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Choose neither

Thu, 14 Oct 2021 02:23:58 +0000

Choose neither

Recently, I was looking for a hair claw (Jesus Christ are they really called that? Am I the only one who finds that name terrifying?).

First, I looked online. I buy most of my things second hand, and TradeMe and Facebook marketplace are my first port of call for anything, from clothes to house appliances, camping gear and anything I can possibly need.

Hair claws might be a bit specific, and I was unable to find anything pre-loved. Since I was also going through my urge-to-shop phase, one day while I was in town I walked into Cotton On. I found some hair claws hanging from a wall display. I spotted one that looked nice, picked it up and decided that since I was there, I might as well have a little nosey around the shop. I turned around, only to find a second wall display, exhibiting a way wider range of hair claws and other hair accessories. The same hair claw I had picked came in every other possible colour you can imagine. I immediately found one I liked better. Then other one. Soon, I liked all of them equally. I simply couldn’t pick one. 

Being very intentional with my purchases, I always want to make sure I pick the best possible option, the one that works the best for me and that I won’t have to replace any time soon. In the hair claw case, there were just too many options, yet they were all the same. The only difference was the colour, so I thought I’d try to see what each of them looked like against my hair. The moment I did that, I realised I actually didn’t like any of them: I only felt drawn to them because they looked great all together, but looking at them individually, I suddenly didn’t want to own any of them.

It didn’t take long for me to feel overwhelmed. I ran out of the shop and never went back.

This is not the first time something like this happens. I don’t like having too many choices. Our brain doesn’t like being presented with too many choices. That’s the reason why you will experience mental clarity when you start practicing minimalism: because you reduce your every-day decision making. You simply give yourself fewer options to choose from and your brain can finally chill the heck out.

The hair claw episode (omg I need to stop saying hair claw) reminded me that, when you are presented with too many options, you are allowed to not pick any of them. When you are choosing what to buy and you can’t decide which one of the two, or more, alternatives, you can choose neither.

I didn’t buy a hair claw because, after going through this, I realised I didn’t really need it. I have my one trusted scrunchie and that works perfectly fine.

Sometimes we think we need things when we actually don’t, but that’s a topic for a different post. For now, just remember: when you can’t choose between two or more options, you can choose neither.

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