Elizabeth On The Precipice Of Choice (Part 13)

How do you make a life-changing choice?

Assuming we are lucky enough to know that it has the capacity of changing our life, that is.

Your life can change with just the utterance of 7 words. One sentence. One moment. The gravity of that realization may make you stop and think about where you may see yourself in years, even if the choice is as trivial as eating cereal or toast for breakfast. Because the moment in the “now” is malleable, but as time goes on it gets etched into past permanency. Your life would be foreign to you if you turned right instead.

Where does the comfort come into play, if at all? Is it when you are standing on the threshold of a choice, steeped in multitudes, existing everywhere at every time all at once? Or is it only with the finality of a decision, venturing down one path, one branch, that you can finally start to breathe again?

Alternatively, perhaps it is agonizing to be split, to have every part of you torn into fragmented possibilities strewn amidst the webs of time and choice? Maybe the thought itself, the endless what-ifs about the consequences of our actions, leads to a crippling weight we shoulder until we can rid ourselves of the burden by forging our own illusion of stability within the endless tumultuous sea of chaos?

When you make such a choice, do you write a pros and cons list, or do you listen to your intuition? No matter what we do, we will never know how things might have turned out the other way.

“If only…” is futile.

With a new job, a new move, a new lifestyle, you have to be able and willing to lose everything in order to have even a shot of gaining it all. You are always with you, which is both a blessing and a curse. So, you need to treat yourself well. You are the only one who will have to live with you for the entirety of your life.

Oftentimes we dig ourselves into holes for no real good reason other than that someone along the way showed us how to and convinced ourselves we ought to do the same, so we end up pointing fingers at others blaming them for getting us into our messes. What you should do instead is extend a hand to ask for help and hoist yourself up. Every moment is an opportunity to choose. Every “now” is crucial. You only ever have “now,” and we move from one “now” to the next. You can dig yourself deeper, or you can finally put the shovel down, survey your surroundings, and work to claw yourself out. Nobody is coming to save us. We have to be there for ourselves and choose the good company we wish to keep along the way.

Delaying the decision to make a choice is a choice in itself. This is often the worst thing we can do as we end up letting everyone down, especially ourselves, and not a single “yes” is spoken. All the choices fall away into a hazy air of indecision that envelops us and clouds our judgement. When we do not wish to choose who we want to become, we lose sight of who we currently are and where we want to be one day.

Elizabeth did not wish to decide. She shut her eyes and willed herself to not let anyone down, to please them all and exist as one, but everywhere, as she alone could not. So she became four, and lost her one.

Does that one still reside somewhere? Is there a hope of reconciling all the pieces back together again?

What does Elizabeth want? Or, to answer that question, must we compromise with all her other parts?

With so many facets of life to consider – job, career, partner, satisfaction, and more – how could she ever hope to live them all as one? She has an insatiable thirst for the unknown, the uncertain. She wants to know. She has to. She must see them all through, to live every possibility, to plan for every eventuality.

But that means reliving all the worst moments twice if they ever happen, which they often do since she obsessively fixates on them, and the good ones only once, if she is lucky enough to get them. The overthinking is unbearable. Which people were her pieces trying to please? Are those pieces theirs?

Which one is her own?

Will she reclaim her story?

What will Buck’s Elizabeth do? Is his on the ship in the storm with her, or lost to him elsewhere?

They are in the right place, but could it possibly be the wrong time? Is there ever a right time?

These questions swirl around in the subconscious of every Elizabeth. Unreachable in thought, they slow her down in every timeline, a lingering aftertaste in her mind with a lick of uncertainty that she is living someone else’s life. But she cannot exactly go off to live her own if she is not all there, literally.

We cannot help someone who does not want to be helped, but there sometimes comes a point where we have to step in. Thus, the fate of Elizabeth, and the unraveling tear in the fabric of reality, rests in the paws of a tiny squirrel frantically escaping the pursuits of a terrifyingly dexterous snowboarding polar bear.

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