Friday, March 23, 2007


Well, I finally got the insight that I needed. And it feels right. I am just going to type it all out to see if it is as solid on paper (computer screen) as it is in my head-but it feels like it has clicked (I think I actually heard--or at least felt--a click. If nothing else, I feel a sense of relief at having made a decision).

I've decided not to take the job. My reasoning will probably sound really strange, but here it is:

As I was riding on the tram back from work today, I started thinking about my life in the Army. After about a year in the Army, I knew that something wasn't right. Everything just felt off balance. I wasn't sure what was off balance and I had no idea how I could fix everything (I was only 18 at the time), so I started to cast about for anything that I could use to stabilize my self and my life. Unfortunately, the only way I could think to get any stability was by getting married. The marriage actually wound up destabilizing me even more (which led me to try to find other ways to stabilize myself, which, in turn, lead to greater instability). Ten years later, I can look back and view the experience as a whole and not just a series of isolated events. Everything that I did was an attempt to give my life some stability. Hindsight is NOT 20/20, and I will never know if my attempts at stability made things more difficult for me or if they helped me, but my gut is saying that right now I shouldn't look for stability outside of myself.

I know it is probably an odd parallel to make, but all anyone can ever do is base their choices on the experiences they've had. Maybe that is why teenagers and young adults make so many bad choices. It is just that right now I have a sense of things being not quite right--like I am standing on a lily pad that keeps leaning a little too far one way or the other. I thought it was just the job, but I am starting to find some stability and organization in the job now, so I think the feeling of instability is coming from culture shock and a sense of isolation. I think that if I take this job as an attempt to stabilize myself it will be a bit like leaping from the right edge of the lily pad to the left edge rather than just inching myself towards the middle. I think that before I try to make any major changes I need to make sure I am in the middle of the lily pad. If it is still unstable at the point, I need to move to a new lily pad. But not yet.

I know my reasoning is odd and touchy-feely. There are no lists and pluses and minuses--there is just a gut feeling. But it feels right. I think I've learned to trust my gut more and lists less when it comes to making decisions. After all, the decision to join the Army looked excellent on paper.


At 3:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There can be a lot said about following your gut. Screw the pro vs. con list!! haha!!!

-little sis

At 5:28 PM, Anonymous Anna said...

I'm with your sister and Shari...the logic all sounds reasonable and legitimate to me.
Just one question, though. Were these realizations really made about an hour apart? (Going by blog timestamps)

At 3:17 AM, Blogger Ovonia Red said...

Well, I got the email about the job Thursday morning. It freaked me out so much that I had to go for a walk and try to think it over. I thought about it all Thursday and then most of Friday. I wrote the first post right before I left the school to go home, and I wrote the second post as soon as I got home from school. The realization hit me on the tram ride from school to my apartment. And I wrote an email explaining that I was not going to take the job a few hours later (just wanted to give myself a bit more time to think about it).


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