Monday, September 22, 2014

Self-Determination

One of the many questions we often ask ourselves is "Am I really in control of my life?" How much control do we really have over our lives? Are our lives paved out from the beginning or do we get to make a few choices ourselves along the way? In class today, my professor posed the questions: "How does a person's mind, personality and character develop and grow? How much is this change self-directed?" and then asked us to write three more questions in response. These were mine:

1. How have I been challenged to step out of my comfort zone?
2. How have my morals changed?
3. How have I failed, yet persevered?

When I thought of examples for all three of these questions, I just had to ask myself... was I forced to do these things? When I decided to sing with two other girls at our school chorus concert, did I make that decision on my own, or was I pushed towards that decision by my peers and my own desire to prove something about myself? Have my morals been challenged because life forced me to separate from my boyfriend and settle for a long distance relationship built on a foundation of trust and loyalty? Did I fail to get that soprano solo, but continue to audition for others on my own free will, or was that a decision I made because all of my friends were also auditioning for solos?

Are we really making a conscious decision to change ourselves for the better, or is change thrust upon us and we are forced to adapt to it? I guess one could argue both ways. Today, as I was walking to my 7:25pm meeting with one of the Kappa council members, I decided to walk down 4th Ave, completely different from my usual path down University or Broadway. I like to think that I made the decision to take a different road to school, but I guess a lot of varying factors could have contributed to my decision, such as overpopulation on Union Square, which gave me minor road-rage; I was too lazy to push my way past all the tourists. Maybe my own impatience is what forced me to try something new, as I didn't want to wait for three traffic lights before walking in the direction of NYU. Either way, I'm thankful for the road I took tonight. I encountered some lovely posters of Alt-J's new album, a gorgeous view of the sunset and a post office (I happened to have a letter in my purse that I wrote a few days ago and still hadn't mailed).

(Photos taken on 4th Ave.)

Sometimes I wonder if in a weird, twisted way, we all end up where we're supposed to be. Everyone I know from high school seems to be happy where they are, whether that is college, traveling around the world, or staying in our hometown. I guess that's one of the mysteries of life.