“A skinny venti cinnamon dolce latte,” she said, repeating my order. “And would you like whipped cream on that?”
It must have been 10 seconds of my blank face staring back at her. Did I want the whipped, or didn’t I? There were only two options to choose from. One way or the other. This wasn’t a trick question.
But I found myself in the center of town, at a quaint little Starbucks, infected yet again by my number one most hated flaw of all time: the indecisive bug. I usually get away with turning to a friend and asking, "I'm not sure, what do you think?" But I was alone, and the angel on my shoulder was still sleeping at that moment. I almost opted to flip a coin to make the whipped matter easier when I heard myself mumble a “no thanks” to the poor barista I was torturing. Silence can be irritating, you know—especially in those early morning hours.
Alas, I made a choice, one that resulted in a lack of whipped sugary goodness. (Not what I would call a life defining decision, but certainly still a difficult one.) I couldn’t help but feel somewhat put off by myself, once again; the usual down putting phrases began to circulate my mind as I settled in a corner with my laptop and coffee. I got to an over analyzing point by my fifth sip of the latte. I started thinking about how many choices I’ve made after difficult debate—if it were possible, would I take them back? Would I reel them in and then throw out the line again, this time with a different decision attached? Would I even be able to admit to myself that maybe, just maybe, I had made the wrong choice in the first place?
I can’t say for sure. I want so very much to be able to say, “No, no, I would not change a thing,” and mean it. I think back to choices I made, to the path I tread, and I wonder…what if I didn’t do things the way I did? What would be different?
Everything. Obviously, right? It only makes sense. I would not be who I am right now—the Kerry chugging multiple caffeinated drinks at 10:54 PM would be some other Kerry, some foreign girl, one I like to think not as sophisticated or complex as I. But then again, maybe I should’ve prayed for simplicity. I’d like not to feel crazy everyday.
If I had the chance to go back in time a few months, and sit down across from the me I was a year ago, map out on paper everything the upcoming year would bring, circling the important days in red pen, and unfurl a plan of what to do and how to do it, I wouldn’t. I went through major changes this past year, and I’m not sure I would be able to go through with the choices I made had I known what the consequences were. No, I wouldn’t be able to go back and give the old Kerry pointers about what to expect and how to handle it all—the not knowing was what drove me to the decisions I came to in the first place. And, to this date, I’m not sure I could take those choices back if possible. Because I would not be the same.
It’s funny how many decisions we make in a day. Black coffee, fruit for lunch. Take the back roads to work, listen to jazz and smile at the gas attendant. They’re all choices that we make, and believe it or don’t, but those little things add up: the smallest decision can bring about the biggest of changes.