Bugno won 2 world championships, Fignon (RIP) won 2 Tours, I used to have 2 cats, I have a friend who weighs 2 bills, bicycles have 2 wheels. Sometimes people look at me as if I had 2 heads.
The dichotomy of our choices dictates ways that at firsthand slap us on both sides of our faces, wrong and right, up or down, black and white, night and day. But we know better. “There’s no 2 ways about it”, goes the saying. The more we look, the more we peel, two layers become 4, become 8, geometrically progressive, multiplying in fractal-like endlessness that drives us crazy. We analyze, obsess over seemingly multiple options, and suddenly simple solutions stop being forks on the road and become a maze of creepy, tortuous ways, dark alleys, parallel paths, bizarro-world alternative universes that test us on a daily basis. We get overwhelmed that there’s no real right way, no friendly gnome waving “over here!”. Instead, at every corner the layers multiply, many a hydra-like monstrosity that bites us with its many heads, each screaming “Decide! Decide!”, they hiss and spit and are scaly and scary and venomous.
Now let’s take a breather.
Further circumspection yields reflection, which paves the path to enlightening and clarification. Black and white, it seems so radical. The vast spectrum of choices are but ensconced opportunities, mini a-ha! moments that are just there, ready to be appreciated, digested, pondered.
If only it were that easy.
We can’t fight reaction. We’re programmed that way. When something startles us, millions of years of evolution spark crazy electricity in our brains and short circuit our judgment. Judgment gets clouded by emotion, we can’t see, can’t figure things out, so we fight. We wrestle what doesn’t fit, the strange, the outrageous, that which unsettles us. Once we’re done with the thrashing around we realize we wasted a shitload of time and energy and didn’t quite move anywhere. In my case I realized that such experiences, instead of being demonized, should be embraced. I started to welcome the challenges, “bring it” was my motto. That alone initially took away the anxiety of the unknown. So one of many veils was lifted and at least I could see a few meters down the road.
And now we’re back to simple choices. Embrace or discard, and I prefer to embrace. One doesn’t quite cancel the other; rather, they complement each other. I’ll elaborate in 2 simple examples:
First: this past week I noticed Spanish Team Movistar loves Embrocation so much they decided to honor us by decorating their beautiful Pinarellos in a very familiar color scheme. My first reaction was “Why, Eusebio, why? ¡BASTARDOS!” I was well on my way to flush my leftover Jamón, pour the Rioja down the drain and burn my Jai Alai uniform. But then I thought, “Damn, those Spaniards have good taste.“ Though not particularly thrilled, we decided that the Embro Empire should keep its lawyers well leashed, fresh for a worthy fight. At least we’ll drum up enough attention to each other that the sport, which is eventually what sustains us, will be at the forefront. You see, it won’t be about the copy-gato Spaniards or Embrocation swearing revenge on the Iberian heads: it’ll be about what we both love and are passionate for.
Second: I learned, much to my initial horror and visions of bankruptcy, that the missus is incubating kid #2. Yes, though definitely very scary, the terrors were allayed by the conclusion that kid #1 will never be bored, he’ll have company, a playmate, another source of lovely worries and endless tear-inducing laughter. I’ll embrace it indeed and will take cues from other 2-kid parents, namely Pete and my previously mentioned 2 billed friend.
The choices here are simple: love the Spaniards, and love the kids some more. The Jamón, for now, is safe.