by Olivia Conway, assistant editor

A few years ago, I downloaded a dice-rolling app on my phone. It has served as a source of amusement for many of my friends, but for me it is a necessity for daily life. Every time I am confronted with a choice, ranging from as trivial as ice cream flavors to as serious as my course schedules, I assign each option a numerical value and roll the dice to decide the outcome.

For as long as I can remember, I have been unable to make basic decisions. The prospect of choosing where I want to eat or what time I want to go see a movie or even just what color I want to paint my nails is daunting to me. I have spent the past few years attempting to avoid as many decisions as possible. At first I thought of it as simply being nice and putting others first, but now it has evolved into a legitimate inability to decide anything for myself. Usually I try to discreetly push the responsibility of making choices onto other people, like my sister or my friends. On the rare occasions that I do have to make my own decisions, a choice that would be simple for most people becomes a long, exhausting process of charts, panic, and self-doubt for me.

I believe that my inability to make simple choices stems from a lack of self-confidence. Often I am so afraid to make the wrong decision that I remove myself from the deciding process entirely. I envy those who can easily decide what they want without worrying about the opinions of others. For me, the fear of being judged or ridiculed outweighs the benefits of getting what I want. I live to avoid the embarrassment of proposing ideas only to have them shot down moments later. The awkward silence of a bad idea broken by me stammering, “Or maybe not…Any other idea would be so much better…” I cannot make decisions on my own because I don’t believe that any of my ideas are worthy of considering.

A few weeks ago, I had to make a major decision about my plans for the rest of high school. While this decision may not have been easy for anybody, it was especially hard for me and I had to make a pro and cons list and ask the opinions of everyone around me before I could come to a conclusion. While I am proud that I eventually did come to a conclusion, I also have to remember that I needed my dice-rolling app to decide what kind of food I wanted that same day.

I can tell my indecisiveness irritates those around me. My mother’s exasperated sigh as I try to decide between two pairs of shoes, “Just pick something, Olivia!” My friends glancing at each other in annoyance as I stare up at a restaurant menu, face flushing in embarrassment. My sister taking pity on me and trying to guide me towards a decision as I mumble “I just can’t decide,” over and over again to myself. At this point I usually just let other people pick for me, or I roll the dice and hope for the best.

I’ve realized though, that letting other people make decisions for me is not beneficial for me in any way. I need to learn to trust myself and to not be afraid of having my thoughts and ideas judged by other people. Lately I’ve been trying to make more decisions on my own, but the process is slow because I am attempting to rediscover a skill that many humans never had to learn in the first place. With decisions about my future hovering just beyond the horizon, a dice app will not suffice.

Life is full of choices, I just have to close my eyes and choose.