Making decisions can be almost paralyzingly hard for me. Even the simplest thing like whether I want to buy a sweater from a specific store or keep looking seems to take forever.
I will look at it, pull it up on my browser, keep coming back to it a million times when I get emails from the company saying, “you’ve got something in your cart!” Sometimes, I’ll even get as far as checking out before I question whether or not I actually want this item.
It’s not that I’m an indecisive person. It’s that the items I buy all need to be ones I’ll keep for a while. The food I put in my mouth needs to be satisfying. Often, I find that when I just give up trying to decide what food to eat and order junky takeout, I’m more miserable than I would have been just not eating anything or grabbing some toast with almond butter on it.
But when I finally do make a decision, it’s final (usually). I feel like Rob Bryden slamming his menu shut. “I’ll have the gnocci!” he yells at the waiter. The rest of the table jumps in surprise. If you haven’t seen Gavin and Stacey, you probably should. It’s one of my favorite comedy shows. He later forgets that he’s ordered the gnocci, but the point is that he made his decision fast and furiously after having “narrowed down” his choices to about 5.
The other day, after going back and forth about a brand I thought I may like, I finally saw some of their sweaters in Nordstrom. I usually only see their clothes online or in their own immaculately styled store. And I usually liked them. But there was always something holding me back from spending the money on most of their pieces, and no, it’s not the price, even though they are quite expensive. The thing holding me back was the question of whether I felt that the clothes made me feel too old. And in truth, after seeing them on the rack, I came to the conclusion that they did, in fact, look a little too much like 50-year-old Sarah might wear. There may be pieces I still snag from time to time. I love the button-down I have and the sandals, I also love the silk slip skirt from their store, but for the most part, many of the pieces felt a little too casual, a little too comfortable for my tastes. In the end, it had taken a few seconds to decide on what I’d been waffling over for months.
I understand that maybe this process took too long for most things and that, in many other aspects of my life, that amount of time would have ruled me out for, say, a job or for eating that night. But, in the end, practicing making decisions is the only way to make them faster.