Reduction of choosing – 200 words project

October 06, 2014

Here is this week’s 200 words project – from the Vagabonding by Rolf Potts.


The idea – that whatever you choose, you lose something is a very powerful one. At first glance, I hear my thoughts cry out ‘Noooooooo….’. Harsh it might be, but true it is.

Choosing one path means closing the door to all other paths – for now. That is the nature of paths and choices isn’t it? Yes, you can choose to go in between paths – but that means you will now have experience walking in between paths – but lost the experience of walking on a path.

This idea, as traumatic as it sounds, can be very liberating as well.

Now that we have chosen, our options, parameters reduce to that of the path, the choice. Since we are done choosing for now, why not make the best of what we chose? Why not give this path, this choice our all – our love, enthusiasm, joy, best effort, hard work to this one path? Why mourn for other choices? Why give in to the nasty thought of ‘if only I had chosen otherwise’? Why compare ourselves to others or our other probable selves who made different choices and fell bad?

Why not see where this path leads and learn everything it has to offer?


Travel, I was coming to realize, was a metaphor not only for the countless options life offers but also for the fact that choosing one option reduces you to the parameters of that choice. Thus, in knowing my possibilities, I also knew my limitations.

** Ultimately, I learned to stop looking at my journey as one final, apocalyptic chance to see the world, and started enjoying it on its own esoteric terms.**

Rolf Potts in Vagabonding

…. that life is a series of choices, and whatever we choose, we lose something.

Kiese Laymon’s mother in Hey Mama

Tags: 200-words-project, Thoughts

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