Where My Impulse Decisions Have Taken Me

Published: September 16, 2017

I am the worst decision maker. Every decision I have in my head splits into different paths where I must foresee all of the outcomes before I actually choose. Even once I’ve predicted the results and have created an expectation for each — there’s still the possibility I will be unsure. I can’t explain why this happens.

When I know I need a shower it becomes a whole dilemma. Should I wake up early and shower or go to bed now? Should I keep my hair wet and braid it for bed so it’s curly in the morning? Should I blow-dry my hair so I can sleep dry? Should I have a quick shower so I can finish watching my show? Should I have a long, hot shower for some me time? If I shower now, does that mean I won’t want to exercise and get sweaty later? If I don’t shower now, will I be leaving the house at all? There are so many instances that I could further dive into but it takes much longer to type out than to orbit in my mind.

It’s not as if I think the world will end if I shower at the wrong time. And it’s most certainly not like I’m waiting for someone else to validate my decision of being clean or not. It seems to come out of a place of either timing (oh the irony, when making the decision takes longer than the actual event), or uncertainty of what I want (in the short/long-term is this what I want? Hence, all the questions).

Now my example was just for a shower, so what happens when it actually comes to important decisions? Well, that’s when I become an impulse decision maker. Since I overthink so much, having a lot of pressure on which path to take can really exhaust me. This tends to happen for areas in my life such as: career choices, educational decisions, committing to plans, spending money, and more. When these crossroads are first introduced, I get completely stressed out. How the heck am I going to make a decision at this point in my life that could potentially affect me 5, 10, or even 15 years from now?! It’s insanity.

It’s weird to think about how much time and energy I put into considering events that will never and were never going to happen. Everyday we are changing and so committing to one choice can be scary. I’m claustrophobic in both literal closed spaces as well as metaphorical. When I’m in a position that I feel I can’t expand or I feel like I’ve fallen too deep into a routine, I start to suffocate. I never thought I would be this type of person. I am not the typical go, go, go woman… not even close. I’d actually define myself as pretty lazy. But that doesn’t stop my drive. There are things in the world that I love to do (and always will) but the feeling of either repetition or having too strict of guidelines diminishes my joy for it. It’s in these cases where my instinct takes over and I have an overwhelming epiphany that this is or is not what I want to be doing right now.

This has been happening to me a lot more recently. I think because I’m in the years of defining who I will become as an adult, I’m trying to figure out who that is. In doing so, I am taking on all of the opportunities I can that will let me dip my toes in all types of alternatives. I studied Graphic Design primarily but so far I’ve been paid for that along with Social Media Management, Photography, Videography, Editing, Website Design, and Marketing. At this point, my paths are chosen by breaking into impulsivity and following my intuition.

I worked for a restaurant for 4 years and absolutely loved it. Suddenly, one day I went in and thought, “I don’t want to do this anymore.” I had been talking to my coworkers (who at this point were basically family) and listened to their stories about how they graduated school and were not necessarily pursuing anything in their industry. I realized, I didn’t want to be that person. I knew if I was too comfortable at the restaurant, I wasn’t going to try anything else. So, without even having a back-up plan, I put in my 2-weeks notice.

I freelanced a bit and had a great time seeing my work come to fruition; until I began worrying about my zero experience in running a business. I had no idea how to quote people, I didn’t know the average timeline for specific project types, and I didn’t know how to be self-motivated or organized. After that realization, I knew I wanted to work for a Graphic Design company and find a mentor.

That’s when I landed my next gig as a part-time contractor at a smaller agency. I loved this job because I got to use my skills from school; I was present for the operations on the business end; I refined my knowledge; and I became more confident. Then, a pattern occurred. I had another lightbulb pop over my head telling me, “You need to make a consistent paycheque. You’ve now developed what it takes to find a full-time job.” Not to mention, I really wanted more concrete hours and time for my personal life. Between that job and my side hustles, I didn’t realize how much of my time was actually being directed by a job. So, I left and found exactly what I was looking for. And then I impulsively bought $200 worth of professional clothes/shoes as an investment into the job. (Any of you that know me, know I’m typically very frugal and I’m not much of a shopper.) But hey, this was important, right?)

These impulse decisions have affected my life in so many ways. I’ve gotten to meet some fantastic new people, broadened my skill set, and I’ve had experiences I never would’ve gotten otherwise. Sometimes when it comes to the most important decisions, your instinct may be to freeze and not deal with the choice; but the option is yours to leap with your eyes closed and see where it takes you. I trust my gut more than most people. It’s almost as if I reach a clairvoyance telling me to move on. I know the feeling of being “stuck” too well and just like I have to roll down my window in an underground parkade, I have to roll out of a rut that I feel coming on.