Life is nothing but a series of choices. Everyday we’re faced with a million and one things to do. And most of us have some sort of a choice. It is easy to make choices if you’ve got little interest in the long-term consequences of the decisions you make on a day-to-day, hour-to-hour, moment-to-moment basis. In fact it is almost effortless. If you’ve got no fears and no hopes and no dreams and no desires and no hang-ups from your childhood and no issues with your parents and no pressure from society and no judgment from your peers and no adoration from your children and no love in your heart that burns for one special person? It is easy to make choices. Blissfully so. But for most of us we have a lot of the items on this list causing the daily task of making a choice somewhat of a crisis.
But when you start calling yourself a writer your choices seem to simplify severely. If you’re an obsessive writer things are even more simplified. Your life narrows down to a repetition of one single choice-making situation: to write or not to write. Yes, dear reader-who-only-has-a-billion-decisions-at-any-given-moment — my life of only two choices is a slight nightmare. Do you know why it’s a nightmare? Because not only am I obsessive, I’m a phenomenal procrastinator. If you were looking for clues that would point to the type of humor that my creator subscribes to this is one. (It’s a cruel sense of humor isn’t it?) In any case, like most people with the freedom of choice, once you define yourself and understand your goals — your choice-making situations tend to repeat themselves. We develop habits and routines that in nature serve the function of narrowing down our choices to simple but seemingly difficult decisions. And the odd thing is these situations are always the same. The struggle you have to make a decision this week will be the same next week and the week after that and the week after that. If you don’t live the life of a coked-out kwaito star your life is quite simple. And like you my struggle is the same. Except a bit more cruel.
When all your mind lets you think about is writing and you find yourself stuck in the body of a procrastinator, you lose the ability to feel anything else but guilt. GUILT. That is all I ever feel. Suddenly every pleasant thought I have about writing — the thing I once loved so dearly — disappears and anything that reminds me of it pushes me into this cold abyss of never-ending pain. Because every decision you make during the day feels like a bad one. In the morning you must choose between sleeping 3 more hours and writing. I often choose sleeping and guess what? There’s my first hot mug-full of guilt to start off my day. During the day you must choose between using lunch-time to eat and browse the web for cute pictures of oxford bags and and eat while writing. I choose the former and guess what’s dribbled over my meal? That’s right– a warm tasty Guilt gravy. What about on the way home when you’re tweeting away on your blackberry instead of using the Word.application to type up short stories to back up the writing title you’ve given yourself on said Twitter account? Oh goodness no! Guess what I choose? Let’s all say it together “not writing.” I chose to not write. I did that daily — ferociously for months since creating this web-log. And then one day I didn’t. That’s how we both got here. We chose the right thing. I chose to write today. And you chose to read this.
And that’s how we make it in this tumultuous life of ours. We choose the right thing. You don’t have to choose the right thing everyday. Just most days. That’s why the freedom of choice is the single most fought-for right of all. Because it leads to happiness.
What did you choose today?
Check out my other blog for a post on one of the most important decisions faced by the modern woman. “Maybe being a housewife isn’t so bad”