Sunday, October 17, 2010

Life's A Gambling Game

I was thinking about life the other day and all of the choices we are forced to make each and every day. If you think about it, life really is a game of choice and consequence. Every decision you make has a consequence, an outcome- whether it big or small. Take the small things for instance, you choose not to brush your teeth: you get cavities. You choose to eat fast food regularly: you gain weight & a plethora of other health issues. But when I think about choices, I'm thinking about the major things in life. I'm talking about wearing my seatbelt, being cautious of my surroundings and the people I choose to trust, love, etc...pretty much anything that will have a major effect on my life. 

When I was younger, like most people, I cared way too much about what other people thought. Though I have always been called "weird" by my friends for making certain decisions, I never had complete individuality until recently. For me, one of the greatest things about getting older and growing out of my teenager years is that I really don't care about what other people think anymore. So now instead of making decisions based on whether or not my peers will think I'm "cool", I make decisions based on how they are going to affect me and my life. I always think, "how am I going to feel if I don't/do  ___?" At the end of the day, you have to feel good about yourself and the choices that you are making. The people who make judgments on your choices are not your true friends and do not belong in your life. 

I admit that I have a terribly guilty conscious and sometimes it can be a major flaw. However I also feel that this conscious has allowed me to make good decisions that has positively affected my life. I listen to my conscious on about 99.9% of the choices that I make because that gut feeling in the pit of your stomach is screaming for you to listen. I can tell you, my gut has never let me down. I have never regretted not doing something, and that is an amazing statement to be able to make. 

On the issue of choices in relationships, it is really individual. Every person has their own ideal of the "perfect" relationship or at least what you believe you should be getting out of a relationship. For me, I always think of the Kenny Rogers song The Gambler. You know the lyrics, " you got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em. Know when to walk away and know when to run." That's basically my mantra for a relationship. So often we want relationships to work out that we talk ourselves into them. We overlook the flaws and try to justify certain things to ourselves. I learned a few years ago to stop doing this. I realize that every relationship has it's flaws and that being apart of a couple is an everyday job. However, I also realize that you owe it to yourself to be happy. Maybe I'm foolish, but I do believe that there are soul-mates...maybe not one perfect person for you, and if you don't find them you are destined to be alone forever. But, I do think that there are people out there who will match you perfectly--who will love you unconditionally, accept your flaws, laugh at all of your jokes, and never criticize. If you have to stop and think about your relationship, question whether it's right or wrong, justify some of your partners actions, then it's probably not the right one for you...sometimes you have to fold 'em and walk away. In the end, you'll be happy with your decision.

Though I believe that ultimately our fate is sealed by god, I do believe that god is also constantly testing you and your faith to see if you make the correct decisions. Of course no one can make the right choice 100% of the time.I do things because of the way that I will feel about myself in the aftermath. If people are going to hate on me for being nice to a nerdy kid in class, or choosing to stay home with my family over going out partying, or speaking out against bullying, then so be it. I need to know that the decision I made will allow me to go to sleep at night with a clear conscious and I think that's why I have been ridiculed for being somewhat strange. But honestly, I don't care. People can hate all they want. I love myself, god loves me, and and the people who truly love & believe in me, understand my actions. 

Life is a gamble, but if you don't take those chances, don't put yourself out there; you could be missing out on something amazing. To always take the easy way out and to never let yourself get hurt or be subject to ridicule is a sure-fire way to live with regrets. The choices you make everyday affect your life- whether big or small.Don't you want to go to sleep at night with no regrets, knowing you did something to make your life & someone else's life better? You owe it to yourself to be the best version of yourself. 

"We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be." --Jane Austen