Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Choices We Must Make

My life has been primarily consumed by sports the past few years, so forgive me if I reserve the right to talk about my personal life on my space. Why shouldn’t I?... I mean.. it is MYspace. I’ll do with it as I please. Besides, if you can’t talk about life with your friends, then when can you?...

I have been getting a lot of comments and notes about my status updates on MySpace, mostly out of concern for my feelings. It’s weird, because most of the people that write me, are people that have never even met me. They’ve merely seen a picture or read a blog, or if they were really bored watched a video. But most of you have never had to see me at my worst. And believe me, in the course of the past few years, there have definitely been some “worsts.” You know the look… make up (if you’re lucky) strewn down my face, hair in shambles, probably in my pajamas, eating a bowl of Ben and Jerry's til my ass fills itself out again. Pretty pathetic, right?... Those are the days I find myself actually Mapquesting bridges to jump off of, and actually weighing the pros and cons of each… like which has the better view on the way down. And then I realize… damn… Lutz is really lacking some decent bridges. So instead, I sit on the computer and come to MySpace. Lame, sure. But what else is a girl that spends her days consumed by the internet supposed to do?...

Not to be outdone by “the book of face,” and my original medium.. MySpace added these features that let you show people what your mood is. They even give you a space to leave a note. Mine are usually something goofy.. like a terrible movie quote, or the lyrics to a cheesy song. But lately, I have just been feeling uninspired to leave anything creative. My mind and heart have been totally preoccupied with obstacles I am facing in my own life.

Every now and then, we all come to that point after college, where our decision making skills are often put to their toughest tests. You know, that crucial gut check every person has to have in their twenties: The “Where Do I Go From Here” choice. And despite the crazy journey life has taken me on in the past few years, it still hasn’t made my decision making process any easier in regards to the direction I want my career to take. Hell, most of the decisions I have “made” in the past few years weren’t really all that thought out. I just did what seemed like the “right thing at the time.” Then, there were times I had to make decisions, and didn’t… and now look back wondering what I may have missed out on.

Aside from the typical job questions we ask ourselves, most of us also struggle with personal relationships with people in our lives. We struggle with ghosts of our past, people in our present, and dreams of our future. The problem is many of us make the mistake of letting the real thing pass us by, simply because we are too scared to take a leap of faith. Life is all about taking chances on people, places, opportunities… on just living. I’m no different. It’s the classic case of personal happiness versus professional fulfillment. Many of us call our inability to make decisions ‘patience’, and that is just selfish. You can’t tell the rest of the world to slow down just because you can’t keep up, just as you can’t tell it to stop so you can get off. You just have to hold on for the ride.

In the town of Vegas people make mistakes on the daily, but that is what gambling is all about. Risk. Those who wish to double their money, raise the stakes. Those that are content with their accounts the way they are, keep their money in their pockets. But when you ask a gambler why he gambles, he says it’s for the thrill of the risk. It’s not all about the money. Sure, the payoff is nice, but in the end money is just paper. And where’s the excitement in that?

If people are willing to gamble on colors, and cards… then why not take chances with their own lives?..It’s aggravating that so many people don’t ask out that girl at the bar for fear of public humiliation. They don’t go to that job interview for fear of rejection. They don’t turn in class projects because they can’t stand in front of a crowd. Instead we avoid making the decision all together. When you have to make a choice, and don’t make it… that in itself is a choice. So what if you fail?... So what if your friends say I told you so?... You can only live your life for you, because after any decision… whether it is wrong or right.. comes a calm. You may not have made the right decision, but at least you committed to a cause. And rarely are there choices in life that can’t be reversed with enough hard work and commitment.

Even during my days at Sports Illustrated, it amazed me that people ACTUALLY wrote in to get advice from a 22 year old girl. What the hell did I know???.. How was I supposed to help them solve their predicaments?.. I was 22.. I could barely pick out a pair of shoes to wear let alone make decisions that could have lasting effects on my life. But that’s just it. Maybe they really didn’t want my advice, they just wanted someone to talk to. Someone to listen. Maybe I didn’t have all the answers, but if I could give them any reassurance of their own thoughts, or maybe play devils advocate with them.. then my mission was accomplished.

Man is the only living being that is able to choose its own destiny. Seeds become plants, because it’s what seeds do. Puppies become dogs, because it’s their natural progression. But we have the ability to mold the course of our lives by our choices and commitments to them. That is how you attain a higher level of personal fulfillment. Besides, no one ever achieved greatness by hesitation.

Good decisions are made from experience, and experience is made from bad decisions. It’s all a part of finding your way. Life is the sum of all our choices. Some may leave you “in the hole,” while others can make you rich beyond your wildest dreams. Being able to make decisions, puts you in charge of your life, and in that… you can find the freedom to make your life whatever you so choose.

So quit living your life like you meant for no one to notice. Hit Control B on your life. And live it with purpose… because with great risk, comes great reward.


Just Guessing said...

The key thing you're hitting on here is just DOING something, no matter what kind of decisions. I recommend to anyone to read "The Magic of Thinking Big" by David J. Schwartz, and with all the traveling you'd do I'm sure you could breeze through it. My favorite quote: "Action cures fear. Indecision, postponement, on the other hand, fertilize fear."

Matt said...

Whether we are the smartest person in the class or the most gifted athlete, there is so much we do not know. You have to live life to truly experience life. You have to fail so that you can gain the knowledge to succeed. During all of this, you must have some way to vent - be it friends, through music, or in writing.
Wonderful post.

Bobby Feelings said...

Did you know that an eagle knows when a storm is approaching long before it arrives? The eagle will fly to a high spot and wait for the winds to come. When the storm hits, it sets its wings so that the wind will pick it up and lift it above the storm. While the storm rages below, the eagle is soaring above it. The eagle does not escape the storm. It simply uses the storm to lift it higher. It rises on the winds that bring the storm.

When the storms of life come upon you - and all of us experience our own personal storms - you can rise above them all by understanding that the storm is really just a challenge brought to you by the Divine as a means to lift us up. In life, growth from challenges is what life is about.

When you understand this, you will be able to rise above the winds of the storms that bring sickness, tragedy, failure, and disappointment in your live. You can soar above the storm.

Remember, it is not the burdens of life that weigh you down. It is how you handle them.

Understand that when you are given a challenge in life, it is there for a purpose. So take the energy of the challenge to go figure out your true purpose. Then you will have really soared.

Be well.

Rob said...

I'm sorry to be saying this and am in no way trivializing you and your life in any way, but do you really believe what you wrote on this blog? I've never met you and don't really know anything about you. I don't have profiles on myspace or facebook. I saw your interview on the Byte Me series and found you very interesting. You are one of the most beautiful women on the planet winning the genetic lottery, smart and eductated with a degree from a prestigous university, ambitious with a career based on a photo at a football game and prospects for a law career. And you're sweating what some jealous guy does or says? The twists and turns that my life have taken would fill up a short novel. You have a life truly blessed, no matter what anybody says. Guys like me wonder what goes through the minds of guys that get to go out with a woman of your caliber and then muck it up on something stupid. You should revel in the fact that you even have that many options. How many people would give their right arm to be asking themselves the "Where do I go from here?" question. Man isn't able to choose his/her own destiny. I'm a student at NIU, and was it those student's choice to get gunned down in class? They were just going on in their lives, probably worried about a fight they just had with someone important. I say be determined to make the most out of life no matter what happens and what curveballs you get. Cuz you only get one go around at a life truly blessed.

Anonymous said...

i just finished reading your blog and i have to say that the part about taking chances really hits home. my girlfriend of 3 years just ended things because she has a fear of commitment, but what you said i can relate to so much, and not just about relationships also about my career. for someone so young you have a head on your shoulders and i give you props for showing everybody that not only are u beautiful you are very smart as well

Jon said...

A very thought-provoking entry, Jenn. It is so easy, especially in those times of fatigue which we all are occasionally subject to, to be complacent or practice avoidance. But those are the times when choosing and acting onn that choice is most important for our growth. Difficulty should never keep us from doing what is 'right'.

Thank you, Jenn.

Blessings and Peace.


OTM said...

I had to chill out when i wrote this because, I just had too....

Okay, I really don’t know what to make of this rant. In the internet world regarding your SI stint and numerous questions and advice being asked of a young wet behind the ears young lady; you begin to ask the question of why? Well it was a column intended for readers to send questions to you. There was no disclaimer on there stating that you weren’t in control or why people who didn’t know you were asking for your ear or any advice. If you’re questioning the decisions you’ve made we all have those questions in life, so it’s something that will plague man and woman forever.

If your map questing then you need to come to the Northeast and then maybe the longer drops will make you change your mind on doing what you’re thinking.
I’ve been supportive not knowing you and the audience you write to that you don’t know either.
It’s basically come down to a head and instead of writing in code, you should take a page from a female blogger who let her 2 week hiatus a few months back, known to her readers at Yankees Chick.

Women in general are torn down, critiqued on their good and bad days, no matter how good or bad they feel when they go out. I wonder why you feel torn as to what direction you want to go in?
Swimsuit model, reporter, etc..............

I personally would have gone after the Red Sox beat reporter job because I feel that you might be able to fill a void like that while possibly finding that love or passion that lies dormant and you want something to hold on to so that portion in your life is complete.
Every few months we might hear from you and it’s like this time its hit the fan and I’m going to play Devil’s Advocate.

If you still feel torn as to what you want to do, Journalism, modeling (short shelf life), I don’t think you want to be one of Heff’s bunnies so we’ll cross that one out.
Seriously, you’re calling someone out or asking for advice. I don’t know where the rant is headed or you just needed to clear your head mi hermana……

I watched the limited role in just 3 episodes on the Road to March Madness, one was pushed to the wayside by some Nascar event. The one thing I really would like and it has nothing to do with classiness and what not…..
You don’t’ need to have your collar popped with a size 2 top doing the Memphis thing, the casual approach is great in the other 2 I saw.

You’re definitely at a crossroads and maybe the open road is asking for you to go on that path????
I’m not going to tell you what you should do, but writing suits you and you would definitely get those interviews in with the players on looks alone and substance.

It’s the substance that keeps people in the game though and don’t ever forget that. If you couldn’t talk the talk sports wise then you wouldn’t be here right now at this point.
We as human beings can never be happy. When were alone were miserable, when were with someone were miserable at times so when can we be totally happy????????
If you have a gift and you have a passion then follow it. To hear that your looking at bridges and kickin it on myspace and not writing anything on here or running some D rays blog is crazy…..

It’s about the drive, you don’t have a kid to run after when you get home from the grind so you should maximize every minute before you have to work that grind that is never ending and then leads us to the Groundhogs day abyss.
When all you have to juggle is your life and no one else in it, you can play it safe even though we want to live life fearlessly. The guy at the bar analogy also works the other way you know. If you put on the full court press the guy will figure it out or he’s lost and doesn’t and shouldn’t get a roadmap unless you want that.

Going to a few FSU road games and seeing some of the fans when asked where is Sterg? They pull out the cell phone like your Charles Barkley and their D WADE and they have you in their 5.
What do you want to do when it’s gotten to that point, Look at bridges? Embrace it, look over your shoulder, go to the dump and look for the suitcase form 3 posts ago????? We can live like that forever and then in the end there will be a new MYSPACE 30 years down the road and it’s like what was I thinking?

Vegas analogy or not the ride is the ride. This isn’t The Real World, but you’re living that kind of life without it being televised 24/7.


gaijin da said...

Well said Jenn! I would just add that more so than taking chance, it's making chances for one’s self that is the key -- e.g., meeting different people, going different places and making connections.

We are stronger when we realize that we cannot do it all alone.

FSU '85

Kim said...

It's been a while since I've had time to sit down and read through your blog. This entry has to be my favorite that you have written over the past year and a half or so.

I have been pondering the same questions and realties lately. School. Work. Relationships. Life. The list continues. I do with hold myself from some of lifes choices because not only the "What if's" but even worse... the back thrashing of people thoughts and words.

From your fellow Lutz girl to another... this just helped me out more than words.

Love from the Big L,