I am the queen of making bad decisions. Why? I don’t know. I like to think that it’s because I can handle the pain after the decision is made and the regret settles in. Emotionally, I’m pretty strong, and I know I get that from my mom. Her life has been a series of ups and downs, but she keeps trucking on. She knows that she can’t sulk all day every day.
That’s the type of person I have looked up to, and that’s the type of person that I am.
So, naturally, whenever I make a bad decision, I quickly move past it because I know it’s better to move on than to dwell on the past, however much I regret it.
I also think I make bad decisions because I rush into things too much. When I was in middle school, I couldn’t wait to get to high school. In high school, I was too excited to go to college. Last year, I wanted to grow up, be an adult with a full time job, living life. But now? Now all I want is to go back to the beginning of high school and start over, make different decisions, different choices.
My life is the way it is now because of the decisions I’ve made. Everyone’s lives are dictated by the decisions they make. If I could go back in time and make the right choices, my life would be the complete opposite that it is now, and right now, that’s all I want.
Out of all the assumptions as to why I make bad decisions, I think the most relevant one would be that I usually choose emotion over logic.
Recently, I took a quiz online. I don’t remember how credible it was, but I do know that it wasn’t some children’s quiz or promotional quiz. It was maybe about 40 questions and it was set up to tell which side of the brain I use the most.
Just so we’re on the same page, the left side of the brain is in charge of reason and the right side is in charge of creativity. Personally, I had no idea which side of the brain I used the most. I like so many things ranging from math to singing, so it was hard to tell what I was best at.
Anyways, I thought, why not take this quiz to finally see what I am naturally better at? Maybe it’ll help me figure my life out. So I took it.
Of course, the one thing that I wasn’t expecting happened: my results were 50/50. It told me that I had a perfect balance between logic and creativity. This is seen as a good thing for most people because it means that I can understand both sides to a situation, my mind is full of ideas and facts, and I have a variety of talents. Not all of this is true, but even if it was, this is not an accurate portrayal of how I feel about this.
When I am faced with a decision, I make a mental list of pros and cons. You all know how big I am on ignoring the negatives in life and keeping a positive attitude. So, naturally, a pro that I always write down is that it makes me happy. It’s what I want to see when I look at my future.
After I make my list, I take a look at what I brainstormed and weigh them to see what would be the better choice. Somehow, some way, the fact that it makes me happy always trumps everything else. I completely ignore everything else I had written down and think to myself “I don’t want to live with the feeling of not being happy, not feeling complete.”
And then I came to a realization: I have a fear of not ending up happy.
With my career, my friends, my accomplishments, my relationships; I realized that I was just scared. I didn’t want to end up hating my life. But here’s the thing: sometimes what you think will make you happy will end up making you miserable, and what you think will make you miserable will end up being the best decision of your life.
Take my uncle for example. He came to America, truly starting from the bottom, and decided to study to be a radiologist. He hated the medical field, he was only doing it because it paid well. Fast forward to present day and he absolutely loves his job. Not only is he happy, but he is in charge of a number of hospitals and gets paid enough that, well, it’s safe to say that he and his family are rich.
He never expected the life he has now because he made a decision that he thought would make him unhappy. Turns out it made his life better than he could have imagined.
The point is, I never realized this. I always chose whatever I thought could make me the happiest, but I never though long-term. I never thought rationally, logically, it was always through my heart. And that’s my problem.
The picture that I chose features my high school choir singing our last song together before we graduated. Throughout all of high school, these choir nerds have become some of my best friends. Through choir, I was able to understand music better, which led me to where I am now, as musical director of an all-female a cappella group.
This is all ties back to when I first started choir: in 8th grade, when I was forced to join. My parents knew how much I loved to sing, so they signed me up. What I thought was a bad decision turned out to be the best thing that had ever happened to me.
On the other hand, I never think that what might make me happy now will hurt me in the future.
Sometimes (well, most of the time, as I have learned the hard way), the logical decision is a part of the plan. You may not like it at first, but it eventually grows on you, until one day it blossoms and reveals its true intentions, ones that will make you happy and complete. Ones that you won’t regret.
Pearl S. Buck, an American writer, once said, “You cannot make yourself feel something you do not feel, but you can make yourself do right in spite of your feelings.”
I like this quote a lot. Back when my parents were growing up, work was everything. You work and get paid to support your family; that was what they knew.
Nowadays, there’s a bigger sense of freedom, of individuality, of happiness. More graduates are choosing their majors based on what they love to do instead of what pays the most. Some people choose to dedicate their lives to travel or choose not to go to college at all. And that’s okay.
More and more people are starting to do what makes them happy, the world is showing more and more color with different personalities and talents.
All people are able to feel happiness. All people are able to recognize when something gives them joy. That is something they cannot control. What they can control, though, is the decision they make based on that feeling. The feeling itself might not be the right path to take. Happiness is not the only emotion that exists. Sadness, anger, disappointment – they were all created to be experienced.
This has been one of my longest posts because I do feel very strongly about this kind of stuff. Happiness is a big thing to me, and as much as I don’t like how I deal with it, I will probably spend my whole life searching for it until I find it. To this day, I still have no idea what makes me happy. Hopefully, I’ll come across something one day.
I hope all of you have at least one aspect of your life that makes you happy. If not, don’t give up, you still have so much of your life ahead of you, so many new adventures and undiscovered potential. But when you find it, make sure it’s not a bad decision in disguise. Use reason to determine that. Good luck 🙂