The overarching theme of Transference is the question of conflict and how it relates to violence. It’s the question of: can the ends justify the means? Are there times when our only option is to act in violence or is that simply lazy thinking? But, that’s a question I’ll leave you all to ponder on your own, as there’s another idea at the core of this story that applies more to our dreams and making them a reality—which is what this whole podcast is about!
So, at its core. . .
TRANSFERENCE is all about making choices, and more importantly, making the BIG choices. Those crossroads in life that can make us feel that if we don’t get it right, the result is going to hurt.
A choice like that can leave us in a state of paralysis. It’s the fear of getting it wrong (aka failure), and the unseen, unknown consequences of that result, that can lead us into avoiding the choice itself. Just like our main characters in the story, who all decided to run from an issue. The Observers all chose to hide and tried not to see the threat that still loomed, the inevitable choice that lurked just around the corner. Rick tries to avoid being in a position where he would have to make another choice where violence is an option. But, they all discover that the crossroads don’t disappear even if we look the other way.
I definitely felt this fear after graduating from college. The choice of choosing your future is a daunting one. I felt like each choice I made was this critical moment, that if not handled correctly, my entire life trajectory could go off in a direction I wouldn’t like. No wonder I was stressed about it, and anxious, and even depressed at times thinking about, “how come I don’t know?” It felt like everyone in the world knew the answers, and I was the only one living in uncertainty.
Ok, so, obviously I don’t feel this way anymore… so, how do we get through it? I can really only speak to what I learned, but I imagine it will make sense to everyone.
Three things have evolved inside of myself to see these choices as non-threatening, and non-stress inducing.
The first thing to understand is that, for the most part, the only way we can really KNOW which option is best is to make a choice and live in it. Take the job you’re unsure about. Start the business you’re uncertain about. Try that idea you’re not sure will work. Go for that internship or interview. Only by walking a path, will we really know if we want to be there or not. Over time, after many “right” choices and “wrong” choices, we get better and better at knowing what we want and what we don’t. Instead of our choices being a flip of a coin, eventually, certain paths will become a certainty in our mind.
The second thing, is that a decision doesn’t mean a life commitment… most of the time. Obviously there’s the rare exception like you have to choose to amputate your leg or risk death. That’s a life commitment kind of choice. Most choices in life are not like that… thankfully, and if you are in that position, that’s another topic entirely, I think.
So, to continue with point two here… it’s just to recognize that we can always change our minds. I do it all the time. I make a choice, and then I change my mind. Why not, right? If I choose one path, and it turns out it’s not what I imagined, or now I think the other option is better, I can change. I can alter my direction, and I’m unafraid to do so with a snap of my finger. Make a choice, live in it, and then you can always choose to change again.
The third and last idea is that I don’t think we should define ourselves based on one decision. Am I a podcaster? A storyteller? A musician? A teacher? An entrepreneur? A liar? An honest Abe? Am I a coward? Courageous? I’m all of them, and I’m none of them. I’m not defined from one choice, and nor are you. So, remove the pressure.
One recent example in my life is something that has to do with this podcast and the novel I’m writing. I just took a month off from this podcast in an attempt to focus solely on the novel and get it done. I soon realized two things. First, this podcast is more important to me than the novel. I know… maybe that’s crazy, but it is what it is. I’d rather this first novel take me months longer to finish than to skip another month from this podcast. That’s just what makes me happy. Second, is that I realized I can’t just finish this novel with some great push. I’m still learning things, and I won’t publish a novel just to publish it. I want it to be great, and it’s just pretty good right now. I know ways to improve it, and I will get it there.
So, I put the novel down for a week, as I usually would do, to write this podcast story, and record it and do all the work I’ve grown to love about it. I felt incomplete without it, and I won’t put it on hold again. Lesson learned. Choice made, and choice changed.
It’s really crazy to me how the decision to start this podcast and write short stories every month, has really changed my life. It hasn’t brought me fame, or glory, or any money, but it just makes me happy. I can’t explain it, and you can’t buy that. Did I know that this podcast could change my world like that? No. But…
. . . I chose to walk the path, to live in it, and I found it to be pretty amazing.