a meditation on choice
I believe in small choices adding up, in the butterfly effect fashioning life invisibly, silently. Shopping for baggier sweaters. Reading bell hooks. It’s not just what we go out of our way for but what we omit from our palette. All my lectures are async. I don’t eat pork anymore. I wrote this, today, in a coffee bar on Bay. I was stuck choosing my latte: matcha or hojicha. I always get matcha at coffee shops, I have never tried hojicha. I want to try new things because novelty, I want to spend my money on what I already know and love. Hyperbolic, but this totally inconsequential (in)decision lays my conviction bare. (I ordered hojicha.)
A major decision should enlarge me, I believe. I know this but do I really understand? Lately, or actually, perpetually, I’ve been searching for my focus - the singular pursuit on which all my attention is concentrated. As far as I know, I’ve been living ambivalently, and have been, for so long, because my attention is scattered. Most of my public and semi-public reflections are variations of same story that I have no idea what to do!
I’m attached to the undergrad degree. I believe in the possibility of growing into selves that I can’t yet imagine. So, I want to leave all the passages open. Further along the degree, I’ll discover I really like what I’m doing, eventually, maybe. It’s risky. It’s too early to know if I want to do something else. I’m paralyzed by the thought: what if it turns out I’m actually pretty good at x? Or y? It’s terrifying. I’m afraid of resigning from the future where I flower into my “full potential,” imagined or fated. But the project of selfhood requires sacrifice.
I’m on the cusp of adulthood now. I’m thinking about what to work on, what to pay attention to, who to spend time with. Inner conflict and the millions of bits of advice I could be following and witnessing online rare, unique ways to live, too, complicate how I choose.
But we don’t get to choose what or whom we love. As a child I was moved entirely by what interested me. I did not get to pick what that was, or when I wanted to act on it. I just did it. I wanted to write so I filled notebooks with short stories and then longer and more elaborate fiction. We just don’t get to choose.
When my desires were at its purest, most distilled, all I wanted to do was make art and write. I used to think this was just part of a past life. But now I believe it belongs to a becoming waiting to be continued.