I remember standing in front of the eggs. A year ago. Helpless. I stood there staring at the options on aisle three, completely overwhelmed. It was my first time grocery shopping for me. Just me – and I had no idea what kind of eggs to buy. EGGS. I didn’t know whether to buy organic or cage-free. Brown or white. Jumbo or generic.
It was an existential crisis.
What do I like? What can I afford? What tastes the best? What feels the healthiest? Heck, WHO AM I??
I’m pretty sure the constipated retiree next to me had a passing, worried thought – seeing me frozen in front of the egg cartons. As he should have. Because making decisions is what life is all about. Our choices profoundly shape us. For the good, bad, and ugly.
Lately, I’ve been getting some practice in making decisions. On a whim, er, in a moment of pity/impulsiveness, I decided to sign up for online dating. And let me fill you in on a little secret… online dating is like Narnia. It is this secret world hidden from reality that is both magical and strange. Heavier on the strange side, ahem.
Suddenly, I started receiving messages from total strangers asking personal questions about my thoughts on love and intimacy and relocation. It is equal parts flattering and creepy. But the thing is, I’m learning how to choose.
I’ve having to back away from the needy ones. Not answer the old/odd ones. Slow down communication between the unrealistic and this-doesn’t-feel-good ones. (And a side note: false advertising. A profile pic from ten years and fifty pounds ago is not being real. Please.) And for someone who is a pleaser and an accommodator, it feels very unnatural to say no. And yet… so good!
In all this, I’m getting to practice saying a lot of no’s, because I have a stronger yes. And that yes is me.
Which brings us back to the eggs. After a while of trying all the options out there, I finally settled on the ones I like. I chose. It took some time and experimenting. In the process, I had to say no to the familiar brands. The expensive/unrealistic ones. But, had I not tried, I wouldn’t have known.
Which is pretty close to dating.
Or maybe, exactly the same.