The Indecision Complex

Two loves, two passions, two drives and one decision. It will change my life but not decide it. Psychologically I can’t get past it. The indecision complex.

Haltom’s Diamonds clock in Fort Worth, TX

We’re always preparing for the future.

I studied for an exam to get into secondary school.

I chose subjects for my GCSEs which would then shape my interests for A Levels.

Then there was one subject choice.

Geography. Specifically Human Geography.

The reasons for each step along the way was affected by a number of factors. Factors with their own weighting and relevance.

Decisions made in the best interest of the time and the information acquired.

Now there is a decision that needs to be made and committed fully to — with no regrets.

It’s hard.

Usually when it comes to my path, I’m pretty solid on where it needs to go.

Now I’m at an impasse and I’m hoping by flushing out my thoughts that I can figure a way to resolve it.

Our choices only decide our next step not our destination. I think we’re all trying to live a life without regret and clouding our judgement on making the decision in the first place.

With that in mind, I have two desires — each one excites me — which are up for consideration.

These two geographical topics will help to shape the start of a career, which I may or may not end up doing for a lifetime.

I met a wise man named Noel who told me a revealing statistic.

On average, an employee will only stay in their job for a duration of seven years before they are not required or leave the company.

Seven years.

That’s a secondary school lifetime and makes you think whether you should invest so much time and effort into one thing.

Why not diversify?

That’s what I’ve excelled at. Diversification of options.

Now I’m a little confused as to where I want to go.

Before I started writing this blog, I wrote down my two passions: urban development and human rights.

I wrote the subtopics which excited me.

Urban development: identity, growth, infrastructure, resilience, environmental sustainability, housing, urban design, planning

Human rights: modern slavery, mental health, homelessness, corporate social responsibility, legislation, activism, child labour, cultural differences (stopping change)

Admittedly I wrote out the human rights one faster than the urban development ones which might already be a sign.

The urban development path would lead me out to Texas, USA.

The human rights path would keep me in London, UK.

I have strong ideas for both fields and would love to mash them together and have a dream job.

I’m yet to discover it so for now let’s consider them separate.

Difficulty.

Both paths are hard. Staying in the UK will be culturally easier but the field is harder to crack.

Cost.

Both paths will cost a lot of money. Relocating to the USA is not a cheap expenditure. Living in London is rather overpriced and unaffordable. There is no easy winner in this category.

Career-wise.

Urban development is needed in all corners of the globe. More people need to be supported by strong economic centres, but the threat of further poverty and inequality is worrying. It’s a job that someone needs to do well. And we need a lot of people to do it.

Human rights is always a difficult field to chip away at, there needs to be a change in culture of blame and responsibility. There needs to be a turn towards cooperation rather than competition. The business model must change but only with positive and not negative reinforcement. And its future is unknown. Who knows how long the world will respond to socially responsible practices? That little thing called climate change might take centre stage and eliminate the attention.

Wage.

I remember seeing when I first arrived in the States that living costs were lower and wages higher than in the UK. Educated folk in the USA are paid well and not given holiday. The competition in the big bad city of London makes worthiness for pay difficult to muster. Graduate schemes and entry-level jobs barely paying the rent for an apartment. I’m not a man who wants to have a lot of money, I don’t spend much either, but I’d live to build up a savings account than have a burning hole in my pocket.

Experience.

Working at CACI and doing my dissertation on urban identity in Fort Worth, Texas makes up the bulk of my experience. I also love to see the cityscape and understand the differences between each place. I have evidence and a theoretical desire and hunch about cities that has so far rung true.

I’ve been civically engaged from a journalism standpoint for two years and I got caught in the corporate world earlier this year. I have immense respect for both sides of the discussion and have intuitions about the direction of it all.

Why?

Urban development is a required service to help accommodate the growing population. It’s an opportunity to ‘be in the know’ and build cities to grow communities of like-minded people. It’s a chance to learn from mistakes and prepare a stronger future for more aware future generations.

Human rights is a field that immediately draws to my character and do-good nature. It stems from hating to view others in hardship. I’m interested in connecting an industry through cooperation and honesty. I’m cynical of anyone who tries to disrupt the process for their own agenda. And as every millennial wants to do — it could change the world.

We’re told to not live our life with regret.

Regret will make you hate it all, they say.

But when you have a choice where both paths could prove equally successful — it’s hard to know which one you’ll must enjoy.

The biggest deciding factor is enjoyment and fulfilment.

I think I know what I’ll do.

It’s the same as what I wanted to do in the first place.

I may delay my trip to the States by doing a masters in the UK, but I think that path is the one I’ll pursue.

I’ll keep with the human rights in my own nuanced way and who knows if I’ll drift that way in the end.

I’d still like to speak to people about this decision.

An objective, not influenced and honest opinion would be welcomed and the number of people to ask is few and far between.

But I’m glad I can write out my pre-occupations and I hope now I can get on with my life.

Not worry about this decision but embrace every twist and turn.

The indecision complex.

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Danial Naqvi

Joint PhD Candidate Business & Management at Manchester & Melbourne| MSc UCL Science, Technology and Society | BA (Hons) QMUL Human Geography |