We Are Who We Choose to Be

Among other things, I’ve been busy working on my poetry book this week. And I started using a different program to create it. After a  new learning curve, I’m now comfortable with the different features, and my book is finally beginning to take the shape I wanted.

The only drawback is the program’s inability to create a PDF file for the creation of a book’s hard copy. If I manage to sell enough digital copies – should I be that fortunate –  I’ll consider making a paperback copy available by using the original program which does convert into PDF files. I’m not there yet –  my greatest fear is that my book won’t sell, -or worse, people will hate it. While I can’t focus on my fear, I’ve learned to be patient.

So now that my book is taking shape, and I’ve done my homework on self-publishing, I started writing poetry again. I wrote four new poems for my book today between the editing and formatting. A girl needs a break sometimes, and it felt fantastic to write a poem again. In fact, it felt so good that I wrote three more.

On the other hand, I haven’t really had much time for reading this week. There’s always a price to pay. But I did read an interesting post which explores the idea of free will (or that was my take at least).

As you know, free will is the idea that we are free to make our own choices, and act on those choices.

The post further reminded me of Jean-Paul Sartre’s theory of existential angst. He proposed that the freedom to choose, and act on our choices – with the responsibility for those choices and actions being ours alone, produce a sense of angst.

I tend to agree  with Sartre on the points he made about freedom, choice and responsibility. Although, I’m not sure why the ensuing responsibility should give us so much angst, or the concept of freedom.

In his book Existentialism And Human Emotions, Sartre mentions that we are condemned to be free. I can certainly see how viewing our freedom in such a manner would produce some degree of anxiety.

Personally, I’ve always celebrated my intellectual and physical freedom. I also prefer to take responsibility for my actions, rather than pass it onto someone else.

To give someone else that responsibility would mean giving up way more power than I’m comfortable with.

We may not always make the right choice as we go through life, but at least we’ve made a choice. Because what’s our alternative? We remain paralyzed by fear, unable to act at all.

And that, according to Sartre (if I’m remembering correctly) is also a choice for which we must take responsibility – so much responsibility.

As you can see, there’s no escaping responsibility for our choices and actions. The post that I read also mentioned the familiar notion of being damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. I think it applies to Sartre’s idea of our inescapable responsibility as well. We are who we choose to be. It’s entirely up to us – whether we like it or not.

I’d rather be damned for choosing what I believe in – acting on those beliefs and any dreams I might have, than to be damned by sitting on my couch wondering what might’ve been.

Nothing is ever given to us. We have to go out and earn it. If we allow our existential angst to get the better of us, we wouldn’t get very far, and we’d still be using horse driven carts (it’s the first thing that popped into my head, so cut me some slack).

I’ve made so many mistakes over the years that I’ve lost track. So freaking what. I’ve also made lots of good choices – like pursuing my education and following my dreams.

I could’ve allowed all the what ifs to stop me, but where would that have taken me? I don’t believe in ‘can’t’. And I don’t like being told that I can’t. I kinda like making up my own mind, thank you very much…

I just noticed that it’s getting late, and I really ought to be in bed. So I’m gonna stop soon. I don’t want to take up any more of your time with my late night ramblings. I’m sure you have better things to do.

Whatever you choose to do – and whatever your dream may be, own it and follow it through. After all, what’s the worse that can happen? But don’t spend too much time on the what ifs. It’ll drive you bonkers.

Do you want to be damned for trying, or for choosing fear? The choice is yours. And don’t make someone responsible for your choices and failures – most of us don’t have a problem taking credit for success.

If you make someone for your failures, you may end up making them responsible for your dreams. Do you really want to give someone that much responsibility?

Remember that tomorrow is a new day.  Don’t waste it on fear. Embrace the infinite possibilities – for the universe is infinite, and so are you.

©Brenda Baker ~ Caffeinated Ramblings 2017

Until next time, be kind to yourself. You’re worth it.

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