Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fortune cookie psychoanalysis

I got a fortune cookie yesterday that came with this little tidbit inside...

"Make it a rule of life never to regret and never to look back"

What was funny about getting this was not the actual saying itself...since I, personally, am a big believer in the "No Regrets" lifestyle.  It was actually more in the timing of getting said saying.

To sum up:  this has been, by far, probably one of the more chaotic, crazed, adventurous, emotionally challenging, and psychotic years in my life.  There have been a lot of life-altering decisions that I've made; some were met with approval, others astonishment, and others brought outright shock, disbelief and anger.  I've changed mailing addresses so many times the U.S. Postal Service has given up trying to find me, Anheuser-Busch is posting record-high sales in the 12-ounce department thanks to my weekly consumption, and yet, in spite of all that, there's no place I'd rather be than right here, right now.

However, despite how confident I feel about where I am and where I'm going, right about yesterday morning I started to notice the beginnings of everyone's favorite thought process...over-analysis. 

A few examples of what ran through my mind: 

Is it possible for one person to radically change his or her lifestyle so completely that it seems on the verge of insanity, yet actually turns out to be the right thing to do?

If you do what feels right for yourself instead of what others believe to be right for you, does that make it wrong?

If I don't feel an "appropriate" amount of guilt, does that make me a horrible person?

And in the end...who really decides what's right and wrong anyway ??

I think it's fair to assume that along with all the smart things we think we've done, there's a counterbalance of all the things in our lives that we shouldn't have done, or decisions that we probably shouldn't have made.  And in making those decisions, it's probable that someone walked away hurt or some type of relationship was somehow damaged.  But despite the pain, the relief, the doubt, or the certainty, every decision you make in your life shapes it.  And when you go back to look at the sum, if where you got to is where you wanted to be....doesn't that somehow mean you made the right decisions?

Now I'm not going to sit here and say that I know best; in fact, I'm not going to pretend that I know anything at all.  But I do believe this...we're all only here for a short time.  And I think that, at some point in time, any decision you make can be perceived by any random person to be the right or the wrong one.  So in the end, you have to do what's best for yourself.  You're the one that's going to have to be there at the end defending your life, so why not at least be able to say you did the best you could to make the most of what you had.  It may or may not be right, it may or may not be savvy, but at least you can say you tried.

And yes, I got all that from a fortune cookie. 

Makes me wonder what's inside my box of Cracker Jack.