Ella Frances Sanders


On Air

I’ve managed to get my mind stuck on a loop, one that doesn’t really have a resolution. It concerns the choices we take and the choices we leave behind, the people we decide to look in the eye, the ways in which we spend our exhaustible hours and how there should probably never be anything resembling logic when it comes to love.

I read somewhere at some point that for every conscious decision or choice we make each day, there are countless (I’ve forgotten the actual number here) others that float by, completely unobserved. If I actually think about this, I’m confused. Not because I’d thought that I made all my own decisions (because I did) and not because I’m rather concerned about the number of thoughtless things that must happen all the time (because I am). No, I’m confused because it got me thinking about who or what is creating, influencing and making my choices. And I’m not sure whether the answer is as straight-forward as I thought it was.

If you slow your head down enough to actually hear it, usually there isn’t just one voice—there’s a lot of them, and in most cases it’s just too many. Obviously the ideal scenario here would be having only one voice in your head as the rule, and overwhelming backchat only as an exception. The problem is that it’s kind of hard work keeping the voices down to a bare minimum; they feed off each other and multiply at a rate of knots. So leave your mind unattended for a few days and you’re now met by ten times as many concerns surrounding the decision you made last night to set an earlier alarm. The consequences of that decision, implications in the long-term, people it might affect and whether or not you have time to spend wondering about this. I’m still working on (going around in circles thinking about) the details of this theory and what it may or may not mean for me or anyone else in reality, but maybe what I’m trying to get at here is that it’s a good idea to isolate your own voice once in a while, and actually listen.

I suppose we leave choices behind the same way we sometimes leave people behind, and they drag their heels in the mud. Maybe to avoid wishing that we’d thrown heads instead of tails, it has to be that one isolated voice making the call—not the one sat next to it and definitely not the crowd.

WritingElla Frances Sanders