I needed toothpaste and undereye concealer- a necessity ever since 7th grade when classmates interpreted my dark circles as a deep love for crack cocaine. I typically would not shop at either place, but having been new to this neck of the woods, there was something safe and familiar with the old heavyweights of convenience.
For example, this is what one had to chose from if one liked Italian dressing:
Tuscan House Italian
Free Caesar Italian
Free Zesty Italian
Light Done Right Italian
Carb Well Light Italian
Carb Well Italian
House Italian Reduced Fat
Light Done Right House Italian
Reduced Fat Light Done Right Zesty Italian
Reduced Fat Roasted Red Pepper Italian with Parmesan
Special Collection Caesar Italian with Oregano
Special Collection Classic Italian Vinaigrette
Special Collection Italian Pesto
Special Collection Parmesan Italian with Basil
Three Cheese Italian
The phrase “choice fatigue” came to mind.
When I discovered the theory of “choice fatigue” earlier that year, it was as if a light had been turned on. Being a frustrated, nonplussed twenty-something, this explained a lot of things. Everyone nowadays is faced with countless options in their daily life, but Generation Y was born into it. In the beginning of 2008, I quit my career. I wasn’t happy and I didn’t know why. I purposely cleared my slate and decided to start from the scratch. I then spent the following months confused and immobile. I could go in any direction. The possibilities were infinite. The infiniteness terrified me. I could go back to school. I could move anywhere in the world. I could try to climb the corporate ladder. I could not shave my legs and paint fucking leprechauns all day (not fucking leprechauns but fucking leprechauns).
We’re told we can do EVERYTHING, and by God, I was afraid to do anything. Normally a girl who always knew what she wanted, I felt like I was drowning in the sea of options. I thought long and hard on why I felt such paralysis. Why does choice make life more difficult? Nothing is permanent, yet why do we lay such burden on our decisions? Is it because our lives are temporary and making the wrong choice could set us back precious time? Or have we just gotten too exhausted (or too lazy) to contemplate multiple thoughts nowadays? I realized that for me, is was the former. Then it hit me. I’m losing more valuable time by being afraid. Yes, we’re pelted by the assault rifle of options on a daily basis, but we can’t let it stop us from living our lives. I made a u-turn with my shopping cart and headed back to the salad dressings. I picked out two salad dressings that day and it felt good. That evening I had the most delicious salad I had ever tasted. A salad made with the freedom I had found in making a choice.