On Doubt

Doubt’s a terrible thing, isn’t it?  You have a decision to make.  You think about it long and hard.  You might even pray.  You calculate the cost, seek wise counsel and finally you’re ready to take the plunge.  You set things in motion.  You pass the point of no return.  And then one small, insignificant, possibly completely unrelated thing happens and you’re thinking, what’s the point?  Why do I bother?  Won’t it just be better to pack up my things and go somewhere else?  And suddenly you’re not sure.  You wonder whether you had made the right choice.  You start second-guessing yourself.

That’s where I am now.  I have made a decision to make a major career change (well, not actually a change, as I’m returning to the career for which I originally studied but gave up for the sake of eating).  I know I’m doing the right thing.  But this week I keep on questioning my recent choices.  I’m doubting my future plans.  New opportunities are arising, and you’d think this is a good thing, but they are mutually exclusive with my original plans and I don’t know whether these new opportunities are a better option or simply a distraction intended to steer me away from what I originally intended to do.

Doubt is good.  Without doubt, faith cannot grow, just like a fruit tree eventually dies if you never prune it.  But damn it this is hard.  I’m too tired right now.  This year has been hell and the last few weeks have been worse.  I simply do not have the strength to deal with doubt right now.  I don’t want to make any more decisions.  I want to relax.  I want to shut down.  I want to hear myself think.  I’ve gone way too long without talking to myself.

I envy people who are certain.  I wonder how they became certain.  I wish I could be certain because that would mean I would no longer have to doubt.  But that would also mean I would no longer be able to believe or to hope or to trust.  Maybe doubt is better that certainty.  If only doubt wasn’t so hard.