Thought to Ponder: Salad Dressing Syndrome

Ok, so one of my most defining characteristics is what my parents have deemed “Salad Dressing Syndrome.” When I was younger, I couldn’t decide on a single salad dressing, so I mixed them all together. I’m extremely indecisive.

Honestly, there are several reasons.

Sometimes (like when I’m trying to decide what I want for dinner or what to do on a Friday night), I face two or more decisions and can’t decide. Mostly, because I DON’T CARE. And not in an ‘I-don’t-care,’-said-Pierre way. I just genuinely don’t have a preference. So I’ll ask other people to decide for me. And, I promise, I’m happy with whatever you choose. Trust me, if I’m not happy, you’ll know 🙂

However, other times, making decisions is just depressing. Writer Aleksandar Hemon has a quote that reads: “All the lives we could live, all the people we will never know, never will be, they are everywhere. That is what the world is.”

I love that quote.

Think of every decision as Frost’s two diverging roads. Every decision creates two (or more) potential outcomes. And when you pick a path, you inevitably face more decisions and diverging roads.

Some people imagine the paths that we don’t choose as alternate universes. I see them as potential lives that I could have lived that are now shut of from me forever. And that’s sad; think of all the people I could have met, all the opportunities I could have taken advantage of, all the experiences and memories that I’ve been robbed of. To me, making a decision is cutting myself off from my potential. Every decision splits me in two. There are so many (too many) things I want to accomplish in my life. It’s heartbreaking for me to throw those other “lives” away. I want it all; I want all the salad dressings.

My freshman year of high school, we had to take Frost’s “Two Roads” and rewrite it the way we interpreted it. I was thirteen. I can’t remember most of it, but the last few lines read:

“Choices lead to choices more,

An exponential growth.

Shows just how much the world can change,

With the innocent first decision.”