Every time that I attempt to gaze into the future, I find that I am dangerously myopic. I can only consider immediate outcomes and my approach to major life decisions that ripple far into the future is haphazard at best. I want to see what my actions will bring, but all that I see is blurred.
My decision to transition and tackle my gender dysphoria was considered for all of fifteen minutes. I found a napkin and a marker and wrote out the pros and cons. Yes, the cons were potentially severe – loss of job, family, friends, reproductive ability, etc. – but I could not “feel” any of those possible negatives. All I could feel was that a decision to act on impulse would provide a “better” outcome in the moment.
I face major life decisions regularly. Whether it is choosing a new employer, buying a new vehicle, cutting friendships from my life, or any number of other matters, I constantly must try and determine what is best for my future. I cannot see past my own hands, however, and I cannot consider the potential butterfly effect of my actions. It is not logical that I cannot place weight on events that may (or may not) come, but it is reality.
It is hard to articulate such a disconnect. I realize that my impulsive spending, for instance, causes great distress when it comes to paying bills later in the month. I cannot feel the consequences of such actions, no matter how hard that I try. I am not consciously telling myself that nothing bad can happen from my lack of futuresight, but neither am I consciously reminding myself of what could happen with such a myopic state.
I am trying to be more mindful, but I suspect that I will never have that sense of future that others do. A combination of impulsivity, inability to delay gratification, and an inability to imagine negative outcomes leaves me blind and fumbling in the present. In the moment, each door leads to paradise, but each paradise may have doors that lead to ruin.