Have you ever listened to the radio program called Radiolab? It's a great program for people like me who, say, are kept up late at night wondering what Canadians call Canadian bacon. Or how can you tell if blue cheese has gone bad? Radiolab celebrates curiosity, and it's one of my favorite programs out there.
One of their recent shows is on the topic of Choices - is it good to have a lot of choices, or does it ultimately overwhelm us into making bad decisions? Listening to it, I was reminded of the full 3 years my husband and I debated where we should move to.
We were living in San Francisco, and though we loved it there, we knew it just wasn't the place for us. LA, Vancouver, Portland, Austin, Nashville, Savannah, New Orleans and Asheville were all on our list of possible new locales.
We had pros and cons list for each town, and researched their economies, their lifestyles, their weather, etc. We scoured chat forums to get peoples opinions of towns, and even considered a massive scouting trip where we could check out all the cities to get a feel for them. It was all we talked about. It was crazy and overwhelming.
Back to Radiolab -- scientists are finding that we can really only keep track of about 7 things at once. And that's not just 7 items with all their comparisons - 7 sets of economies, 7 sets of lifestyles, etc. It's 7 total - so only comparing 7 economies but ignoring all the rest of the lists.
After that: brain mush. Endless circles of reviewing and second guessing, with no hope of an answer in sight. Pulling out the magic 8 ball and begging for an answer.
You just can't make a life-changing decision like that. Sure, it's good to do research, but in the end you have to follow what your gut tells you to do. Don't dismiss your feelings - they're an important part of the process.
All of our pro and con lists pointed to moving to LA. We had lived there before and had business contacts, friends, and favorite restaurants to get back to. We were literally two weeks away from moving back there when we had a sudden epiphany - we wanted to move to Austin, not LA. No more explanation necessary.
Put down your lists, back away from the computer, and trust your instincts. If you want to move to Austin, you'll know.
Labels: general austin