I Should Have Picked the Mac And Cheese

I’ve just done something major. Big big big. Stay tuned; details to come.

For now, I want to chat about decisions. When I was a kid, I was paralyzed by the importance of every minuscule decision I made. It’s a demonstration of the normal child I used to be, but it’s also a fundamental truth of our existence.

Here’s an extreme example of what I mean: I decide to eat cold pizza instead of mac and cheese (yes, these are the kinds of nutritious dishes I chose between). I pick cold pizza, which reminds me of college, which makes me nostalgic, which sends me to a bar that night. I meet a man, last name Manson. I’ll spare you the ending, but I should have gone with mac and cheese.

Here’s another, less far-fetched one: you glance in the mirror and decide to comb your hair before leaving. Takes an extra minute and a half. You go out and cross the street just as a DUI-in-progress is barreling through a red light. He was a mile away 90 seconds before. You should have stuck with the mussy look.

If you thought about the significance of your every decision, would it make you think twice before choosing? Worry about which choice will lead to your undoing? For most people, no, but if you are one of those people, I apologize for bringing it to your attention.

And then of course there’s big decisions. Which college should you go to? Which job? Should you marry the guy or run? We know these matter. We struggle with the outcomes, try to predict how happy we will be in the future. At some point we have to pick, or we’ll be living in our parents’ house forever. When our decision doesn’t turn out well, we try to convince ourselves it did. Either that or drink or move back with Mom and Dad.

When you think about it, there’s something brave about us heading out into the world, living our lives. We manage to face the uncertainty, to leave the house, because what really is the alternative? We have to know and accept that there’s only one certainty in our lives, which is that they will end. All we can do is push that reality from our minds and find pleasure where pleasure can be found. I find it in girlie cocktails, melted cheese, movies with no artistic value, soft things on my skin, novels and writing and staring at trees. Friends and family and fiance too, of course. Where do you find yours?

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