Decisions, Decisions…

How do you make the big decisions in your life? When you are trying to decide where to live, what job to do, which relationships to pursue, what basis do you use for making those decisions?

If I’m honest, I have never found decision making easy. I have an ability to see all the possibilities and consequences of a course of action, which often leaves me somewhat paralysed, not easily able to weigh the different options. But in times past I would have tried to base all my decisions on what seems ‘right’, on what ‘God’ wanted/was saying/was not saying, and on what I believed to be important from previous decisions.

Being in London, being involved with my church there and among the community of friends I had around me, was one of the important markers. I made a lot of decisions, about jobs, about where to live, based on that. I also made a lot of decisions based on my ‘theology’ (for want of a better word), my ideas of what Christian life was meant to look like. All of my career choices since graduating have been about enabling me to continue to live in London, to be involved with my church community there, and work in a ‘Christian’ context, for organisations that I felt were doing important work.

So what’s changed? Well, a lot, honestly. The chaos of the last couple of years of my life has left me questioning pretty much everything, including all the signposts by which I used to make decisions. I am tired of London, frustrated by and somewhat alienated from most of my church, and unsure what, if anything I believe about ‘God’. I am in the process of trying to start afresh; am currently looking for both work and a place to live, and could go and be anywhere… but there are an awful lot of where’s and even more what’s.

I feel somewhat overwhelmed by the possibilities. I don’t know what basis I have for making decisions other than what I want, and I’ve never been that great at working that out. What do I want? I want to live I the country. I want to have space for myself but be involved in community. I want to be near, and involved in the lives of, friends. I want a job where I actually want to go into work in the morning. I want space to see if this writing thing can actually go somewhere. I’d really like a dog…

So that’s something, right? Except, to my structured brain a lot of those things seem almost contradictory. Most of my good friends are in London. In reality, most work probably is too. My experiences of community thus far have been with churches, or with folks from l’Abri, most of whom are now scattered across the globe. If I managed to find a job in a more rural location, I’d most likely be trying to set myself up somewhere where I knew no one, which is not exactly helping with either the friends thing or the community one…

So, what do you do? At the moment, hampered by a lack of cash, crashing with my parents, in all likelihood it will be a matter of the utmost practicality, going for whatever compromise ticks the most boxes. Maybe getting another London job and trying to live near current friends. But that doesn’t satisfy; none of the options I can see in front of me at the moment satisfies. So there is always the possibility that I do something all the more unconventional…

Or just sit here in indecision a while longer…

4 thoughts on “Decisions, Decisions…

  1. Kat giving you a practical reply –>

    My advice would be to get yourself a job, any job, as soon as possible. It doesn’t have to be something you want to spend the rest of your life doing or even located in a place that you want to live for a long time. It just has to be enough to give you some spending money and keep your job history current. The longer you are out of work the less marketable your skills are and the more likely you are to have to move ‘downwards in responsibility’ in the next job you do.

    Having some money will open options to you about what you want to do with your life and in my opinion, improve your overall happiness regardless of what you are doing work-wise. You’ll be able to easily see that at the end of the day you’ve been ‘productive’ – something that’s much more difficult to quantify when you are at home with no defined ‘work day’.

    You will always find new friends, new things that fulfill you and new communities to be a part of. You said you’ve changed as a person with your new experiences. Don’t fall into the trap of automatically trying to get your new self and your new life to fit into your old one (you talk of living in London, with your previous London friends and communities). It may not be possible. Just how much do you think you’ve changed?

    Kat’s Question:
    Planning a whole new life is a huge undertaking. Break it down into small pieces. What can you do now that moves you forward in creating that new life?

    Kat’s Answer:
    1. Get yourself (any) job.
    2. Use job to make yourself some money.
    3. Use money to make yourself indepedent again.
    4. Use money and independence to open options:
    4a – i.e. What career do you really want.
    4b – What jobs will allow you to progress towards / through that career.
    4c – What communities will you join in your new independent, option rich life?
    5. Make your own (new) destiny…

    Good Luck!

    Love Kat x.
    (Who as you can tell from the above spends a significant portion of her life doing project management tasks 😉 )

  2. I’ve been mulling over this, knowing your inability to make even the simplest of decisions sometimes!

    There’s the practicalities – job, location, money.
    There’s the things you need to continue to work out what’s next for you – friends, space, freedom to think.

    Speaking from my own experience, being on your own whilst you try & work out the ‘perfect’ (or most workable) solution may be the most damaging option. I think having had so much stimulation at l’Abri, you need to continue that somehow. Friends are good, but they do need to be the right friends, in the right place.

    The agnosticism/faith thing has also been making me think about how I’d make decisions without my signposts & it’s rather mind-boggling, but that’s a conversation for another place.

    And the comment I was going to make, before I started thinking: the wanting a dog jumped out at me. Get a dog, I never feel alone when mine’s around (shame she’s across the sea) & she knows all my deepest, darkest secrets!

    L x

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