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It is not infrequently that you would catch me indulging myself in yet another episode of my favorite TV show—one of my many guilty pleasures (second to only comfort food). You might be familiar with that feeling. But sometimes, you come across that one scene or listen to that one quote or encounter that one character that strikes a chord somewhere deep inside, which makes you think that you shouldn’t be feeling so guilty after all. I know. I have experienced that too.

One of the greatest components of fiction- be it in the form of novels or cinema—is relatibility. Yes, it is awe-inspiring when a writer molds words into sentences that play our emotions or when a filmmaker’s mastery of their craft pours out through their cinematography. The artistic element is one of the reasons why we consume fiction- to feel inspired and marvel at the beauty of the world. But another reason why we do is to live an alternate reality, to step into the shoes of a different person. To vicariously experience a different culture or city or background. When creators can craft a story that allows readers to empathize, I believe they have truly succeeded in achieving the purpose of their art.

Now, that long preamble leads me to the topic of dialogue. I love cleverly written dialogue, repartee’s and spontaneous banters and all. I love it even more when the lines resonate with something in my own life- especially with something I am struggling with. Recently, I came across a quote that I repeated to myself several times in my head, pondering over how accurate it is, and, more importantly, how accurately it describes my situation. Maybe you can relate to it too.

I am currently watching Grey’s Anatomy. (The show is much less about surgeons and injuries and medicine than it seems; it can more accurately be described as an anthology of life lessons you learn through practicing surgery.) In one episode, the character, Dr. Shepherd, is going through a fork in the road moment in their life, holding up on making an important decision. He talks about it to Dr. Bailey, about the difficulty of making such a decision when she says, “It’s not difficult, it’s just painful. You already know what to do. If you didn’t, there wouldn’t be so much pain in the first place.” I replayed that part, then paused once she finished and thought about it.

I guess it becomes important to make the distinction between choices that are difficult and those that are painful. Sometimes, we are at a crossroad in which both options are equally desirable. But other times, we’re simply scared of making the decision we know is right. Why wouldn’t we be? We’re human and we have many superpowers, but predicting the future is not one of them. We have created proxies and devised probabilities, but we haven’t figured out a way to know for certain. It is that subliminal fear of uncertainty that is frothing deep inside of us, and when we are faced with a difficult- or painful- decision, it geysers out. We think about everything we’d be missing out on by making this choice, then step back to square one of doubt our decisions once again.

I’m thinking about the decision that I’m avoiding making. Am I avoiding it because the two options are tugging me in opposite directions, or because it’s plain painful to make? I guess I’ll find out. And if I were to leave a life lesson at the end of this blog post, it would be this: make the decision. Don’t delay it. Take the leap of faith, pick an option. If you don’t time will do it for you.

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