Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise

I love the Avett Brothers. Possibly too much, but I doubt that’s even possible. It’s like saying somebody enjoys $100 bills too much. That’s stupid.

Regardless of that fact, there is an Avett Brothers lyric that keeps bouncing around in my head. “Decide what to be and go be it.”

I like that. It’s simple. Decide what to be, and go be it. It speaks to the nature of our lives, in that we tend to complicate things. We look around at all of the nuances of this life and feel so bogged down that we worry we won’t figure it out. We wish we knew all of the answers ahead of time, when in reality, we don’t need to. We just need to decide what to be, and go be it.

It’s simple.

Is life complicated? Of course. But life has been complicated since people first popped up, yet we’re still hanging around. Through the course of time, complication hasn’t won. Marriage is hard, careers are difficult, family can be stressful, but we’ve survived. Why? Because of that simple truth that people love to make sports movies about: the human spirit. It’s a spirit of surviving; of working.

Want to be a better spouse? Go be it. Better at your job? Go be it. A better family member or friend? Go be it.

Decide what to be, and go be it.

Our problem is the decision. We have to decide, to realize, that we want to be those things. That’s where we complicate things.

It’s always interesting, looking back on life and seeing the path you’ve followed to reach where you are. In my case, I look back in particular at work. I look back on when I got a full time job working for the government that lasted two months, before getting a much better job at my alma mater. That two month job allowed a friend to take my old job, gave me full time pay, and then finished right before my full workload was about to begin. I literally got paid to go through training, then I left. The timing couldn’t have been better.

Timing then brought me to my alma mater and job of the past few years. The job taught me how to budget and plan. It taught me how to take responsibility and to be responsible. Perhaps most importantly? It reminded me how to work hard.

Decide what to be, and go be it.

I honestly do believe that life is simpler than we make it. Complications come, but the point is whether or not we work through it. Whether we make that realization that we need to. Whether we decide that we want to.

Living is simple. Things won’t always work out the way they did with my two month job, but things will continue. They will move forward. That’s how life works. It is constantly moving, advancing, continuing. And we react to that, either by continuing with it, by resisting and worrying, or by growing.

That’s the decision. Life continues whether or not we want it to, so we have to decide. Do we drift? Do we worry? Or do we work? Will we take responsibility and rest assured in the knowledge that no matter what happens to us, we worked hard through it all? Marriages will sometimes fall apart, careers will sometimes end, and family and friends will sometimes desert us. The world will always have complications. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do all within our power to work towards making those things better.

Living is simple. Decide what to be, and go be it.


16 thoughts on “Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise

  1. I’ve always loved this line, too. It’s so simple but so true. Unfortunately, so many of us wait so long to actually live that advice, that it makes the task nearly impossible, due to obstacles that have amassed over time.

    Society doesn’t help, by basically making kids think they absolutely have to go to college, possibly waste 4-5 years of their lives, become 40k in debt and seriously behind in the game.

    Do I sound bitter?


    1. Short answer: yes.

      Long answer: yes, but we understand.

      Longer answer: yes, but while I don’t necessarily use my degree, I wouldn’t trade my four years of college for anything in the world.

      Shorter answer: Y

    1. It’s entropy, entropy, falling apart. Gosh, that’s one of my favorite songs ever.

      I purposefully didn’t cite my sources there to see if anyone would catch that particular song. Well done, Amy. You win the prize.

  2. Good stuff man. There is so much to that song, so many different ways to go with it. One of the things I love about that band is their ability to speak to things that no one else I’ve found has ever been able to do. Real good stuff.

  3. Corny, but here goes: I felt like this was for me.

    Also, shamefully, I’ve never listened to the Avett Brothers.

    After this, I’m not buying the dumb act no mo’, man. 😉

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