As I get older, I’m learning the importance of trusting my gut instincts. That’s not easy for an indecisive gal like me. I tend to second guess myself and use my family and friends as sounding boards, talking in circles until eventually I end up following my original gut feeling (and driving my sounding boards crazy in the process). I can make split decisions when it comes to my children, but I swing back and forth like a pendulum when it comes to decisions about my own life.
When I left for college, I already had my life mapped out. I declared my major earlier than most of my classmates, and I knew exactly how I wanted to use my degree. I planned to head straight to grad school, after which I would promptly commence my career. I had no intention of getting married before age 30, and kids wouldn’t be so much as a blip on my radar until at least age 32.
But I’ve learned that the more you plan, the more plans change. Sometimes you have to listen to your gut.
My indecisive tendencies sprouted my senior year of college when I began questioning my career path. I ultimately decided to take a year off from academia after graduating. I accepted a job in my new field of interest in the hopes that it would help me decide whether I wanted to continue what I had spent 4 years studying or whether I wanted to pursue this new interest. It was during that year of intended self-discovery that I met my husband. And my life plan, what was left of it, crumbled to pieces.
I got married before hitting my mid-20’s, my 1 year off from school snowballed into 4, and by the time I had that Master’s degree in hand, I also had a 10-month-old baby and a husband in Iraq. Two months after graduating, my husband called (from Iraq) to inform me we were PCS’ing. To Japan. In 3 months. I never imagined my 21-year-old indecisiveness would lead me on a path so far off the one I had mapped out for myself.
My gut tried to tell that young college student to change her major instead of waiting until it was too late. My gut tried to tell that college graduate not to take a year off from school because it would be too hard to go back later. I often wonder what my life would be like now if I had followed my gut instincts. Of course if I had, I wouldn’t have met my husband. And thankfully, I did listen to my gut when he asked me to marry him.
Now that I’m 30-something plus one, I’m becoming more aware that my indecisiveness is partly a means of procrastination that is accomplishing nothing but wasting precious time and postponing the life that results from making a decision. After 6 years and 2 children, I feel my years of full-time domestic engineering are winding to a close, and my indecisiveness is once again plaguing me. So the pendulum swings. Should I domestic engineer another year? Or should I jump back into the workforce?
Two weeks ago I made a decision. Time will tell if the woman who interviewed me will support it.