where does the permission come from?

Over the weekend I bought a small 8 oz cup designed by the Belgian artist Helen B with the words “f*ck it” printed on it

The collectively candid, free-spirited, and abrasive nature of the text was immediately attractive — I guess that probably says a thing or two about my personality. 

I also liked the dramatic scene that came to mind as I examined the cup: I imagined myself facing a difficult life decision, quickly gulping down the contents of the cup, dramatically slamming it onto the table, gazing into the distance, saying the words printed on the cup (“f*ck it”), and making a decision with my heart that was immensely exciting and scary. 

So I bought the cup — because it reaffirmed the type of person I want to be and the type of life I want to lead.

Critically, though I love using and looking at the cup now, it’s never going to be the cup that will actually make any of these theoretically exciting and scary decisions for me— it will be me making them.

Trusted opinions and trinkets like this cup are fine for helping guide how you think about choices, but don’t mistake them for permission to do anything. 

Unless the person you consulted or the trinket you drew inspiration from are somehow bearing the consequences of your choices, the permission to make a choice ultimately has to come from you. 

And with that permission, an acceptance of the full range of consequences ahead — good and bad. 

Can this be scary? Yes. 

But without assuming full ownership and responsibility, you leave so much to chance — and that’s scarier.