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September 18, 2008

Girls are emotional.  They are needy.  They feel insecure about everything — looks, career, friends, happiness itself.  I say this because I’m all of the above.  And I happen to be a girl.  Lame.

Sometimes, I look at myself and am frustrated by the silly emotions that run through my heart and head.  The majority of the time I manage to hide them, if not smother them completely.  And yet…sometimes I’m just girly.  I hate being a girl

And yet, I’m happy to be a girl.  Why?  Because boys make decisions.  Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem being decisive in matters which mainly impact me and only me.  But bring another person’s satisfaction into the equation, and I become a nervous wreck.  How can I know what the other person wants?  What if they aren’t happy with my decision?  How can I possibly make the right decision without knowing what everyone wants?

There are many applications to this dilemma, from the trivial decisions like what to eat for dinner or what board game to play to potentially life-altering decisions like where a relationship is going and how things will end (or not).

I avoid all these decisions.  “Isn’t it his job to decide?” I say, pretending somehow decisiveness is a component of chivalry.  The truth is I’m terrified of making a bad choice that will impact more than me negatively for a few hours to a lifetime.

And yet…when the absence of a decision is making both people sick with worry and doubt something should be done.  My options are:

1. Decide to wait for someone else to decide.  This is my instinct and natural preference. But is it worth enduring the stress of uncertainty, with a large possibility of ultimately coming to a negative decision?  Shouldn’t I be proactive?

2. Decide to cut things off now. The odds of success are slim anyway, and in some ways it would be better to know and move on now than wonder if and when it’ll be necessary. And yet I wonder how long I would wonder. Would I regret it? Probably. How long would I regret it? Would I recover eventually? Probably, over time.

The “what if” questions plague me. What if it’s a mistake? What if things could end differently with a change in behavior? What if I’m giving up on something great simply because I’m impatient and pessimistic?

Even if I address all these questions and decide on this course of action, I have to decide when. Is there more I can gain by waiting? Can I grow further as a person? I just don’t know.

There should be a third option.

3. Decide to stick things out and make things work. The dilemma is that success isn’t guaranteed and not even likely, because it’s not just my decision. Another dilemma is that I’ll still have all the stress associated with option 1. And if things are unsuccessful, I’ll still have some “what if” questions. What if I’d approached things differently? What if I’d moved on sooner – would I already be healed where I’m just beginning to hurt? Would I miss out on opportunities that are now gone?

The thing is, this seems like the option with the largest chance of success. This is the option where I have more time to develop qualities I want. And by putting forth all the effort I can muster, at least I can say I did my very best.

Why wouldn’t I decide to give things my best effort for the chance at a great reward? Looking at things this way, it’s a simple decision. There’s only one decent option.

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