Life is made up of choices. Thinking about it, that’s literally all you do, all day long. You make choices. You choose whether you stay up another half an hour or just call it quits and go to bed. You choose whether you cross the road now and maybe have to do a bit of an embarassing run because that bus is quite close, or do you wait until it passes, hoping there won’t be a string of cars behind. You choose whether to write a blog post or not. You’re making choices literally all the time. Right now I am choosing each word from a myriad of words to string a sentance together. See, right there, I could have chosen plethora instead of myriad – but I think plethora is over used. And there again, I chose to write that little anecdote down to illustrate my point, I could have just left it. I could go on. You get my point.
Anyway, the thing is, considering we’re creatures that make choices pretty much 24/7, we’re exceptionally bad at making them. I know I am. We choose so much, it’s like we train for it all our lives. And yet we really struggle with it when it comes to some things. Like choosing what to do about your dreams you want fulfilled. Choosing what lengths you’ll go to. Choosing what you’ll sacrifice. We find that sort of thing very hard. Sure you’ll say, we might make choices all day long, but the vast majority are of little consequence. They’re insignificant – that’s why those ones are easy. The life ones are hard because they matter. True, maybe. But are they that insignificant. Take my crossing the road choice from earlier. Could very easily be life or death. You mis-judge that choice, mis judge how close the bus is, or how fast you can embarrasingly run – you could end up dead. If that’s not a matter of consequence I don’t know what is.
I think maybe we’re scared. Maybe we’re scared about making those life choices because we worry what might happen if we follow a certain course. We worry it could lead to dissapointment. I suppose the thing with the bus is, you already have life – you’re choosing whether or not you risk losing it – that’s all. Whereas if you don’t have your career goals fulfilled and you’re trying to make a choice as to what might lead you to fulfil them, ah well that’s different. There you don’t have anything to lose – but you have a hell of a lot to potentially gain. I think maybe we should all be a bit braver. You first then Matthew, I hear you say. Yes, fair enough.
The other thing that strikes me as odd, is that in this choice filled world we live in, there are two things we can’t ever, ever choose. Not really. One is who you are, and the other is your name. You cannot choose who you are, not innately anyway. Deep down you are a person, you are that person and that person only, and no matter what you do in your life, you are that person. That’s not a loss of free will – it’s simply being. You are a specific person, and no-one ever gets to choose that. And your name, well, people change their names I guess (to some damn silly things I might add,) but it still doesn’t change your name, not really. Names are important – there’s something fundamentally important about names – about your real name. Even if you change by deed poll it doesn’t really change it, you’re still not choosing your name entirely because your original, deepest name will forever be un-chosen by you. It’s the supernatural enthusiast in me coming out, I know, but names have power, I’m sure of it.
Hmmm. Deep and interesting stuff. Night night.