At a stoplight listening to Levitt and Dubner’s “Think Like a Freak,” I grab the post-its and a pen out of the cubby beside me and jot this down: “Sometimes in life, going right up the middle is the boldest move of all.” I often write down things on post-its and put them on my mirror, just in case I actually see them everyday. The scripted wallpaper of my mind should be poignant at least, right?
He’s talking about the data of taking a goal shot in soccer. It is 7% more likely that you will succeed if you kick a shot straight to the center. The goalie doesn’t have time to see which way you kick it and then jump, but instead must make a best guess before jumping. 57% of the time people kick left, somewhere around 44% kick right. The rest opt for a center shot. Thus, based on past indicators a goalie generally chooses to jump. There is also an embarrassment factor that plays both on the kicker and the goalie concerning center kicks. The kicker would be humiliated should he kick the ball directly at the goalie who wouldn’t have to move to block it. The goalie would be humiliated if they didn’t move from the center and the kicker did kick to an edge. Even though it is a better gamble to go for the center, human nature fears the simplest option and labels it the most shameful. At least if the kicker kicks to the side and the goalie dives, they both look as if they’ve made a grand attempt at it.
It makes me wonder sometimes if we are who we are, or if we are what we feel we need to be? How different would our decisions be if we could make them without anyone ever knowing? How different would it be if we made the most logical decision every time we’re faced with a crossroads? And if we don’t, isn’t that who we really are? If we make the most emotional decision, if we are what they need us to be; isn’t that the most real reality? We don’t live in a vacuum. We can’t take away all the obstacles that we face to decision making, that wouldn’t be real. So isn’t who we pretend to be who we really are in the end? We’ve made those choices and they become part of us. That is who we are.
There are so many things I need to be right now, I can barely tell who I am or who I want to be. It’s only going to get worse. There are only going to be titles, duties, expectations added to me. I had such a small window to be my own person. This life doesn’t feel like mine anymore. It hasn’t been mine for a long time. Do people really live their own lives? Do people actually do what they want to with their whole lives? Is that selfish or is it a right? Am I even in this if I can’t find myself at all? Am I invested in this emotionally if I can’t feel anything?
I’m left with this feeling that I’ll never get to be a whole version of myself. Can people even do that? How do they do that? Don’t hold your breath to see a whole me. I quit holding my breath a long time ago. Can’t waste life trying to figure out how to live it.