Decisions, Chance and Happenstance

I hate making decisions for myself. Whenever I’m faced with a real decision, my overly analytical mind will start churning with discomfort while weighing options and figuring in consequence. This is a strange and crippling affliction for a nomad like myself. I live my life on a whim, always open to whatever the world throws at me. The problem occurs when I have a choice. Choices can be scary, and sometimes I just refuse to make a decision at all.

Really, it all comes down to taking responsibility for my own actions but I guess I’m just too much of a pussy to let myself be held accountable for anything. So I live life aloof and wander through the world with the nonchalance of a sociopath just to avoid having to make any real decisions. Occasionally, these important life decisions crop up, but instead of making a choice, I’ll procrastinate and drag my feet through the mire of mights and maybes and I’ll flip flop and weigh my options over and over until the time for making choices has lapsed or until someone else makes the choice is made for me.

Often, Johnny will make my decisions for me. He has a knack for figuring out what direction I should be headed in and unselfishly sending me on my way. I’ll look to Johnny for advice on things like which digital camera I should buy and whether or not I should breakup with my girlfriend.

Last week, I came down to LA for a short visit to hang with Johnny and a bunch of old friends, and Johnny helped me to decide that I should stay in LA for a week and a half instead of just a weekend. And who was I to argue? We had booze, friends, girls, and loads of fun – how could I ever leave all that behind for the dreary winter in the soggy north? How had I left it before?

Anyway, this decision to stick around LA caused another very real decision to bubble to the surface of my whisky-addled brain. For months I’ve been talking about a big move to New Zealand, but I haven’t been able to solidify any real plans. There are just so many options and so many factors and this is such a costly and epic adventure that I honestly don’t know what the hell to do! I originally intended to fly to Bangkok first and spend a couple months bumming around South East Asia before heading to Auckland, but this is a pricey addition and I’m not sure I’ll be able to afford it. Instead, I could fly straight to New Zealand, but then I feel like I’ll be missing out on some much needed SE Asian adventuring. Chelsea suggested that we move to Hawaii for a couple months and live / work in the sunshine and sand of the islands – great idea! Then a friend mentioned that he wanted to go to Thailand to live and work and that he could use a roomate – I started looking for ways to get a work visa.

Too many options.

I can’t fully commit to anything because there’s always some other more-interesting adventure on the horizon. If only I had an infinite bankroll, I’d be less hesitant about taking some chances. Now, time is slipping away, and the little money I do have is being squandered on booze and various other mind altering substances and I’m not working and I just have to make a decision and go!

I mean really, what the hell am I afraid of? I’ve been making weird and wild choices for myself for years and the results have pretty much always been positive. I moved to Santa Barbara on a whim, then a couple years later to Los Angeles with hardly any prior thought. I traveled all over eastern and western Europe with almost no plan at all and I’ve backpacked; broke, drunk and alone in places like Malaysia, Serbia, and Israel. These don’t sound like the actions of a man who has a hard time making decisions. This doesn’t sound like the life of a man who runs away from choices.

But maybe that’s why I travel, why I’m always on the run. Maybe I’m so afraid of making any real choices that I have to keep myself always floating through some semblance of life, always on the road, moving aimlessly across the surface of the earth. In this state, my hardest decisions are where to go for drinks and whether or not to try to sleep with the cute local girl who just ordered a shot of whiskey and played Ain’t no Sunshine on the Jukebox. In this life I get to lay in bed all day trying to decide whether or not to get out of bed. I get wander aimlessly though the streets of some foreign city without worrying about where to go or what to do – I just let the world make my decisions for me. I leave it all up to chance and happenstance, to fate.

So here I am, sitting on the couch at Johnny’s house in LA waiting for someone to tell me that it’s time to start drinking again and forget about dwindling bank accounts and decisions about New Zealand and Thailand and Hawaii and everything else.

I’ll figure it all out soon enough, or maybe someone else will do it for me. Any suggestions?

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