On choices

I wish to be anywhere but here: in this city, in this very universe. I want to magically reach one where none of the people I know here know me, but I remember them, and everything we’ve been through. Not in order to get a second chance, but to see if history repeats itself, if we’re doomed to make the same mistakes, if there was ever really a choice.

Common sense tells us that we are free to choose and make any good or bad decision our mind, heart or gut urges us to make. The catch is that no matter which path we decide to tread on, we will eventually encounter the consequences which sometimes, sadly, do not reflect the choice, or are even based on whether there were good intentions involved. So every decision will eventually come back to us, either to reward us, or bite us in the ass.

I have lost several people in the last few years, and by lost I mean either through distance, misunderstanding, miscommunication, or simply, through bad choices. At the same time, however, I have been lucky enough to have gained back some as well, through circumstance, forgiveness and forgetness, and of course, good choices. Some of the lost ones I do not wish to find again, in spite of the fact that their departure made quite an impact, which at first had left quite a hole.

Those who know me well are all too aware of the fact that I overanalyze, overthink, overdissect and deconstruct to the point of madness. I know only one other person who does that and she, unfortunately, is also lost.

Caroline Zelonka said that “people are not against you; they are for themselves.” To me, this sentence has two meanings, and they are equally important and insightful. The first is what I assume most people understand: the “it’s not me, it’s them” premise, driven by our eagerness to shed blame and responsibility, and refuse to believe that we’ve made any mistake, in the form of words, actions or even silence. The second meaning I believe to be simpler and more honest; maybe brutally so, and that is possibly why we do not entertain it as much. People, and if not all, most, will always put themselves first. It’s not about what you did or what you said; it doesn’t matter if you gave enough or said enough, if your intentions, thoughts or actions were clearly understood, considered or even if they ever mattered, because sometimes the problem is not you.

But how is this different from the first meaning? The first is based on the refusal to accept and acknowledge the consequences of our actions, while the second is based on the acceptance that regardless of our actions, the consequences, as well as the odds, will not and cannot always be in our favour. It’s self-delusion vs the acceptance of a cruel yet very real reality.

I have personally struggled with this, on an intensity level that has left scars on more than one occasion, for the past 18 months. My biggest problem lies in the fact that although I absolutely hate, loathe and avoid confrontation, I absolutely must know why someone walks away from or is disappointed in me. Words like these have the power to bring me to my knees, but I need to hear them. I’d rather lie wounded knowing, than aimlessly wander in an ignorant state.

Possibly because I know the harm it can inflict, but stupidly as I value honesty to such a degree, I choose to sometimes hide it from others, not necessarily in the form of a lie, but in my absolute silence. Even when they ask me for it, I will sometimes refuse to give it, knowing that, partly, this decision is selfish, and partly, a feeble attempt to be selfless.

When we say we want the truth, all of us hope that the truth will be the thing we want to hear; and yet the truth is rarely that. It offends us, shocks us, hurts us; but not because it is unexpected. On the contrary, we despise the truth for the simple reason that it reaffirms, confirms and exposes what we already knew, very deep inside, to be the truth. Because when it isn’t, it doesn’t hurt.

We wish to believe that the choices we make are sometimes repairable or even reversible, but they are not. What’s done is done, as they say. It doesn’t matter if you regret it, if you’d repeat it, or if you meant it; you did it, because at that moment in time you chose to do exactly what you did. What you do after may change the perception of your action, but not the action itself. Never the action itself.

What’s done, is done.

So my question is, if you chose to do it in this universe, wouldn’t you do it in every other universe as well? And if that is the case, was it really a choice? Yes, it was. There is always a choice, it’s just that sometimes we choose wrongly, and to either accept or deny that is yet another. 

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