I No Longer Wish To Decide
All my adult life, I have been a decision-maker.
When I was a little girl, my hand was always raised in class. In fact, I was usually jumping out of my seat in my enthusiasm for answering a question. Any question: Where is Mexico? When was the French Revolution? What time is lunch? Having two older and very smart sisters – it was not always easy to get my voice heard. But I was a determined little shit.
Some folks think that kids become obnoxious know-it-alls when they get too much attention and praise for any tiny accomplishment. And that is certainly one way. When kids constantly hear how wonderful and amazing they are because they can eat and walk and poop, it’s no surprise when their tone-deaf little selves expect to be the next American Idol.
But I know that there’s another path to Obnoxious Know-it-All. The path of insecure but competitive little sister. That’s the path I took. You may think it’s a road less traveled, but believe me, a lot of
bad bosses executive decision-makers have arrived via that route.
How I wanted to go first in a game. To win one once in a while. To watch the TV show I wanted. To pick out the Christmas tree. To have a teacher say “Wow – You got all the brains in the family.”
When I was sixteen my parents moved and I switched to the high school on the other side of town. No one knew my sisters. (Except for one teacher, who had taught my oldest brilliant sister. And often remarked that I was nothing like her. Oh well.) I was me. I was in no one’s shadow. But to my astonishment, my light didn’t pop out dazzlingly from under its bushel. It turned out that I still was an average skinny high school wallflower.
And college wallflower. Although during class discussions I still about jumped out of my chair waiving my hand – anxious to have the professor notice me. And then I went back to the dorm and studied some more.
But then… but then! I got a job! And I was good at it. Who knew that a debit and a credit would make sense to an artistic, sensitive little English-major hippie? And once in a while the boss said, “What do you think?” To ME! Well, ‘What I Think’ had been bustin’ to jump out and take over. I could tell people what to do and how to do it. And I sure did.
I’m not mean. I try very hard to respect people. I’m tactful (mostly). I forgive mistakes. I look for the best in people. My parents – (and my two big sisters as well) – were examples of genuine kindness that helped me more than all my education and hand-raising to be a decent boss.
But I DO like to be in charge. I DO like to decide what to do. I DO like my suggestions to become The Rule.
At work. And at home. I’m The Boss. I like power. I like having my way.
Or rather, I DID.
I don’t want it any more. I don’t want to be the boss. I don’t want any more responsibility. I no longer wish to decide.
Last week my twenty-year-old cat went into a serious decline. We could see that he was suffering. My husband said, “What do you think?” The very words I used to relish.
And I said, “I think it’s time to help the poor old guy into his next life.”
And I no longer wish to decide.