Although I've been ultra-busy lately, I've been extra reflective to keep things in perspective. It is very easy to lose sight of things when stimuli and priorities bombard you at every turn. So you may see more of these entries where I evaluate/plan aspects of life.
I was thinking about the best decisions I've ever made. It was hard to think of just five, but I think they are interlinked anyway, as is life itself. I barely even know who I am and the true impact that my decisions have. However, I do know that there are choices I've made that have caused a lot of change and personal growth.
I tried to site specific actions (e.g., I did THIS) rather than general (e.g., I did this).
Best Decisions I've Ever Made (in no particular order):
1. Went for an internship at the company I current work for (3.7 years ago)
I didn't even think I was qualified for the position based on the desciption, and I recall walking to my interview after taking the bus for 25 miles with my large gym bag.
Because of my entry, I've met so many great people, learned a lot about business and related skills, am able to pay for things, and was able to take the stuff I learned at work into school.
2. Set out to run LA Marathon when I was 21 (3.9 years ago)
I went from not being able to run more than a few miles to a full marathon. This is obviously how I got into running. Running has been such a character-builder. It has been my love, my hate, and sometimes my only companion. It has built my patience, forced me to look at the "big picture" of things, and most of all, it has made me more outgoing, which I definitely, definitely need in my current job (e.g., I have a presentation to make in front of management this week).
3. Agreed to go on a date with "The Ukrainian" (1.7 years ago)
I still remember avoiding the gym the day he called me because I noticed him giving me one of those "looks" the day before. I thought I was in for an awkward time and a free meal, which I guess is what I got, but my open-mindedness allowed it to grow into so much more. I never thought I'd find anyone who gets along with me so well. He has encouraged me to be more ambitious, which has basically been a blueprint for the rest of my life and build on the decisions I've already made.
4. Chose UCLA over USC for undergraduate studies (7 years ago)
I wanted to go to USC because they had accepted me early, and they sounded so elite! Plus, my older sister had already gone to UCLA, so I wanted to represent a different school. But some thought and financial analysis later, I became a Bruin and was exposed to my current field of (I/O) psychology. Additionally, I came out of school free of debt! Can't say the same now, though!
5. Applied to graduate school (4 years ago)
I often struggle a lot with balancing full-time school and full-time work, but my work and studies really play off of each other and have each grown me into a professional. Like running, it is a character-builder and has taught me how to juggle multiple priorities, how to stay alert after a long day of work and gym, and I have met some very nice people here as well! I can't promise I will finish, but those are the things I've taken away from the experience so far. Yes, my debt is mounting (I am vowing to pay off some this year), but it has been worth it so far.
So there you have it. Anyone want to share their best decisions? Are they all work/school related like mine??
Just for kicks, here are what I think are the 5 worst decisions I've ever made. I am trying to avoid ones like "I never learned ____," because those can be remedied -- I'm talking about the stuff you cannot take back.
1. I did not ask my parents whether I could go on a Washington DC trip in high school, figuring they would say no. Besides not knowing for sure they would not allow me to go, part of me was just afraid of the unknown.
2. Getting a "boyfriend" during my first year of high school for 6 weeks. Sorry, but I didn't know what I was doing. And I think we both came out of that angry. Because of that, I didn't date anyone else until "The Ukrainian."
3. I didn't go on any real trips between undergraduate and graduate school, even though my boss encouraged me to. I didn't feel that recreation was all that necessary back then. Whhhhyyyy?
4. On that same thread, I think that isolating myself a lot during college was not good for me. Sure, I got good grades, but I probably missed out on some fun and friends. I know this because I did keep some of my college friends, and they are nice people.
5. Developing a love for sweets. I wasn't as much into sweets until I started college, and I constantly grapple with my addiction to all things sweet! Not healthy, and it has caused weight struggles, wasted money, and a general blah feeling. I guess this one is cheating, as this is something I can work on. However, damage was done and now somewhat undone.