“Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little. The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.” ~Agnes de Mille
In case any of you are wondering whether I’ve made the momentous decision, the one I regularly dither about here at the Byline and in morning pages, the one I keep waffling back and forth about, knowing full well the desire of my heart, but troubled nonetheless by the demands of my schedule…just in case you’re wondering…yeah, I guess I’ve pretty much decided. How’s that for a definitive answer?
How do you make decisions? I’m horrible at it, really. Please tell me you have some fail safe process I can follow, or a formula that will give me the best possible answer to everything from which library book to read next to where to build my retirement home. I try to be logical about decisions, looking at the pro’s and con’s of all the variables, tallying up the strengths and weaknesses I’ve listed in neat little columns. But in the end, I often just follow my gut instinct, or my heart, or the path of least resistance!
It comes down to the fact that I don’t trust myself. Most of the time, I know what I really want, but I’m always second guessing myself in favor of the “greater good” or some other amorphous “what if.” Perhaps I simply think too much, worrying my thoughts as if they were beads on an Indian necklace, rubbing them nervously between the fingers of my mind.
I began the summer fretting over making a decision, but somewhere along the way I stopped fretting about it and let the question lay dormant in my heart for a while. It burrowed down in my mind, where it’s been quietly simmering on its
own as I’ve gone about my quiet, peaceful days. Along about 4:00 in the afternoon, that period when I start to get restless and dissatisfied with what I’ve tried to accomplish for the day, I feel it stirring, poking me gently, reminding me “I’m still here…you haven’t forgotten about me, have you?”
Truthfully, I think this particular decision was decided for me long ago. The moment I walked into my living room 45 years ago and saw a brand new piano waiting for me. From that moment, playing music became such an important part of my life that relinquishing any opportunity to do that is unthinkable. Might as well ask me to voluntarily stop breathing.
So, come September, I’ll be going back to my job at the high school, at least for the time being.
If I come to some other decision, I’ll let you know.