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  • Writer's pictureJessica Marie

Stupor or Stupid? A Story About Choice

The haze of the day seemed to blur with my vision. Or our vision, as four of my friends and I partook in the days’ festivities. A mixture of humidity and liquor caused us to feel more anxious than usual. Or maybe it was the combination of flickering streetlights revealing alley cats and drunken individuals, and laughter and ayyyye’s to rhythmic music that led us to believe that anything else was more suitable than the monotone voice leading us. The tour guide attempted to engage the crowd as we walked the French Quarters, listening to tales of voodoo, magic, and witchery. American Horror Stories would neverrrrrr, I thought. I kneeled, trying to keep focus as the tour progressed. I was usually most attentive, but today was not one of those days. Two of my friends loudly whispered to each other as the others dawdled with their phones. Minutes slowly trickled in juxtaposition to the perspiration that trickled down my forehead. I stood, aggravated that we even signed up for this junk and even more upset because it was my idea. The reviews deceived me, and I wanted my money back. As we pressed on, one of my friends called us closer and suggested we leave. One friend agreed but questioned how, one remained silent in a drunken stupor, and the other devised a plan as I stood aloof, shunning the idea entirely. That would be rude, I repeated, though not completely convinced that I cared. We already paid for it. She’s gonna ask us where we’re going.

Against my better judgment, we dipped.

We fled the scene, and I’m sure it was both obvious and obnoxious as we left a clamorous trail of laughter and an aroma of liquor. Who would’ve thought ditching would be that exhilarating? And as for the money we paid to attend the tour, we somehow finessed our coins back into our pockets (2018 consisted of an “anything goes” mentality as I found liberation in foolery, iykyk).

I’m sure you’re wondering how this story relates to anything, right? Well, I thought the same as this story, nearly three years post origin, unearthed itself in my mind. The lesson I gleaned from it is a part of a bigger lesson I am brewing to share one day, but the little lesson for today is that of choice. We get to choose.

Yep, that's it. That’s the lesson.

I was so flustered the other day by something that happened – that I repeatedly allowed – when I realized that I have a choice. I can choose to remain in a situation (despite all of the exits and re-routes around me). Or I can choose to get up and leave. The choice is mine. And just like in the story, where my friend realized that we weren’t stuck and could do something about our present situation, I, too, have that choice in my everyday life. While I know this may not apply to every situation, it is revolutionary because I often engage in activity that no longer serves me. Mainly due to loyalty or my inclination to stick with it, only to feel miserable and shackled while in it. I will silently suffer in situations that I may have prayed or begged to be removed from – with the exit right in front of me – because I don’t want to be rude or negligent or whatever the case may be. And just like I shunned the idea of leaving the tour, I often do the same in these situations. However, one thing about life, a lesson will always surface, even if it is from a drunken trip.

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