there is no right answer. (+little lists)
radical love letters #70.5
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This Friday space will likely shapeshift a bit, but I do know that most weeks the musings will be shorter, more informal, and likely a bit more personal. Today I find myself wanting to write about something that both haunts and liberates me, which is that, for nearly all the quandries we confront in life there is no right answer. This week alone I talked to a friend about whether or not to take a last-minute teaching job in a new city; a writing client about organizing their manuscript in one style or another; another friend about whether or not to try to get back with an ex; and another friend about what to do during a very present crisis. As someone who has been, to various degrees, in all of their shoes, I heard myself repeating the same thing over and over: “One of the hardest things I’ve learned is that there is no right answer.” I could flip this on its head and it would still be true: there is also no wrong answer.
To me, both versions are as freeing as they are agonizing. What any decision we’re faced with reminds us of first is that most of us do have agency. I’m not here to launch into an agency verses structure lesson—the TLDR is that our agency will be be constricted, repressed, or surveilled to higher or lower degrees, depending on our relationship to privilege or oppression—but I really believe that the power to make decisions and act is a thing we all possess. It’s terrifying at times to sit with how much we can actually control the direction and shape of our lives. In many instances the weightier the decision the more likely I will feel a freeze response, not entirely dissimilar to a trauma response; I become plagued by whether or not choosing one way or the other will significantly alter my life for better or worse. Sometimes the weight of it feels nearly life or death.
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