Letter about choices

5th of April 2020

Dear whoever is reading

I believe in choice. I truly believe a lot more than we think is within our control. That how we respond to things and how we think and talk about things are powerful. I believe we have so mane more options than we often realise. And when we feel backed into a corner it’s not because we are, but because we don’t know the options we have.
Which is a weird thing for me to believe in. I know better than most people that life throws things at us that are so far beyond anything we can control. I know how much can happen that throws us of course and how often that means there is not getting back on the track we were on; now it’s all about finding a new track, or building it. I’ve seen and felt this happen so many times.
And yet… I keep being surprised by the things I discover I can do. I have so many choices and what limits what I can do is often my perspective.

Sometimes life feels like a labyrinth. We walk abound unsure of where we are and what turns to choose. Because we don’t have perspective. We don’t know that we have choices. We so often think the only way we can go is forward. Going back or taking a few steps to the side doesn’t feel like something we can do, because put brains aren’t trained to see those things as possibilities.

I love people who see the possibilities that I never learned to see. I love people whose response to a problem is to think how can this work, instead of throwing in the towel. I love people who doesn’t limit themselves.

And a part of what is happening in my life right now is that I am realising just how few of those people I know. I feed of that energy that is ready to problems solve and that catches an idea or a dream and says “Yes! Let’s make this work”. People who will ask the questions that allows me to see that half the walls in the labyrinth aren’t really there, they are just in my mind.
What I meet a lot of instead is me throwing idea and dream out there and someone asking all the questions that boxes me in. The questions that point out the obstacles and instead of finding ways to deal with the obstacles.

I am one of those annoying people who when told about a problem will try to find a way around it. I will problem solve and give advice or ask questions to make you realise the solution might be right there anyway. And a lot of people don’t like that. A lot of people want to complain about problems they have no intention to solve, because what are they then supposed to complain about. And if I know my job is to listen and support I will do that. But if I am not given that kind of instructions I will problem solve. I want more problem solving people in my life. I want more people challenging my view of the world and the way I limit myself.

And all this is not to say that there aren’t real limits. There are real things that prevent most of us from doing things. Health and financial situation and a lot of other things. And those things are so hard, and I am not good at accepting them when I meet them in my own life. They hurt so much. And they are real and I don’t want to invalidate anyone’s struggle with those things.
But maybe it’s because I have problems like that in my own life and in the life of the people I love, that I believe so strongly in the choices that are fully within my capability. I get angry at all the choices that could be made to make life better, for ourselves or for our loved ones or for the world in general, and that aren’t made (and sometimes then complained about).
Because I do get it with the real limits. I get it with the stuff that is totally out of our control. And because I know those things and how it hurts to have any power, agency or choice striped away, I value the places where I do have control so much more. My life is in my hands. Even when I am struck by misfortune and bad health. I have the power to do something for others, even when I am in a bad place myself. And I have the choice to do those things are sit back watch it fall apart. It might fall apart anyway. But then I know it wasn’t my inaction that allowed it.

I am not sure I am making sense. I just know the words haven’t flowed this easily and I have not been this excited about writing in… years maybe.

This is what have been making the last few days really bad for me. I believe I have so many choices and options and that all I have to do is choose and prioritise the choices.
And yet…

Here I am. Stuck at home, alone, with all the time in the world. And I feel limited and sad and uninspired. I feel like there is nothing I want to do, nothing I dream of, nothing that stimulates me, nothing that sparks that fire of energy and inspiration and joy. Nothing. And I am so mad at myself. Because I used to want to write. And here I am with nothing but time and my computer, and suddenly I realise I am not sure I want to write. I have all this time and I do not feel like reading. I have the internet at my disposal, with YouTube videos about anything I might want to learn, and I cannot think of anything I want to learn. So I feel super disappointed in myself. Why do I have no ideas and no joy and no inspiration? Why don’t I care about anything? A part from that is the depression, a part of it might be that the people I have the most contact with are people who doesn’t understand my drive and my need for that energy and fire. How am I supposed to grow if I mostly talk to people who think growing is only something plants do? Who scoff at the idea that I want something more in life?

In those thoughts I am experiencing something else that is new and not good. I find myself judging these people. People I care about. People who live lives they have chosen and lives that might be very different from mine, but that are still very valid, honourable and respectable lives. I don’t walk around judging people. That is not who I am. And suddenly I find myself full of judgement and resentment because their lives look small and stagnant to me. And even if they are small or stagnant who am I to say that is worse or less than my desire for something more or something else. I have never measured myself against other people or the lives they live. And I don’t recognise this side of me that is angry at other people. They are not holding me back. They are just in a different place than me, they are living different lives than me, and they are making the choices that are right for them. And I want to go back to the me that think that is beautiful and wonderful and worthwhile.

A part of me does feel like I am being asked to make myself smaller all the time. Or not talk about the things I want out of life. One friend always responds to my dreams of growth and my drive, with his lack of dreams and his happiness with standing still and building bubbles that holds the world away. And I know he doesn’t mean to, but a part of me feels like he is telling me my dreams make him uncomfortable and that he doesn’t want this talk of growth because even the idea of it isn’t welcome. And suddenly a big part of me doesn’t feel welcome in the conversation. I wish he and other would just smile and say “yes!” and be happy and encouraging on my behalf. I feel like I have to make myself so small to fit into the lives of the people I care about and suddenly I don’t feel at home in my own skin and feel like I am having all the wrong people in my life.

I want to choose to be a better person than that. I do what i can to combat those thoughts when I have them, and not allowing them space inside me. And I am going to look for more choices I can make to not allow this negative view of other people become my new normal.

I need more of the people who will meet my drive and my dreams with encouragement. I am not sure where to find them. But that is what I want and need.
I also need to feel needed and wanted and like I make a difference. I don’t care if I only make a difference to a few people around me or if I change the world. I know I want to make a difference. And there is nothing like a pandemic to tell you that you are not needed. My work is shut down, so thought I often tell myself I do something worth doing, it’s not essential work that is needed for anything to function. That might be a little sad, but a good reality check. What really hurts is how no one needs me. Not a single person around me is feeling a loss at us not being able to see each other. I am not needed. And that is the kind of thought I don’t need to give space to. They feed my depression and that leads me down dark paths.

This feel like a good place to stop. Not because I am empty and no more words could be squeezed from my mind. But because I think I wrote the things that was on my mind and I am not sure where the words take me if I keep going.

I wish I had the energy to read this through and edit and all the other stuff I should do. But that is going to be the victory today. Wanting to do that. I know I won’t post if I have to do that. I’ll get stuck in not getting it done and this will just be a file on my computer that I don’t look at ever again. And that would make me sad. Because this is more the kind of thoughts I want to be writing about here. I do hope I made sense and I am so sorry if I didn’t.

I hope you are well and that the state of the world isn’t too hard to be in right now. Thank you for your attention and your time.