Because sometimes it’s better not to think

I’m a pretty passionate person about matters of the heart.

Especially when the heart leads you to make decisions that your head shouldn’t be deciding.

One day last week at work, my coworker and I had been working on something together, and he sent me some content to review. I made my revisions and told him that I would send it to the final person who needed to see it when I thought it was good to go. I fired it off not too long after that and let him know, and when I passed by him a few minutes later, the following exchange occurred.

Me: I sent it to him.
Him: Oh, you didn’t think very long.
Me: I didn’t need to think.
Him: Sometimes the best decisions are made that way.

Ohhhhhhh. That’s a good word, sir.

I know that this situation had to do with something at work and didn’t involve any life-altering decisions or anything like that, but what he said is so true and applicable to so many other areas of life. If you think about it, thinking about something for too long can actually ruin a decision. Like my buddy said, sometimes the best decisions are made without really thinking much—because they’re made based on what the heart feels is the best thing to do.

My friend Bear didn’t need to think about spending $27 on candy. She just did it. Genius.

There are many decisions in life that need a good amount of thought put into them. I mean, just the other day, I was with my friend Bear at an acai bowl place and had to take some time thinking about which bowl was best to get that morning. It was important to consider the ingredients and the level of satisfaction that I felt each bowl would bring me. After a couple minutes of careful thought, I made a truly wonderful decision that made my taste buds and my heart very happy.

But not everything requires you to stand in front of a menu board and analyze every aspect of every option—because sometimes you simply have to go for it without thinking.

I’d like to give a super real example from Gilmore Girls. When Rory Gilmore was trying to decide between Harvard and Yale, she made a pros and cons list. She had always dreamed of going to Harvard before she ever even visited it, but after visiting both Harvard and Yale, her heart felt more drawn to Yale. She let fears get in the way of that feeling, though, and she then tried to think about her decision too much. Lorelai ended up having to step in to make her daughter realize that she actually wanted to go to Yale more, which meant that that was the school she should choose.

This clearly involved no thought whatsoever.

I know that sometimes when we decide with our hearts or go with our gut instincts those choices don’t always end up being the best ones for us—especially when they’re choices we make because we’re blinded by feelings we have for people—but sometimes they do. And taking chances is often the only way to find out. Risks can be scary, but they can also result in some pretty incredible things.

And taking chances actually isn’t as frightening when you don’t overthink them.

I watch the NBA All-Star Game every year, and I kept that tradition alive over the weekend. The game usually involves almost a negative amount of defense, so the score is always ridiculously high (this year, Team LeBron beat Team Giannis 178-164). Despite that, it’s still a lot of fun to watch because the players are jacking up insane shots and putting on some circus-like spectacles. It’s not like baseball was up until a couple of years ago, where the game actually mattered and had home-field advantage implications during the World Series, so the players are simply having fun the entire time and putting on a show for their audience. They’re not thinking a ton—they’re just enjoying themselves and taking chances that they might not necessarily take in normal game situations.

And those chances often leave Reggie Miller saying “ooooohhhhhhh” and “daaaaaaaannngggggg” right along with the rest of us watching from home and begging for the replay.

You never have to think twice about enjoying life with forever friends.

I realize that we were given brains for a reason and that it’s good to use them. But we were also given very powerful hearts that often need to overpower the things that our brains are telling us to do. If I listened to my brain rather than my heart most of the time, I don’t think that I’d be the person I am today. I think that I would be much more fearful and much more cautious—two things I simply don’t want to be. I know what it feels like to be rejected and to have my heart broken as a result of going with my heart and not my brain. But I wouldn’t change those decisions. They’re the ones my coworker was talking about when he said that sometimes the best decisions are made without thinking.

Because if you’re constantly thinking and never simply letting your heart lead the way, how will you let yourself grow and fail and love and realize how brave you actually are?

I hope that you let yourself take chances without thinking about them too much. I hope that you let yourself pursue your dreams without always making pros and cons lists. I hope that you let yourself love others completely in big ways.

And I hope that you never let yourself think that you aren’t brave enough to take risks that come straight from your heart.

When Gilmore Girls ruins your life (but not really)

Sometimes when I read books or watch certain television shows, I get wrapped up in these fictitious worlds probably more than I should.

And then I have to remind myself about this little thing called reality.

When I was in high school, Gilmore Girls entered into my life. Once a week, my sister and I gathered in our T.V. room to watch one hour of witty banter, enter into the intriguing world of Stars Hollow, and wonder at why Rory never ended up with Jess (he was our favorite of all of her boyfriends). The show always just seemed so perfect—there was drama, there was laughter, and it simply made you feel real feelings, ranging from joy to sadness to frustration to anger to a multitude of other emotions. I could definitely let the list continue, but I will stop there for the sake of your attention span and my sanity.

GG blog2
A great show and some emotions that go with it

Although my life was completely different than Rory’s, I felt like I grew up right alongside her because we were the same age and graduated high school and college in the same years (and we both studied journalism). I even looked up a bunch of different schools to go to in the Northeast because the Gilmores lived in Connecticut, and Rory wanted to go to Harvard (but ended up going to Yale). I mean, I actually ignored the fact that I HATE COLD WEATHER. Yes, that’s how much Gilmore Girls meant to me.

I also feel the need to mention that my sister and I started eating smushed banana on toast after we saw Emily make it for Lorelai once in one of the earlier episodes. Judge as you wish.

I recently discovered Netflix. No, I’m not living in a cave or out of touch with the real world. I actually had a Netflix account during grad school when I was taking a film class and had to watch a bunch of movies, but it was the type of account that mailed the DVDs to you, and then you mailed them back. This time around, I can actually watch movies and T.V. shows on my computer or, better yet, my phone. I know—I’m so modern and hip. So, naturally, I’ve been watching Gilmore Girls.

I’m almost finished with the series, and I’m a mess.

Here’s the problem with Gilmore Girls: it sets your expectations for daily life too high. When I was in high school, I went through a period in which I thought I was supposed to be at a more prestigious school. Then, I wondered why I didn’t have two boys fighting over me—or why I didn’t even have one to build me a car or to be the reason I ditched school to hop on a bus to New York just to see him. I also became slightly upset that not everything in my town was within walking distance and didn’t have a gazebo in the middle. And I felt we were lacking traditional activities, such as regular town meetings that everyone attends or an annual 24-hour dance marathon.

Even in watching more recently, I’ve realized how mundane my life feels compared to the Gilmores’. I go to work and come home and watch SportsCenter and then whatever game is on that night. I don’t have men proposing to me or rich parents trying to control my life. I am not in a love triangle. I am not trying to run a business with my best friend or read every Russian novel that was ever written. I’ve never been to Martha’s Vineyard or lived in a pool house and paid absolutely zilch for rent. Simply put, I don’t live in a television show.

And that’s a good thing.

Before my realizations of my lack of story lines got too out of hand, it hit me: I’m really thankful my life is not full of drama. I love that I get along with my parents and have siblings who make my life more enjoyable. I love that I don’t know a town gossip who knows everything about everyone. I love that I live in a place where it doesn’t truly legitimately snow every winter and where I know the temperature is warmer during more of the year than it is cold. I love that I don’t have relationship drama (and I know that I would have to have a relationship to have relationship drama, but I feel like it’s still a solid reason to be thankful).

And I really love that it’s better to live in the life you’ve been given than to ever try to be anyone or anywhere else.

I know things are never perfect, and they certainly aren’t the way I imagined they would be years ago, but they are as they should be. It’s easy to get caught up in wishing you could have things you don’t, and I’m all for having hopes and dreams, but there’s a difference between hoping and dreaming and not living in reality. I love Gilmore Girls, and I will certainly watch the new season that is supposedly hitting Netflix soon, but I’ll stick to the Merrill life of Capri Suns rather than coffee and Popsicle stick jokes over witty comebacks that I don’t know how anyone could come up with so quickly.

Thank you, Gilmore Girls, for bringing my sister and me closer together, for reminding me that I like my life, and for so many other things—especially ridiculously flawless dialogue that never gets old.

“Oy with the poodles already!”