"The irony of commitment is that
it's deeply liberating - in work, in
play, in love. The act frees you
from the tyranny of your internal
critic, from the fear that likes to
dress itself up and parade around
as rational hesitation. To commit is
to remove your head as the barrier
to your life."
For you literary trivia people out there, I pulled that off my Starbucks cup this morning. It really could have been any morning though as I'm convinced it's the only cup my neighboring Starbucks stocks. But I don't mind. The message is eloquent, and the the topic is one I've considered often--minus the eloquence--in the last year.
See, I'm a commitment-phobe. I believe in keeping doors open. The idea that I'm standing on the origin, surrounded by infinite space, with a sharpened pencil and straight-edge, poised to draw my life's vector in any direction of my choosing used to give me warmth and tingles. As if to be young and promising was, in itself, success. The part they don't tell you, or that you don't believe, is that no matter which direction--if any--that you choose, time's trucking forward and you're riding shotgun. The only thing worse than choosing wrong is not choosing.
But while commitment means not second guessing decisions, it doesn't really help us to make them. So you add up all the things that matter and try to ignore the things that don't. You focus on where you want to be in ten, twenty years - not where you want to be right now. You try to accept that the safe decision is usually the wrong decision and understand that what is difficult today will be impossible tomorrow. Change is life's only constant and to move against it is to move against life itself.
This Fall, I will start a ten year journey into unfamiliar territory that will be harder and scarier than anything I've ever done. Wish me luck.