Wednesday, July 16, 2008

:: :: on making decisions :: ::

I’ve never been one to ask for advice. Not on my personal life, anyway. Sure, I’ll consult Consumer Reports or CNET for advice on carseats, cribs, and cameras. But when it comes to decisions I need to make in my own life, I prefer to tackle those alone.

This is so true that my decisions often seem to come out of thin air, even to the people closest to me. It’s as if my brain works on a problem for me in the background like so much html working behind the scenes of a website. My decisions appear fully formed and well-coded, displayed across the screen in full technicolor. Seemingly without warning, I’ll quit a job, move from Boston to Rochester, drop all my classes one semester.

But of course that’s not the whole story. Beneath those decisions lie sleepless nights, agonizing journal entries, crying jags, and sometimes even shortness of breath. Each decision is laborious, and the results are always cathartic. Even though they seem sudden to others, they are clear and perfect and right to me. They are artworks.

None of this is purposeful, of course. I don’t plan to keep things in. I don’t try to keep all of my decisions top-secret. It’s just the way I am. And it works for me in that I always trust my decisions as mine and mine alone, but it’s not very healthy. I know that.

It’s strange, then, to see a psychologist. I’ve only gone once and already I feel like I need (want?) to run every little thing by her. Should I go home to Rochester? How long should I stay? Should I finish my dissertation? What should I do about the fact that my house makes me feel anxious?

Do I look good in purple or should I stick to blues?

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