On ambivalence

The definition of ambivalence from http://www.merriam-webster.com
1:  simultaneous and contradictory attitudes or feelings (as attraction and repulsion) toward an object, person, or action
a :  continual fluctuation (as between one thing and its opposite)
b :  uncertainty as to which approach to follow

I wonder about my ambivalence sometimes, and the role it has played in my life. For example, not knowing which college to choose – my final choice felt like a default.  I began my first year of college being like, “Yeah, I’m here, but I’m not sure if I want to be.” My father tells me of a time, around age 12, where I sat in the car for over a half hour at my school’s track because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to play soccer.  Every time he would start the car to leave, I would say, “No, wait.”  In these situations, I fluctuated.  I held onto uncertainty. 

Then there are also times where I am convinced that the path I’m following is, or should be, certain.  There may also be a pattern of this in my life of choosing the “next big thing” because it seemed like the next logical step in making me become the kind of person I’d like to be.  But what about the person I am now, and of cultivating those gifts?  There are times that I’ve considered to be “in-betweens” that now feel like they were the steadier points in my life.

Yes, it would be empowering for me to make a decision, a firm yes or no, to say, “this is what I want.”  I don’t want my “I don’t knows” to be defaults in my life, because I still make a choice within that.  One of my mentors has called this state being “on the fence.”  I’ve grown to hate that phrase.  Is it possible to claim this feeling of ambivalence? Or am I overly reliant on this not knowing, this caught-in-between? 

And sometimes life (or Spirit, the universe, God) has other plans, other choices in mind.  I did choose to leave San Diego, and by that time, it felt like I had no other choice.  I want to be an active agent in my decisions, but there it felt like I was caught between what I thought my path had to be and what I kept hearing underneath that.  Sometimes ambivalence is there because there is a voice underneath saying, “wait, listen.  I have something to tell you.” 

Well, I’m ready to listen. 


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