What's Behind Door #2?
Written by: Amanda Castroverde
Is it just me or does decision-making get a bad wrap? Memes about how people can’t decide where they want to go eat flooding my newsfeed. Words like analysis paralysis forced into our lexicon. In a country that prides itself on protecting the freedom to choose, when did actually making those choices become such a daunting task?
My family has always teased me for making things happen, and happen quickly, once I’ve decided I want something. It started early – telling high school crushes I wanted to date them without fear of repercussion or consequence. And that same approach led me to make some of the biggest decisions of my life to date – packing up my studio in DC and moving to Austin two weeks after I got a job offer or closing on my first house just 2 months after I decided I was ready to buy. Some have described me as reckless or chided me for not sufficiently weighing all potential options before jumping in. But I’ve always come out the other side – alive, sometimes with a few scratches, but always breathing and grateful for having taken the leap.
With each big decision in my life, I have acted under a firm belief that we cannot let the possibility of a slightly better alternative prevent us from choosing something we want. Instead, I choose to move through life with the understanding that almost every decision can be undecided. If I had arrived in Austin and hated it, DC wasn’t going to go anywhere. I likely would have encountered some obstacles I could have otherwise avoided, but I would at least have known I tried. And the District would still be there to welcome me back, defeated or otherwise.
When we worry over decisions, we rob ourselves of any agency in our lives. We frame ourselves as passive recipients of whatever experience we are about to embrace. When in reality, the success or failure of a decision, most times, is dependent on what we do with it, how much time we invest in it, how much effort and enthusiasm with which we greet it not with how good or bad the decision actually is. So why do we let the possibility of something better keep us from embracing something great? Because even if it isn’t the very best choice we could make, it’s still our choice, and we can learn from it, good or bad, if we just fully commit to it.
We should think of decision-making like starting a new puzzle. When you first open the box, it can be intimidating to know which piece to pick up first. But you dive in and make the best decision you can with the information you have. And with each new piece you pick up, you start to have more and more context, and you start to get a clearer picture. And the more decisions you make the easier they get and the more confident you become. Then before you know it, you’re on the other side of 1000 pieces with a beautiful image in front of you that you wouldn’t have had the chance to see if you hadn’t decided to pick up that first piece.
So whether it’s a new job that’s looming over you or a project you’re too nervous to get off the ground or something as simple as choosing what color to paint your bedroom, just remember whatever you decide can most likely be undecided. You can change your mind, and you will make it out the other end. But you’ll never know the remarkable things you can accomplish if you don’t pick up the first piece.
Amanda is a proud daughter of Cuban immigrants. She lives in a charming fixer-upper in North Central Austin with her partner, Santiago, and endlessly perfect cat, Ripley. She spends most of her time veganizing her favorite recipes, renovating her home, listening to Selena, registering Austinites to vote, and supporting the live music community. When she’s not planning out her next home project, Amanda works as a Marketing Manager at HomeAway.
Header photo by Erol Ahmed!