Ask Andrew W.K.: How Do I Keep the Demons in My Mind at Bay?
[Editor's note: Every Wednesday New York City's own Andrew W.K. takes your life questions, and sets you safely down the right path to a solution, a purpose or -- no surprise here -- a party. Need his help? Just ask: AskAWK@villagevoice.com]
Dear Andrew W.K.
Thank you for spreading your power of positive partying. I am ready for a move in my career and know that I will not be able to go any higher at my current company. If I were to follow my passion, it would mean leaving my current city, but I am in love with where I am living and with my friends and family here. I'm worried that if I DO follow my passion for my career, I might end up very unhappy being so far away from the life I've built, but I also know that if I stay, a big part of me will never be satisfied. I feel like my heart is invested in both sides of this dilemma equally. In your infinite party wisdom, what would you suggest I do? Follow my dreams and leave town or stay close to my friends in a job that is not good for me?
See also: New Weekly Feature: Ask Andrew W.K.
Dear Indecisive Over-thinker,
Thank you for your question! First, I'm not sure there really is such a thing as "over-thinking." How can you tell if you've over-thought? What if you start thinking about over-thinking and end up thinking too much? Why does hardcore thinking have to have such a bad reputation anyway? It seems we're proud to be hardcore and extreme in all sorts of other ways, why not in thinking? "Hey! Don't over-think it, man!" Why not?
Moments of deep contemplation are crucial. Sure, we don't want to immobilize ourselves by obsessing to a standstill, but don't certain moments deserve deep consideration? When we're at a crossroads, shouldn't we look at where we stand in a self-conscious and thoughtful way?
When you're thinking about how much you love your family, or how thankful you are for your friends--those are the kinds of thoughts that make life feel good; they make life worth living. Our attachment to those feelings is proof of their importance. You built a life you care about, and through your examination of it, you've realized that the time has come to move on from it.
Change is inevitable and painful. And life will throw change at you no matter how hard you cling to familiarity and security. But here, you have the choice for change. You get to choose to follow your dream, and that's the best kind of choice you'll ever get to make. Big life choices make us pause and take stock of our entire landscape--just don't gaze around for too long.
It's not the over-thinking that will paralyze you, it's the indecision. You've already climbed up the high dive--debating whether or not to jump will only freeze you at the end of the board. It's time to jump. Could following your dream be worth risking the dreams you've already achieved? You must be willing to bet on it, or what is any of it worth? Whatever happens, at least you're playing the game and playing to win. It's going to be intense, but it's going to be amazing. Even if it's not the easiest or the safest choice, it's the choice where you decided to follow your dreams. Destiny has given you this opportunity.
Your loved ones have given you the courage to take it. Now go. You owe it to them and you owe it to yourself. Just be sure to have a huge going-away party!