Too Many Choices (When the World Really Is Your Oyster)

Posted by:Lindsay S. Nixon Category: Advice Minimalist

A year ago Scott came home from work and told me he'd been transferred to St. Maarten, and we were moving to the Caribbean.

From the beginning we knew it was temporary, a one-year assignment. We'd assumed after the year was up we'd be transferred back to New York City or to some other property owned by Scott's employer. 

Then, just before I left for my Europe trip, we learned that we wouldn't be transferred back to New York City, or anywhere at all. Scott's job was, simply, over. 

For the first time in our lives, the world was our oyster. The options were limitless. We could literally go anywhere. Move anywhere. Nothing was guiding us or pulling us. ANYWHERE.

We considered everything: from moving back home to New York City, to moving somewhere exotic and maybe a little adventurous, like Buenos Aires or Prague. During my trip I wrote home a few times, saying things like "Let's move to Germany!" or "My Spanish is really improving -- what about Spain?"

By the time I came home to the Caribbean, and it was time to make some decisions about where we were headed, I'd suggested a good 25 places to live. and then I kept adding to the list rather than subtracting from it. I was getting more and more overwhelmed every day -- where did I want to go? where did I want to live? There were just so many choices! Can't we move to them all?

Finally Scott said to me: 

If everything is an option, nothing is an option.

It hit me like a ton of bricks. I'd always operated on the notion that "the more options you have the better" and "options are good even if you don't use them" and while I still think that's true in a lot of situations, in this situation, it was making me crazy.

I'd been away from my inner minimalist for too long. I'd lost my hold on the "less is more" mentality. 

So, I threw out my list and started over. I picked a place. Scott picked a place. Then we decided what conditions had to be met to make each place happen. 

Originally, at first glance, my place was winning. We were moving back to New York City. But then the tides changed. The scale tilted and the planets aligned. and now we're moving to Colorado. 

I'm moving to Colorado.

I'm both excited and nervous. I've been to 41 states and oddly, I've never been to Colorado. In the last 10 years I've lived in 7 states and two countries. Colorado will make #8 in those same 10 years. Sometimes I think I need to stay put and plant a tree, or something. and other times I think I must be destined to be a vagabond. 

I'm moving to Colorado. and I will snowboard everyday.

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