Awhile back I sat beside my friend imploring her to avoid making—what I had deemed a bad decision. After minutes of urgently persuading her to avoid the inevitable, she turned to me and said, “I need to make my own mistakes”. Hearing this, I put my hands up in defeat and left her to what I thought was her downfall. Upon leaving, I started thinking about what she had said to me. I deemed her argument invalid as she was quite literally admitting that her decision would be a mistake. But then I thought about her words further. She knew that her decision was a mistake, and yet she was willing to make it anyways. Even though there might or would be consequences she wanted to go forward. Instead of letting logic or perhaps fear hinder her decision making, she went with her gut feeling.
This choice fascinated me. As a lawyer-in-training I try and make the most rational choices. I overanalyze and over-think in advance so I can prevent having any bumps in my future path. But am I missing out on an important part of life? Am I losing valuable experience and life lessons? The answer is yes. Recently I made a horrible decision. I knew that it was a bad choice from the start and I continuously reminded myself that logically my decision made no sense. I attempted a long distance relationship without having built a foundation with the other person. I let my hope and optimism get in the way of my logic and reason. I knowingly went against all the odds. The relationship was taxing on both of us and the break ended badly. Yet I do not regret my decision. The lessons I gleaned from the relationship are invaluable, and have given me a new perspective. Though I also was awarded heartbreak and despair, overall if given a second chance, I would make the same bad decision.
Life is short and people take it far too seriously. People need to learn that it is okay to mess up, to follow your heart, and to go down the wrong path. Trying to always think rationally and logically is not living; it is letting your life be controlled by a machine. So screw up while you still are able to, and realize that what you are doing will develop you as a multidimensional person. This is not to say that people should always make bad choices. But if your heart is telling you left and your brain is telling you right, maybe for just once go to the left. Take this leap of faith and try something radical, irrational, that very well may be a mistake.