Equally Bad / by Michelle Cowan

What if every choice were equally bad? Of course, if that were the case, every choice would be equally good, too, but it seems to be more different and interesting for me to use the term "bad" here. I always want to do the "best" thing, habitually stymied by decision-making. I often eat in lieu of making decisions. I focus on what is easy for me - food - instead of simply making a choice.

After I confessed this aloud to someone, she kindly told me that the basic act of making a decision is a gift. Why not give myself the gift of making a decision, even if it might not be the best one? And furthermore, what if there were no best?

For some reason, my mind immediately jumped to the idea that if all choices were equal, they would all be equally bad. So what did it matter what I chose?

What if I started bingeing, called a friend, and told that friend that I was bingeing and wanted to hear what he/she thought about that? What if I drove across town, then out of town, and then across the state? What if I didn't clean my bathroom and allowed myself to lie around and read all Saturday? What if I didn't try to write music? For me, some of these things are far-fetched; others are not. They are all completely doable, but would I do them? Would I choose not to? In my new case scenario, it doesn't matter anyway.

Does it all come down to just doing SOMETHING? Well, I don't think so. I think my main difficulty here may be in the focus on DOING rather than BEING. Can I just BE? But in choosing to just be, isn't that doing something? Doesn't being hold doing inside of it?

This is where my mind goes when I cease putting restrictions on it and allow all thoughts equal reign. Of course, even that isn't really happening. My brain is filtering out a lot of thoughts simply so that I concentrate on the act of writing this piece.

I started a few little writings today, including one on stream-of-consciousness living (pretty close to what's going on right now in this post) and one on the best vegetarian pizza in town (the results of my current quest). The latter post, however, aroused my hunger for pizza from a place I'd never tried. So I did, resulting in incredible disappointment which completely threw me for a loop. I found myself re-roasting vegetables from last night's dinner and eating partially cooked pieces while standing up in the kitchen. I jumped back and forth between reading a book, eating, and watching the Olympics for a while before deciding to clean the bathroom, vacuum my entryway and welcome mat, and take the recycling to the drop-off. Stream-of-consciousness living, just going from one thing to the next as it presents itself. It's not so fun for me, considering the number of thoughts that pop up at any single moment throughout the day, but I fell into the pattern.

Even now, I'm not sure where this post is going except that I do not want to judge my behavior right now. I don't feel like making plans with anyone, but if someone called, I would probably agree to go do something. I might let myself read. I keep trying to write songs and keep coming up with lots of half-formed things. It feels like fail, fail, fail with music these days.

Admittedly, part of my drive to not judge my behavior is an attempt to forgive myself for my lack of songwriting and performing lately. And as I go back, editing this post, I see that the many half-songs I've created may later turn into whole-songs or serve as catalysts for something entirely new. In fact, I can see that I've done a lot today, not just with music, but in general.

It's okay if I want to read and watch television. It can be okay. So what if I'm not striving after my dreams? Do I have to? Why? Can I choose anything and be okay?

In any case, I'm sure this post exposes the deep-seeded insanity that resides within me. I could never deny it. What you read now is a product of my seemingly innate tendencies to over-think and romanticize. I can go a long time ignoring my thoughts and pretending they aren't there while I'm really just storing up dozens, or maybe hundreds, of jumbled thoughts, questions, and dreams, which spill out on solitary Saturdays like this.

Perhaps one day, I will get my ED community site up and running, perhaps I will write a book, perhaps I will, perhaps I will. Perhaps all these things are equally bad. And maybe all I really want or need to do is sit and read. Can I give myself permission to make that choice? Will I give myself permission to achieve nothing?