The Privilege of Choice and the Fear of Failure

I live an incredibly privileged life.

I am privileged to have a job. I am privileged that I have access to higher education and that I can afford to be in graduate school. I am privileged that I live in one of the most beautiful places on Earth,  and one that has the cleanest air. I am privileged that I am healthy, and have access to healthcare. I am privileged because I have a good credit score and have access to financing if I need it. I am privileged to have space- and not live in an area where there is high population density. I am privileged to own my home. I am privileged that I was raised in a safe environment by a family that had enough resources to care for me.  I am privileged because I am white. I am privileged that I hold a passport to a country that allows me to travel easily to most other countries. I am privileged that I have been able to travel. I am privileged that I have healthy food to eat and clean drinking water.


I think that one of the biggest privileges I have is the privilege of choice. I can choose to craft my life as to how I see fit- I can do what I want. If I wanted to start a business selling hand-made sock monkeys, or penis-shaped candles, I’m sure I could do it. Or become an online personal-trainer guru on YouTube. Whatever. And this is when I start to realize that my privilege almost overwhelms me- and I ponder the fact that this privilege of being able to choose is like a gift and a curse. It really puts the pressure on me- what the hell do I do? What do I want? What am I meant to do? How many undiscovered talents and passions do I have?

They say do what your passionate about, and the money will follow. Well, I am passionate about a few things. Writing music. Traveling. Cultural Anthropology. Nature. Fitness and yoga. Self-development. Learning new languages. Helping people. Healthy food. Kombucha. Reading.

So- what do I do? I know for a fact that I don’t want to have a regular career or job. I can do it for a while, but it’s not my goal. Having been my own boss before, I have experienced the benefits and freedom that come with that and I crave it.

So what could I be successful at? Successful doesn’t just mean that it pays the bills, but that it fulfills me (oh, and what a privilege this is! To be able to seek a career taking into account how it emotionally fulfills me!)

The thing is, is I feel like I’m not extraordinary at anything-I’m more a mediocre, jack-of-all-trades kind of person. And I have a lot of weaknesses. I can be really introverted at times (in a society that values extrovert behavior more). I can get really depressed at times (it’s soooo cliche, the depressed artist), I start projects and don’t finish them (will I even finish this blog post?). I struggle with disorganization and my ADD daydream tendencies.

…Maybe I do know what I want to do, but I’m scared that I’m not good enough and that I will fail. I have always wanted to “do” music. I have been writing songs since I was a child. I have also always wanted to be a writer (imagine a writing style resembling an amalgam of David Sedaris, Anthony Bourdain, and Elizabeth Gilbert). My singing voice is not that great- and I tell myself I will never be able to ‘make it’ in the music world because of it. Or I am not that great of a writer- who would want to read what I have to say anyway?

There is no conclusion to this blog post- just the fact that I have a lot of privilege, a lot of choices, and confusion and doubt about what to do with my life.





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