Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Decisions, decisions.


I had the best conversation. 
In a bar. With a relative stranger.
Which I imagine is how most of the best things happen. 
Or at least start. 

There's a regular at the bar where I, occasionally, work.
He's there every Friday night, having conversations. 
He doesn't have an agenda as far as I can tell, just to share stories.
On this particular night I ended up as his focus. 
We discussed a lot of things: race and gender and life and decisions. 

The etymology of the word decide comes from the latin de -- off and caedere -- to cut or kill.
In essence it means to to kill off an option. 
It has the same suffix as homocide and suicide. Violent, traumatic acts. Things best avoided. 
We talked about how our generation, or maybe just my, he's a bit older than I am, seems so averse to making decisions. My friends avoid labels for relationships and job titles. They hesitate to define thoughts and opinions for fear of being perceived as immutable. We praise those who refuse to commit to any one person, hailing their unlimited options as freedoms and reveling in the shear number of choices available to them.

But are all those choices really all that great? 
Certainly, choices are wonderful and having the ability to pick precisely what we want is great as well. Because, after all, having all those choices allows us to ultimately become exactly who we are meant to be. How can we know we want to be yogis or engineers or polyamorous or monogamous without having those available for exploration? And yet the phrase "I don't know what I want." has become our motto.

I don't think the options are to blame. 
We just need to be more comfortable killing them off. 
It's time to start saying goodbye. 

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*Photo by me