The concept of choice is intriguing to me. I feel like by in large, we think of choices in terms of the large, the life-altering - Will we get married? Are we religious? Do we want kids? Where should we live? What will we do for a living? These are the decisions that keep us up at night, the ones we make pro/con lists for, and we tend to measure our success by our correct choices.
While certainly these are important & defining of who we are, what interests me more are the small, everyday choices we make & witness others making. What will we read? How will we spend our free time? How do we take our coffee? How do we respond to a compliment? To a judgement? Do we wake up early or battle our alarms? Do we go out of our way for our friends? For strangers?
These little choices can be more telling of who we are than their larger counterparts. We make them with little to no hesitation - they're less calculated, more real. It's these small things that I find myself loving others for. And they don't even realize they're doing it. When I consider why I love the people I do, I see the image I have in my mind that they themselves built accidentally. It's an image of familiarity they've solidified with small choices they make over and over again. That he smiles at babies in public & makes them laugh. That she always points out the possible silver lining. That he sleeps on that particular side of the bed, the one opposite the side I secretly prefer. That he always over tips the bartender. That she withholds judgement when I tell my latest What The Hell Was I Thinking story. That I never have to question her honesty.
To everyone we know, we are a compilation of the choices we make daily. When we realize this, it should be empowering rather than daunting. Sometimes the decisions we make are just the wrong ones. Sometimes certain responsibilities restrict our choices, and it feels like we don't have much control at all. But we do. We have control over all the little choices, the ones others love us for & that we should love ourselves for.
Lately I've been feeling as though my life is going on without my having much of a say in the matter. One of those..I'm twenty-three & suddenly working in a career I never had any intention of pursuing & I've been single long enough to consider the best way to go about collecting cats..one of those times. So I've been focusing on who I want to be right now, and the ways I can make that a reality. The immediacy of all the tiny, tangible choices I can make is strengthening & gratifying. And maybe when we accept responsibility for the small choices, those life-altering ones will fall into place a bit easier.