Choices: To stay or to move
Everyday, we make choices, most of which we do without taking a second thought — get out of bed, freshen up, get ready for the day, random stuff like that. However, there are times when we have to take certain decisions which require some higher level of attention and thinking. Such moments are a challenge for me sometimes.
Even the most random decisions can suddenly become hectic, ranging from simple things like picking what cloth to wear to relatively major ones like where to do my internship. There are times when I am very certain about what I want, with no questions asked, those are moments that I live for. My issue with having many choices is sometimes based on being scared of the unknown and just wanting to stick with the familiar.
Recently, I had an experience with making yet another choice which prompted me to write this as well as study more on making choices. It was a random decision I had to make, relatively simple and some might even wonder if it was deep enough to push me into thoughts and writing; I try to view my experiences from different angles and learn life lessons from anywhere I can get it.
I’ve also come to realize that taking note of our rather mundane daily activities and other happenings in our lives and analyzing them in order to learn from them actually can improve our lives, one small step at a time. So the most recent decision that I had to make was this — moving from my small room to a larger room.
On the surface, this seems like a no-brainer, who wouldn’t want to move to a larger room? In fact, it initially wasn’t even a decision to be made - it was a step I was going to take.
Here’s where it started from — I moved out of Lagos to Ikare, Ondo State for my medical internship programme, I got to know that the hospital (State Specialist Hospital, Ikare) offers accommodation to all interns at no extra costs, ie it was free. There was just one problem, all the best rooms had been taken by the time I arrived, so I was offered one of the smaller rooms (let’s call it cubicle) in one of the flats available with the promise that whenever a larger room got freed up (when any of the other interns or corpers finished their 1-year program), I will be given top priority and be able to move there. So my stay in my cubicle was to be short.
I made sure I followed up with the person in charge of room allocation (Mrs A) to ensure that I wasn’t forgotten. Fast forward to about 3 months after, I got news that a bigger room in a separate flat will be freed up soon as some of the corpers were finishing their program. Great! I met Mrs A to let her know that I’ve been around for a bit and will like to ‘upgrade’ to the new room. There was some ruckus about this arrangement as the other older residents in the new flat where the bigger room was located apparently had other plans for it but all that got settled.
I was upgrading to a bigger room come first week in January. I didn’t really bother to check out the place because, duh, bigger room (with a wall hanger and table and chair, all of which I lacked in my cubicle).
The day came for me to move and I started moving my things to the new flat. Upon getting there, I began to feel nostalgic, missing my old flat. I proceeded to ask the flatmates about the flat and found out the following — water doesn’t run within the flat, however there was a tank just outside where water can be gotten at anytime of the day. I was like, I had water running in my old flat but this alternative is not so bad and I moved on. I decided to tour the flat, check out the bathroom toilet and kitchen and I wasn’t totally impressed but it seemed like something I could manage. I then went back to my old flat to move my remaining stuff and somehow I couldn’t bring myself to.
My mind was in a turmoil. I looked around my old flat, the trees for shade in the evening, the cleaner bathrooms and toilet and kitchen, and my flatmates that I had gotten used to and I didn’t feel like leaving anymore. I realized then that I wasn’t just taking a step by ‘upgrading’ but I was actually making a choice — to stay in my cubicle in a neater flat or move to a bigger room in a flat I considered less attractive. It took me a couple of minutes to hours as I weighed both options, each having its pros and cons. I wanted to have it all but I couldn’t and had to forfeit something.
Eventually, I decided to stay in my cubicle in my old flat rather than move to the bigger room, I had to move my things back and I was just laughing at myself all the while and wondering what the hell was wrong with me. Thankfully, the two flats were really close to each other so I could move my things back without assistance (I couldn’t bring myself to call my friend who assisted me to move my things earlier because I wasn’t ready to answer the ‘why’ question and I was still even laughing at me).
Some might wonder why I made this choice but as another friend mentioned later in the evening when I narrated it to him, I realized that comfort goes beyond a bigger space, other things are to be considered. So now I have to stay in this ‘cubicle’ for an additional two months after which one of my flatmates will be done with his program and I will move into his big room in this flat that I have gotten to really like. I honestly feel I wouldn’t have enjoyed the new place if I had moved, but no one really knows. It’s an experience I will never have but I really don’t mind because I’m completely content with my decision and I couldn’t be happier!
Here are some of what I learnt from that experience:
· We will always always have to make choices about various things in our lives, from minor decisions to really major ones;
· It doesn’t matter what choice we make, there will always be one thing extra that a different choice might have afforded you which the choice you made wouldn’t;
· We have to accept the consequences of whatever decision we make and bear it with little or no complaints (it’s not always easy but it’s definitely easier if you made the decision for YOU and no one else);
· It’s not a bad idea to make a choice which will involve delaying gratification in order to have something you desire;
· When making a decision, look at the bigger picture. Don’t just settle for something because it appears nice without viewing it from all angles;
· Whatever decision you make, whatever the outcome, own it and do your best not to blame anyone if the outcome is bad. Learn from the experience and move on.
As you read through this, I hope it inspired you in some way to improve your decision making. You can let me know in the comment section.
P. S. : I delayed posting this for some days because I wanted to read one or two books on decision making before publishing. I couldn’t decide on any particular book because I saw quite a number during my search. So if you know/have read any good books on decision making, kindly drop the title and author in the comment section so I can get it. Thank you!