I love New Years. Love it. A time set aside for reflection of progress and renewal of determination. This year I am going to start taking yoga classes and hope that I last longer than the rest of the New Years’ resolution crowd. I give it about three weeks.
It’s difficult to make changes in your life. The daily routine gets so comfortable, like an old friend. There are things that you wish you did differently, certain aspects of yourself that you always expected would match more closely with the picture you have of yourself in your head. You should be better- you should be taking life more seriously, trying harder. But it never seems to happen. Inertia is a powerful force and you are who you are. Better just accept it.
When I first met my wife and we hit it off so wonderfully, I realized I had a choice to make. Here was (probably) my last great chance at love- certainly the last chance to be with someone so beautiful and caring and vibrant. Decision time. I could run away immediately and fall back into the old familiar pattern of dating casually until someone got too interested and it was time to fly the coop again. Or I could keep on trying to do right by her and hope that I didn’t screw up too badly and see where it went, fingers crossed.
But then I realized that there was another way. In a moment of clarity I saw a vision of all the possible timelines from this point forward. Each its own universe where I had made decisions a certain way and reaped the harvest of those actions. The truth was that I could do anything. No matter which future I chose for myself as my “real” future, the many others would still be out there in the multiverse with a version of me living out that timeline and wondering what the others might have been like. Suddenly there were no right decisions and wrong decisions, only choices. I could be anyone and do anything.
I chose to be with her. I made the decision right then that I would not inhabit the universe where I got scared and ran away. I wasn’t living in any of the various worlds where I gave a half-assed effort or didn’t fully commit. No, the universe this version of me inhabited was one of the ones where she and I were together and I immediately felt the rest of those universes fall away, to be experienced by some other parallel version of me but not this one. I wasn’t sure exactly what the future held but I knew one thing it didn’t hold. Reality made a crashing sound as my future collapsed from infinite timelines to fewer. All that remained had one single thing in common. A decision had been made.
That decision has simplified everything so much. It was not so much “a” resolution, but just plain resolution. I know what story I am telling. When presented with a choice, I go towards the one that keeps me in the story. No need to consider any of those other universes. They’ve already been discarded.
It’s a good reminder as New Years rolls back around. It’s not about who I should be. It’s about who I am.