The world is filled with duality enough to make one's head go 'round.
Being considerate to others' feeling versus foregoing them in order to focus on other tasks.
Looking good against being good.
Social skills or deep education.
Accepting yourself as is or better yourself.
Your own country or any of the rest of the world.
Virtuality and reality.
Money versus happiness.
Help yourself or help others.
Accept them for who they are or filter their presence in your life thoroughly.
Stay aloud and risk alienation or stay quiet and burn your soul with unrequited feelings.
That most of those aren't binary choices makes matters worse, for now we have to balance ourselves consciously, with effort and attention, the expenditure of which is tiring. Worst of all is that there is no right choice, for each of the truly dual choices has their reason to exist within one's ethics.
We are social creatures, and having someone close to or around us is always pleasant - but one also might be curious to the extreme about how a part of the world works, as well as not having enough energy or interest to balance.
Helping others is pleasant, but so is doing something for yourself; unless you hurt others for your own entertainment or profit, there's no clear reason to pick either in every situation, or even in most.
In the modern world, having resources - money, time, personal workpower - allows for greater opportunities that most often are closed to those who don't have enough of either, particularly the first one. Yet, there are plenty of examples for living simply and happily; many stories that will tell one about money ruining happiness; and many that will prove otherwise.
Those are only a few examples that one may very well encounter if they live in the first or the second world, economically speaking. Such circumstances and choices exist in the third world, too, but often other, more important concerns - food, water, illness, place to sleep - take attention, leaving the rest to the automated selection mechanism within the subconscious. The first and the second worlds don't have such problems and, because of that, expose a higher level of human needs.
* * *
When we don't have to put our attention onto keeping ourselves alive and well physically any longer, we begin to strive for more: creativity, personal interests, grand projects and small details.
It is then when the world becomes unclear. Opportunities, like a field of magnificent size, spread before us, each leading to a different part of the many-dimensional living, stretched in time, space and somewhere else. Choosing one becomes hard, since each takes you away from what the rest may bring.
Most of us probably aren't capable of doing even two things - painting and professional racing, for example - to the level that would satisfy us (if only we could try and know for sure whether), and doing sub-par work will not bring us pleasure. We want to be good at what we do; being good requires practice; and practice requires energy - physical, mental or both. Not many of us are born with reservoirs of energy waiting to be spent - it is because of that that we marvel at and worship those who are capable of doing many things.
Picking one of the many is hard, but picking either of two is even harder when both are important to oneself. It is when we want to spend our life both sailing and writing, or both boxing and engineering bridges, or fly military aircraft and sing that we're on the edge of the blade, capable of falling onto either side, and struggle because we know we can't get back to the edge once we're fallen deeply enough into one side's spirits.
Changes brought by our choices are organic, invisible within the day-to-day perspective and only become observable once enough time passes and we can clearly see the difference. Often, we're going to feel more attached to the ways we've chosen because they've already brought us what we know; unknown terrifies us, and taking a walk upon another way will become harder the longer we've been where we are. With our current choices - writing for newspaper rather than building houses - we have a more-or-less clearly defined life and a more-or-less well-lit path to take; with whathever we still might choose, we can't know with certainty what it will bring, and staying the way we are becomes an obviously more comfortable decision.
* * *
It is still more terrifying to stay outside of the field still, when the decision is to be made: the discomfort of the duality is most pressing here, for neither decision has yet been delivering us the results that might have leaned us towards one or another. Time weighs upon us as well: it won't ever stop, even if only for a moment, to let us go beyond our lives, to change perspective, to forget about whatever bears heavy right now and see what may be important ahead. It keeps flowing forth, waiting for no one and nothing; as we try and submit it our will - as if we're more important in the worldframe than time itself - it never bends, dictating its laws in an authoritative, almost authoritarian way.