This being my first blog ever, I could not come up with a topic. Its not that I didn’t have any ideas (I did!) I just could not decide.
As I lay in bed curling and uncurling my toes, thinking what do I write about? I heard something mumbling inside of me, saying write about me! It was the voice of indecision; a voice I know all too well.
I would bet that someone, somewhere on this campus just went on the student portal and decided to drop one class and add another. That someone probably sat, shakily clicking and unclicking the little box as indecision whispered add/drop, add/drop, drop/add in their ear until—oops!— their hand just slipped, andsubmit they did. Or maybe it wasn’t like that.
For me, indecision frequently turns options into enemies. It affects the most mundane parts of my life: like…just right there, when I finally agreed on mundane over quotidian. Or when I was woken up this morning, debating whether CMC’s or Pomona’s construction deserved more of my rage. Or, when I think do I make it to breakfast or take a shower?
But it also extends to the most (seemingly) important: I agonized over Carleton and Pomona up until the May 1st deadline, contemplated my major until the deadline. And especially now, as friends and peers get jobs and express future plans, there is that whole what do with my life thing going on.
Of course, I don’t think indecision is necessarily problematic in and of itself. It means we think. Nothing wrong with that. When it is a problem is when it becomes paralyzing– when you can’t finish a paper or story (or blog), because you spent an hour deciding on a word. Or you can’t actually relax during school, because the decision between two TV shows takes so long that the free time you had can no longer even accommodate a show (this was a real dilemma that for the most part was overcome over the course of college…The Wire helped)
And, it’s a problem when you don’t take action on something that’s bothering you, or you can’t commit to something or someone because you constantly question your own emotions and thoughts. Too often I see big decisions not as opportunities but as constraints.
Indecision—like so many-a-concept—has been used to construct gender difference; portrayals of women as wavering or wishy-washy and men as the decision makers abound. Whether this is total B.S. (I know many decisive ladies, and indecisive dudes) or there’s some truth (not in the idea that men are inherently decisive and women are not, but that women are socialized to be less confident in their decisions), I’m not sure.
I can only speak for myself, and the speculations I have about my own indecision. My bouts with insomnia, to compulsive behaviors, and (when I get really into tracing that narrative thread) I go back to first grade when my best friend—upset that I had been kicking it with another girl—pushed me up against the fence at recess, saying I had to choose one best friend. The whistle blew before I was forced to respond but there’s still something about decisions that has that pressed-against-a-fence feel.
So, clearly I have to work on re-framing decisions. Especially at this end-of-college juncture. Anyone else who wants to confront their own indecision, join me. While we work on it, I’ve found that a glass or few of wine can be a big help. So, here’s a toast to everyone’s unique indecision. And to choosing a real topic to blog on next.