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.

What are you indecisive about?

11 Comments on Growing Up Indecisive: Part I

  1. I was working on Master's when I met my husband and I never finished. I have a feeling I'm going to look back at that decision and wonder why I did it. I don't regret it yet b/c I plan on finishing it but I can see me writing this very post in a few years. Good luck with your decision!Exciting!

  2. I am indecisive about everything big and small. Its what I do. I also have about 50 things I "wanna be when I grow up" so therein lies one of my biggest issues. Good luck on your 'decision'!

  3. I wish you all the luck in the world, and I am a firm believer of everything happens for a reason..still trying to figure out why now this month I am finally graduating college after meeting my husband in college over 17 years ago..yep, me the late bloomer. I wouldn't change any of it for the world…my hubs, my son, or how long it took me. I think I am much smarter now than I would have been all those years ago fresh out of college with a piece of paper and no real life lessons…now I have them all. Sounds like you do too!

  4. That's such a great post. I think we all have our doubts about if we've done the right thing. My "plan" is the flip side of yours. I always thought I'd be married by my mid 20s and would probably have a kid by now. Wrong! But I do have a master's degree (and props to you for doing that with a baby…you must be superwoman) and have had some incredible travel and career experiences that I wouldn't have taken if I were in a serious relationship. Looking back on it, I know I COULD have been married by now, but none of those old boyfriends were right for me, so I suppose I'm glad my "plan" fell through. All this is to say, I don't know if our experiences are the result of indecisiveness so much as other, better things popping up in the path. Hmmm…

  5. What a really great post Heather, written with such honesty. I hope that you get the job you want.

    I have no problem with the big decisions in life, I think because they come from the heart and I just listen to what it is telling me. It's the little things I procrastinate over, forever. In a restaurant, I can never decide what to order for example and when I finally do I am immediately convinced I made a mistake. When my mind takes over is when I cannot make a decision it seems!

  6. I am extremely indecisive about my life. I never know what decisions to make and so I often speak with my friends for advice or guidance, simply because I don't know half of the time or can't decide either. It's annoying, but I do know when I follow my gut on some situations. I tend to follow it more often nowadays than I used to.

  7. This post really spoke to me.
    I am so indecisive and worse a procrastinator to the core. I could have had my master's by now, but I just keep putting if off. I think back to the years I have wasted. Why didn't I just do it? That's my biggest problem I think, just doing something. Not sitting their wonder if I should, when should I, how should I…no I just need to do it.

  8. I like your posts because you end with questions and seem to really want comments and feedback.

    I think indecisiveness is just a way to postpone the inevitable. Ever since I was young, I have felt that I would rather make the wrong decision than make no decision at all. If you wait long enough, the answer usually gets decided for you and I always felt that I wanted to be the one steering my ship. I would rather be in royal mess and total chaos because of a choice that I made rather than a choice that was made by default because I had waited too long to choose. Kinda like the kid who gets stuck eating corn flakes because he couldn’t decide between Lucky Charms and Trix. While he was thinking about it, his brothers finished both boxes. J

    Besides, I really feel that you always wind up exactly where you are supposed to be. (Like when you meet your husband). So really, it doesn’t matter if you take the long way or the short way….both roads lead to the same spot.

    That being said though, put me in a bookstore with a ten dollar bill and I’ll be there all day!

    Sorry to babble. Just my two cents.

  9. I'm indecisive when it comes to making decisions in my relationships with people. I usually have like 5 people I have to go to before I can make any kind of decision.

  10. I have to agree with Lucky Dimes and Dog Tags who said, "indecisiveness is just a way to postpone the inevitable." It's also true for me that inevitably, "both roads lead to the same spot" because the decision is there, my "gut" just hasn't clarified it yet.
    Great post, RTRC!

  11. Hello again! I just wanted to let you know that this post was part of the inspiration for the guest blog piece I wrote for Flip Flops and Combat Boots that will appear this Sunday! I hope you don't mind.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *