The Power to Choose


Often I get stuck in a way of living that I don’t enjoy, a way of being that I don’t know how I came to be in. I mean if I look back I can see “oh yes that’s how I ended up here” but in the moment, I feel stuck, as if I was just suddenly dumped here with no choice in the matter. I forget often that I have a choice, we all have choices. How we choose to think about life, or the way we live our lives. If we get out of bed at 7:30am and go for that run or sleep in. If we eat healthy or not. If we give up or continue to push for our dreams. Its all down to choice. It’s strange to think that often the only reason we don’t change things we don’t like is because we think we don’t have a choice. We make excuses for our behaviour. I cant afford healthy food, I’m too tired to go for a run, its impossible so why try?

WOW. In the end the only thing holding us back is ourselves. Often I have felt so stuck and trapped in situations, thinking I couldn’t escape. But then when I began to actually try to change the situation instead of just sitting in it feeling miserable and like it was out of my control, I realized I actually could change things, things were within my control. Its strange how often I forget that I have the power to live my life the way I want. Yes sometimes money makes it difficult, or I’m not mentally or physically incapable of doing exactly what I want, but for the most part I have complete authority over my life.

I decide to make healthy and positive changes in my life, or to think its no use, to make excuses. I decide to go after what I am passionate about, or to be fearful that it wont work out, to make excuses. Life is FULL of CHOICES and I forget that I have the POWER to CHOOSE. I wish I wasn’t so forgetful! I learn all these amazing, insightful and wondrous life lessons, but they seem to go in one ear and out the other! No wonder I tend to write things down all the time, I just don’t always have the time or memory to go back and re-read all my learnt wisdom. So many books and bits of paper filled with lessons. I just wish I could implant these realities into my brain and that they would pop up whenever I think I cant.

When I graduated from high school I made the plans and implemented them to move away from home, I decided to move to another university to study a different course, I applied to go to South Africa to raise money and get sponsors for myself, I applied to study Drama and live in this city. I chose where I live, what I eat, how I take care of myself, whom I date, every step I take is a choice. I really want to go travelling to India, Nepal and Europe, but so far I’ve seen it as an impossibility. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama and Creative Writing, I’m twenty-six, most of my experience and expertise is in theatre, film and writing. I am largely unemployable in the corporate world and making money as an artist is a dream I am still chasing. I don’t even have part time work, where on earth am I going to get the money from to buy a ticket to India or Europe?! BUT I have a choice. I can do odd jobs here and there, sell most of my possessions, save money by not buying coffee everyday, maybe even clean friends houses or something! Make clothes and sell them. Scrape together every last cent I have till I can afford to go to India. Or I can sit and think its impossible.

My desktop picture on my Mac is a lovely statement which I forget often so that’s why its my desktop picture!

“Believe you can and you’re half way there”

Its so so so true. Now that I believe I CAN make it to India, I’m actually going to try to make it work, instead of seeing it as impossible and thus sitting on my butt whingeing. If I believe I can make money from my art then I will actually TRY to do this, instead of just looking at all the negatives and hurdles standing in my way and then not trying at all. Belief is such a powerful thing, it can determine the very direction of our lives! I’ve heard stories of people who were in concentration camps during the Holocaust. Those who believed that they weren’t going to survive, did not survive, but those who believed that they were going to survive did survive. It’s amazing. You can actually control you’re body, its chemistry and make-up by your thoughts alone. This blows my mind! Your choices can be life and death.

This continually amazes me. Such as people who take placebos thinking they are actual medications and then do improve. It makes me think about my own physical ailments. How much of my thinking has influenced my body and the way it reacts?

Today I was feeling sick again. I was pottering around the house, feeling trapped there. After I felt a bit better, I came to a realization. Hang on, I DONT HAVE to stay here! I can make lunch, grab my laptop, hop on my bike and get out of here! I will feel so much better out in the open air with people around! Seeing life! Not secluding myself to this dungeon. Why on earth do I forget? Why do I pretty much put myself into situations I dislike? Its so strange.

I rode along the riverside and stopped to buy a coffee from a lovely man selling them from a cute old done up van. Lost Bean is the name of the mobile coffee van. I love how their logo reads find yourself. I’d bought coffee from this guy once before and I asked him about the job and company. Apparently his wife owns it, she was an environmental engineer but got tired of that job, she had always loved coffee so decided to open up this business! How grand is that!? She was aware that she had a choice in life and so decided to take a chance and change her situation! By changing her situation she has changed her life and influenced many people positively in the process! Including myself. My day has been made brighter by the appearance of this blue van, the interactions with the man who is very nice and genuine and being able to sit by the riverside sipping a delicious coffee whilst writing. Life really is grand when we choose to follow that which will make us happy. This makes me think about the choices I’ve been making lately.

I’ve been avoiding making my own work because of fear. I fear failure, I fear people hating me or my work, I fear what society thinks of me because I bring in virtually no money with my work (so far). I’ve been limiting myself because of fear, limiting myself because I don’t see myself as having a choice. But in doing so I have limited others too. I brought joy to people during my last production (Lilith – Brisbane Fringe Festival) I had created community, interactions, new found friendships and had influenced others own personal discoveries about their lives and how they wanted to live it. I made connections and actually impacted people’s lives. I brought more money and customers to a local café and contributed to the arts in my city. Because of me people decided to take the time to go and see a show for their anniversary. Others decided to see some theatre, which they hadn’t in a while and they had enjoyed it.

Oh my gosh. This morning I had been pondering why I had felt so unfulfilled after my production had finished and now I realise why! I hadn’t actually seen the difference I had made in others lives. All I had seen was the show, but I didn’t stop to investigate the impact it had made in my community! This has now freed me to go and make further work, because I had created something beautiful in peoples lives! Not the work itself but the interactions of people to make the work and to see the work! I had influenced their life paths! WOW. Oh this is such good news! I often wonder what actual difference I can make through my work, but perhaps this is a mistake, the difference I can make is through the making of my work and maybe only a little through the work itself! I’m always concerned about doing good, making a positive difference in people’s lives, now I see I can do that through the arts, where before I had not seen this! And if I had not decided to leave the house this afternoon, I might not have come to this realization which will inevitably take my life in a different, more positive direction!

WOW. Choices. More powerful then ever before. Today take the time to really look at your life and realise that you have the absolute POWER TO CHANGE IT – to make it what you want. I hope I have been a small example of the beauty, love and community you can create by choosing to empower yourself and follow that which will bring you joy and inevitably bring joy to those around you!



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