“I've committed to nothing...and that's just suicide...by tiny, tiny increments.”
I recently re-read my well-worn copy of High Fidelity and I have to say the older I get the more relevant this book becomes for me. The above quote in particular really resonated in my brain because I feel like there are a lot of people in my life (myself included!!) who have trouble making commitments. Career commitments, creative commitments, romantic commitments, really they are all the same and somehow I have found myself locked in a culture where everyone is afraid to take a stand for fear of becoming trapped.
We all like to think that the best strategy is to keep our options open. After all, if you go down one path full force, any and all potential doors in life will close and you’ll be stuck doing something you may not love. The problem is, keeping your options open also means you are standing still. You will never reach those moments of opportunity and they will never just fall in your lap either. We just wait and stand around sitting on the fence scratching our heads wondering why the answers never seem to come.
I think the challenge is to wrap my brain around the fact that a bad decision is far better than no decision at all. Any sort of momentum, even momentum in the wrong direction, is better than the indefinite waiting for that magic bullet that will tell us the right path to take. That simply does not exist. After all, I can always change direction and there are no choices that can’t be undone. Committing to something doesn’t by any means indicate I am sealed off from other opportunities. This isn’t easy mind you, but it is necessary. It’s necessary because by waiting around we are all just killing ourselves through the slow and deliberate action of indecision and doing nothing. Remembering this very simple fact comes wrapped in a box of fear and self-loathing and the cold hard inevitability that I will probably fail at least a few times before I find success. I just can’t forget, running head first into a wall and failing miserably is at the very least admirable.
But you know what the worst part is? When we commit to nothing we doom ourselves to a fate even worse than suicide. We become boring. We don’t provide a reason for the world or for anyone to care about us. We have nothing to show for our time on this earth and not a soul to mourn us beyond the acquaintances on our speed dial or the supposed friends who drifted past us on their own stagnant journey of non-commitment.