Recently my adult life has taken an unexpected turn. An outsider couldn't observe it, but I've noticed it--deep in the recesses of my thinking, there has been a small deviation; hidden away, my psychology has ever so slightly turned its feet from the known path. And it's causing me a little anxiety.
All my life I've been told--and I have believed--that I could do anything I wanted to do. I could be a doctor, a politician, a writer, a forest ranger, a hairstylist, a nanny. Even outside of professional aspirations, there was no limit to what I could do if I only put my mind to it. I could run a marathon, learn seven languages, ride a unicycle, have 1000 friends, live off the land: whatever I wanted. I had the capacity to learn anything, to garner any desired skill sets, to be and do anything I wanted to.
But I'm realizing that, if it were ever true, it's not true anymore.
I'm in graduate school now and to come here I had to choose what I would study: religion or social psychology (or linguistics or cultural anthropology or human genetics...). My life, my career, my calling, my employer led me to this school to take this masters degree in this religion. So I didn't go to that other school and get that other masters in that other area. In so doing, I closed that door. I had to decide on something and that meant deciding against something else.
And in this masters program I'm already trying to formulate a focus area for my thesis. It's still two years away, but I am beginning to feel a bit of worry over it. Some of that worry is about whether or not I have the self-discipline to write something so demanding, but quite a bit of the concern is about choosing because I know that it will be another narrowing down of my life. I'll be closing more of those doors. And no matter the dimensions, I want every door wide open. I want to be able to survey the horizon and see every possibility. I want always the freedom to circle "E. All of the Above."