The words in front of me blur as sweat cascades down my forehead, stinging my wavering eyes. I swallow the lump in my throat as I count the footsteps of the approaching man. I’m not ready… not yet.
“What can I get you?”
His question rings in my ears like a pantomime that ticks away towards the decision that can either end or start my life anew. I’m strangely tempted to smack the pen and paper out of the man’s innocent hand in order to buy myself more time.
Do I get the chicken tenders? But I can’t betray my true homie, the bacon cheeseburger. What about my side? Do I thicken my blood further with those grease-drenched fries, or order the salad to only eat the croutons?
I can’t choose, and this isn’t an unfamiliar situation for me. I usually just force my tablemate to choose for me because I’m plagued with a disease that sweeps this very nation: indecisiveness.
Indecisiveness is usually harmless. Yes, there’s no bigger pain than when you and your friends can’t decide what to do (so you just sit in the car and wait for Jesus to tell you where to go), but it’s not actually hurting anyone.
However, the inability to choose becomes dangerous when it creates excess stress. The anxiety of having to face a possible bad outcome can be detrimental to the mind. Thankfully, the stress of indecisiveness isn’t impossible to relieve. To beat it, you just have to just take risks and choose. Whether that be blindly or on a whim, go for it.
For example: college. Students are pressured to choose which college they want to attend out of about 4,000 institutions, and at one point, what major they want to follow. We simple beings can’t even choose which movie to watch on Netflix, so how do we choose a college?
But let me give you some hope: I, the person who can barely choose which pair of leggings to wear despite them all looking the same, have chosen a college. I feared having to make this decision and especially the thought that I may regret my choice.
I stalled my commitment because I kept convincing myself that another college may be better. Yet after seeing all those Facebook statuses of people committing, I was reminded that I had to make a decision.
I remember sitting at my desk in my pajamas, my mouse hovering over the commitment button. I shouted a determined, war-cry like “YOLO” and signed my next four years away to Case Western.
Surprisingly, the computer didn’t blow up in my face. Yes, I still fear the chance that I may lament over my selection, but my choice isn’t what’s important. What matters is my attitude towards that choice and how I choose to tackle it.
It’s okay to be scared of regretting a choice. But the most valuable learning experiences come with regret. If you continue to go back and forth with a decision, you won’t be able to gain that experience. It’s more likely that you won’t be disappointed in your choice, but rather disappointed that you didn’t take an opportunity due to your inability to make a decision.
Recognizing that nothing in this world is set in stone will release your stifling indecisiveness. Everything is malleable, and it’s in your power to take a choice, a decision, and make it your own.
You’re going to regret some choices, but like Nike said: Just Do It (this was not sponsored, I promise).