Okay, I’ll admit it. The last two weeks have been some of the hardest for me in a long time. I’ll spare you from the nitty gritty detail, but I do think I should share with you the insight I’ve taken from it all.
The premise? I have been struggling with a particular situation that presented me with two choices. Naturally, I tried to categorize each option cleanly into two extremes, “good” and “bad,” as if life was that easy. Then, to heighten the self-imposed stress, I decided that whatever extreme I chose dictated who I was as a person. So, if I chose the “good,” I was “good” and if I chose the “bad,” I was “bad.” (Cue the foreboding organ.)
Thus, a should-be manageable situation became an identity crisis that has gnawed away at me for weeks. Seriously, I’ve been an utter mess.
My only solace has been Pinterest. Yes, Pinterest. I like to scroll through the Quote page and absorb all the positive bits of wisdom I can. And the other day, I stumbled on these words from none other than J.K. Rowling (via Sirius Black.)
“I want you to listen to me very carefully, Harry. You’re not a bad person. You’re a very good person, who bad things have happened to. Besides, the world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters. We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.”
Annnd, cue epiphany! Life is not black and white. We are not black and white. Sure, society may condition us to see categories: right and wrong, good and bad, left and right, boy and girl. We flock to categories because categories make things easy. But life isn’t meant to be easy, easy is boring and teaches us nothing about ourselves.
So instead of forcing myself to fit into these dark, cramped corners, I chose the sunny, open field I was scared of before–my own way. Sure, it’s the least traveled and the loneliest, but it’s for me. And in the end, I bet it will lead home.