I have always been bad with declaring my beliefs. Like—really bad. To the point where I have notoriously had issues with deciphering my own tastes and preferences. Exhibit A: The fast-casual sandwich shop. Every time I used to go to Subway, and the sandwich maker would ask me what kind of cheese I wanted, I would turn to my mom and say, “Mom, what kind of cheese do I want?!” I experience the same moment of decision anxiety to this day every time someone asks me a “Favorite” question. I used to think something was legitimately wrong with me because I couldn’t figure out a favorite color, a favorite movie, a favorite book, a favorite number, a favorite shape…I was left out of many a playground conversation about everyone’s various favorites, I hate icebreakers more than the average person, and I never really had a clear answer to what I wanted to be when I grew up.
I realized after a while that this wasn’t mere indecisiveness—it was more similar to the paradox of choice. A lot of my other character traits stem from this core trait of needing to assess the ins and outs of absolutely every possibility, every option, every opinion, before I make up my own mind. I’ve always been that person who refuses to publicly announce any political position because I feel like there are so many issues I am ignorant about. This has also been the source of some of my downfalls, including chasing the elusive “perfection” and perpetual striving. Going hand in hand with this trait is my more positive, other fundamental ability to be able to do this 360 degree observation—I truly feel that I can see a subject from multiple positions, I can understand where both sides are coming from. I feel like an eternal diplomat, and I have always been jealous of people who, when prompted with the question “What do you believe,” don’t hesitate before answering.
Well, after nearly 22 years of life, I think that I’ve finally begun to see the upsides of this ability. I am a super feeler—I feel my own emotions as well as others’ on another level, I am eternally empathetic, and I find the world so incredibly beautiful. Trying to take in every single ounce of the world before you make any decision is exhausting—and I’ve slowly been learning that beliefs don’t have to be set in stone. Today I like purple and I’m into European sneakers and I think it would be fun to own some chickens and my favorite weather is the kind where the sun backlights the trees so the underbellies of their leaves are this miraculous shade of translucent green. I am in love with the world, and while my ranking of its different elements may change, I will always be able to find something truly awe-some in every aspect of it (even the not-so-pretty-on-the-surface bits like shards of glass in the back parking lot that catch the light just so, the rust on the railroad that is like Burnt Sienna, my favorite Crayola color, and the incredible rhythmic flow that is the daily commute).
So I guess what I know to be true is that what some people see as naïve ignorance wrapped in an Underwood-esque southern lilt is really a genuine admiration for the overwhelming beauty and grace that is everyday life. I may not be the one standing on the mountain shouting my convictions, but I will always be curious to find what exactly is out there that will spark that kind of fiery truth inside of me. This I believe.