Some decisions come easy: coffee black or with milk? Black. Beer or cocktail? Both. Milkshake or no milkshake? Milkshake.

Others, not so much.

The closer I get to making a decision about a PhD program, the farther it seems away. It feels astonishingly good to be in conversation with so many intelligent, passionate, questioning human/scholars. It also feels so, so intimidating.

However, this trepidation is a new, interesting blend. I no longer feel that one choice is better than another, but that there is no bad option.

Well, shit. I’m waiting for the shoe to drop or something to fall out of the sky to make the decision for me. Like if I saw the bald eagle on the lake, or saw a wolf (from far away please) – then the animated, real-life mascots of my school options could guide me spirit-animal like into my next stage of life.

But, alas, I doubt that will happen and I’m probably going to have to do this boring adult style.

The pros have been pro’ed, the cons con’ed, and now it’s just me, sitting with two great options and little to no clarity.

A study I keep reflecting on, that I’m sure I remember from a Radio Lab or somesuch, is that humans are actually less happy when they have more options. That having a plethora of things to choose from makes us all doubt what we end up doing more – if we aren’t paralyzed completely by the anxiety of choosing itself.

Our satisfaction is higher when we ‘make do’ and when we are thankful we got a donut at all, let alone a spread of sweets (I somehow think this has something to do with sweets, but then I might also be thinking of the plot from The Five Year Engagement).

All that aside, put out some good vibes for me in the animal world, and I promise to keep an eye out.


The Art of the Everyday – March 14: Choices, choices.


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