. Do you understand where I’m going with this? This stuff is HARD.

How does anyone make major life decisions when the consequences ultimately are unknowable? I mean, do we ever really know what we’ll be doing in five years? In case you answered yes, the answer is no, no you don’t. Liar. Faced with this very scary thought, how do you convince yourself to keep moving forward, instead of staying right where you are?

I’m a pros-and-cons list type of gal, so that’s generally my M.O. But inevitably, I quickly realize that my list is useless because some of the cons are heavier, or “worth more” than the pros, or vice-versa. Many times, I’ve already made up my mind (though sometimes I don’t see that until it’s all over). I have to ask you, dear reader: is this normal?

Something I’ve been thinking about lately is that, like the rock-paper-scissors game, there’s really no good strategic move that I can make because the outcome of the game is not in my control. In fact, the only thing I can do to ensure an outcome is to not play at all (in which case, I lose). Life decisions are a special kind of terrifying because it’s me, against, well, the entire universe. What am I going to throw out?

I’m sorry this post was so full of questions, but so am I at the moment. I’ve got a couple more for you: have you made a life-altering decision lately? How did you decide which direction to go?


5 thoughts on “Rock, Paper, Scissors

  1. Abbey says:

    A lot of times I think I make the life altering decisions without even thinking about them. Well yes, of course I’m going to college. And I need a scholarship, and journalism will give me one? OK, I’ll study that. Oh you want me to move in with you, bf? Ok sounds fun. And then later someone asks me what my process was for deciding something or why I did something and I’m left with no answer.

    But like you said, sometimes we don’t control the game anyway.

  2. Nichole Rucker says:

    This is going to sound way easier than it actually is, but my recommendation for you is to Trust God. Now, that being said, we have completely different personalities (one of the many reasons why I love you), so this is coming from a person who has no problem making a decision, doing it quickly, and never looking back. But I will say, anytime I have a big decision to make my steps are to pray about it, ask God to lead me, and then move forward with what I believe to be right. Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will direct your path.” I’m of the opionion that God’s light for me is green until He makes it red. There have been many times when I wasn’t able to move forward with something and I believe that the Lord had planned it that way. Things like that just make me trust Him more. So, move forward with your life girlfriend!!! And enjoy all of the choices you’ve made. Good or bad. I promise, this will bring you such relief. 🙂 love u!

    • Hi Nichole, I’m Marie! (Not sure of the proper etiquette, but thought I’d introduce myself since I’m replying to you!)

      I agree with the God’s light is green until he makes it red–I have had doors slammed in my face and doors open out of nowhere. I don’t like to admit that I’m not fully in control of my life but there have definitely been times that God (or Fate, or whatever) has all-but-literally shoved me in the right direction. C–I realize that’s not really that helpful as advice, but as I concluded in my separate comment, have faith that things will work out right and you will end up where you need to be. Because they will, you will.

      And I have fought this very, very hard. Not with the career stuff, but with a romantic relationship…I wanted it to work, gosh darn it, and I knew that it wasn’t “right” but I fought and fought because I wanted it so bad, I thought I could make it right. It, of course, eventually exploded. But, despite my tendencies to wax a little emo from time to time, I can now admit I’m better off and I know that when it’s time God will provide for me in this area the same way he did with my job.

  3. (this is very disjointed, haha! good luck interpreting.)

    “Many times, I’ve already made up my mind (though sometimes I don’t see that until it’s all over).”
    This is exactly how I operate, although any of my attempts to articulate it have failed miserably. The hard part is when I want to go with Choice B but somewhere deep inside I’ve set my mind to Choice A and am so hung up on it I have to try it out. But, yeah, I don’t realize all this. I’ve tried to blame it on my TS, lol, but I think that’s a stretch…”uncontrollable urges,” etc…

    And, I think this is what you’re saying, I’m very good at seeing a lot of perspectives and possibilities. I can think about things from every angle (usually, not always). That makes it so much harder for me to have a conscious first “instinct” to put value in.

    I have been fortunate with my life-altering decisions, career-wise. Both the jobs I’ve landed since college fell into my lap; as soon as I interviewed, I had them. And the smoothness of the process made me know it was “right.” I like to think I’m firmly in control of my life, but, I don’t know, these were “God things.” I can’t tell you to pray about things, because I don’t, but that’s what my mom would say about big decisions, lol. And to some degree I do credit my mom praying for me, because I don’t know how else to explain how well things worked out.

    When I was settling into my first job and trying to figure out my higher education, that took me a while to figure out. And honestly I just tried every option. I started one path and decided it wasn’t what I needed, chilled for a while just working (that’s the chunk I regret), tried another path and it didn’t work out, and then all I had left was the one I’m doing now. I spent a lot of money on useless tuition, and maybe will get into my end goal (public school) a year or two later than if I’d found the right path right away, but I don’t feel like I missed out on anything. And I feel like I was at my old job the right amount of time (well, the last couple months were rough, but school year-wise). So as scary as trial and error is, things usually work out in the end…

    And as far as you against the universe? You’ve got your family on your side, and your friends. Even if something scary happens you’ve got a great support system in place. Go with your instinct, take a leap! It’s so–words can’t even describe how “this is where I’m supposed to be,” completely at home, I feel at my new job. It’s one of the best feelings in the world. Seriously. And I had to take some leaps to get there (although it’s easier to leap out of a burning building–stretched metaphor for my old job, haha).


    I’m not used to writing this kind of thing, can you tell?

    Love ya!


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