do you ever feel like we deconstruct our decisions too much? as if we push valid substantiation for our ideas aside in hopes of finding some sort of “ultimate truth” which, in reality, doesn’t exist?
one of the best instances i can think of in regards to this problem is the rigorous college decision process. so many people i talked to went on a cross country trip to find the “right” college, the one where they would set foot onto the campus and immediately know that this was the place they wanted to call home for the next four years. i didn’t do that cross country search — i went and saw a few campuses (when the college was willing to pick up the tab ). and i fell “in love” with yale, but not anymore so that i did with harvard or northwestern, or for different reasons altogether: wash u. i could see myself anywhere, i would enjoy the different benefits of each campus uniquely, but i could have been equally happy at many of the schools i considered.
but i could only attend one, and in the end, i picked northwestern. i worried about my selection for a long time though. i wondered if i was allowing myself to be swayed by the good memories i had associated with the college. or if my comfort level on campus, due to familiarity, was influencing my choice. then too, i wondered if the debate program was really a good reason to choose my school. or, was it really important that my school was located in the dining capitol of illinois? and, what about the fact that it was so close to home…was the convenience making it more attractive to me? and so on and so forth. i systematically found myself dismissing every reason i had for going to northwestern, categorizing them all as superficial. i remember sitting down at my kitchen table with a legal pad and making a list of why i wanted to go to NU, and after i had crossed every reason off — i looked at the pad, and i wondered what sort of justification i was looking for … what was the magical reason that would somehow not seem superficial?
i never did find one. but i’m here now, and i’m happy. so maybe that’s all that matters. i find myself doing the same thing in my relationships. i constantly find myself thinking things like, oh, you just like that person because they are smart, or because they dress well, or because they like good food, or because they are interested in music, or because they make me laugh….or for any multitude of reasons. but somehow, that never quite seems to be enough. it’s as if my pull to a person should be somewhat irrational, as i wanted my college choice to be.
after awhile, i think that even those seemingly banal justifications pile up and become a formidable force in shaping our decisions. and what’s more — i think they are the most powerful force we have.
total sidebar: look @ kat’s comment on my previous entry. if anyone else happens to run across someone like that … well, serena’s latest bf has been fired already so the position is open once more. please give any qualified applicants my phone number. lol!