The Five Best Decisions Of My Life

@Chookooloonks tweeted this question: "5 best decisions of my adult life so far: go to law school, move to London, marry @marzjennings, adopt Alex, quit law. What are your 5 best?"

a spicy walrus

I was surprised at how quickly and easily I came up with my five: "My 5 best decisions: not choosing suicide, marrying @palinode, getting a pap smear in 2006, blogging, sobriety."


Not choosing suicide.

I experienced my first serious bout with suicidal thoughts when I was about eight years old, and those thoughts have dogged me most of my life. I have managed to remain relatively free of suicidal thinking over the last three years, which is no small feat.

This sounds so sad, and it is to an extent, but it's also a gift. I am aware every day that I have chosen to be alive, that I have chosen to be here and do the hard work of being alive, and that I have chosen it because life is short and the return for choosing to be here and working to do so with an open heart is large.

Marrying the Palinode.

I was terrified to be in love in 2000, but I never felt more at home with myself and with my life than when I was with the Palinode. It was the greatest leap of faith I have ever taken, and it is one I continue to take more than ten years later.

It is because of him that I have had the love and support I've needed to grow into a life I once didn't believe I could create.

Getting a pap smear in 2006.

In 2006, I hadn't had a pap smear in six years, and I listened to a niggling little thought in the back of my head that urged me to go. It turned out that I had cervical cancer, and I ended up having a hysterectomy in 2007. Catching cancer early, undoubtedly, makes all of what my life has been since then possible.

Sometimes, those voices in your head are real. Listen to them.

Blogging.

Next to the Palinode, blogging has had the most sweeping effects on my adult life. I am not being hyperbolic here.

Before I found blogging in 2003, I was a creative person who created nothing. I was insecure and depressed and had no hopes that I could ever realize my creative dreams. Blogging has opened up worlds of connection and creativity that I could never have forecast, and the things I've done and the decisions I've made since August of 2003 have largely happened because of this space right here. I learned to listen to myself, write, take photographs, design both on and off the web, quit work that hurt me and embrace work that built me up, and embrace vulnerability so that I could love more fully and take on sobriety.

Never forget, even in the face of some injustices we face here, that we have built amazing things within this dear old internet.

Sobriety.

I quit drinking in August of 2010, just a year and a month ago, and I credit that decision with saving my life. I can't even wrap my mind around all that it has affected yet.

I feel as though love is being revealed to me, as though layers are slowly being peeled away to show me the nature of the universe. I sound like a crazy person, but that's what's happening. Without the alcohol to, quite literally, dampen my spirits, I am waking up, I am opening up, and it is terrifying and beautiful. I have new eyes. I am learning to be present in my own life.


What are the five best decisions you've made?