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The Beauty of Indecision

The Beauty of Indecision

Today’s guest blogger is one of my students, Paige MacPherson.  Paige wrote a great essay for one of her schools which asked her to explain her choice of major.  A simple enough request until she realized she wasn’t ready to choose one major.  Paige will be heading off to college in the fall.  I have no doubt that she will be successful, whatever she chooses to study.

Read on to hear her story…

The Beauty of Indecision

by Paige MacPherson

“Here you go.”

I looked up from my monotonous Insta scrolling to see a pair of brown eyes gazing down at me behind purple bifocals. Clutched in my guidance counselor’s hand was a sheet of paper. Upon its highlighter-toned face was a list of potential careers I could pursue. Immediately, I felt overwhelmed. “Thank you,” I mumbled, accepting it.

Choosing one is a feeling similar to being a mail-order bride: a blind engagement til death do us part. If I cannot express myself through my career, what am I meant to live for? If I invest incorrectly, surgeon over anthropologist over professor, I fear the job will rather express me, wring me of life and hang me out to dry, a TV dinner life.

This is nothing new; I’ve never been able to land upon one, single passion. When asked what I wanted to be as an adult in childhood, the answer could vary on a day to day basis, and could be anything from a gastronomy chef to a professional pickleball player depending on my mood.

As I matured, I began to seek a career of my own, my calling, something I would love. The problem was, I saw appeal in almost everything. The passion and pure strength it took for a circus performer to hurl her body through the air, all sparkling exaggerated features and itchy leotard.  I simultaneously loved the way Tony from the pizza place on the corner tossed the pale airy dough into the air, then lovingly pressed the sauce, cheese and toppings into it. I wanted to discover new species tromping through the Amazon, something slimy and tiny and yet mine. I could paint, each stroke deliberate and colorful and freeing. I wanted to put that little dollop of whipped cream on top of frappuccinos and have the pleasure of presenting the drink to a customer (resulting in my current job at Starbucks).

Is this constant state of indecision a mark of deep curiosity or an underlying fear of being trapped under a name-plate in a gray cubicle, in which a green stapler is the only permitted form of self-expression?

Admittedly, it’s a little bit of both. The curiosity inside me stirs at the mention of anything remotely interesting. (I mean, I even found those deeply profound passages on the history of seatbelts on the ACT reading passages interesting.) But that brain of mine is giving me freedom, freedom not to be tied down to one passion, but to always be open to falling in love with another. Existing on the brink of adulthood mimics the feeling right before the kitchen timer goes off; you can still begin a new book or go back and wash the dishes, but you have to keep in mind that you have limited time to pursue other things. I refuse to live like that. I exist on this Earth, and I feel this constant need to breathe it in, to learn and absorb everything there is to learn, to do, to know. I believe this deeper curiosity is contagious, and that we can all benefit from it. My desire to learn and grow is something I can share with others, and something that I can best foster in an environment full of passionate individuals.