I was happy to have a 'one-on-one' session - 90 minutes for the two of us to talk and catch up over lunch. Each one-on-one we've had, Kimmie chooses chicken alfredo from the pasta station. This time I decided to join her. When we got in line, the pasta chef greeter her with "Hey! It's chicken alfredo!" The first time she had it, the chicken alfredo was the special of the day; since then, she's had it 'made to order'. The pasta chef started Kimmie's order - grilling the chicken, adding the garlic and veggies - then asked "What kind of pasta would you like?" Kimmie froze. Her eyes went wide. "Uh...I...what...I just want chicken alfredo," she stammered. I described the different pasta available to her: long skinny noodles or short tube noodles or flat noodles or stuffed noodles. "I don't know. Which one is the best one? I don't know." She saw that I had chosen penne, so she chose penne too.
After we ate, we decided to walk around the lot. "Which way would you like to go?" I asked. She froze. Again. Her eyes went wide. Again. "I don't know. Which way is best?" I told her last time we walked around the sound stages, let's go the other way. "Okay!" she said brightly and off we went.
We talked and joked, walked through storefront facades and stopped to take pictures. We walked down a side road because there was sun and we were both cold and ended up at Starbucks. "I love Starbucks!" So, inside we go. We're standing in line, reading the menu board, and Kimmie mentions she always orders the same thing but maybe she should try a different drink this time because it's too cold to get a frappucino. At the register, I order a white chocolate mocha latte somethingorother with whipped cream. "And, for you?" Kimmie froze. Her eyes went wide. "I don't know. What should I get? I don't know." Completely frustrated and out of patience, I ordered the iced version of the white chocolate mocha latte somethingorother. Both are sitting on the counter, ready for pick-up. I ask "Which one would you like?" It was a three-minute ordeal - "which do you like? which one do you want? I don't know. I don't know. I don't know." I said they're both the same except one is hot, one is iced. I stood there, waiting for her to decide. She took the iced drink, I grabbed the other, and we walked out.
I asked her why she doesn't make decisions. ::shoulder shrug:: I asked why she was paralyzed when presented with options. "I don't like to make decisions. What if I make the wrong choice? You said 'Left or right?' What if I say left? I might miss something going on to the right. I don't want to miss anything!"
I told her that's part of making a decision - either way is an adventure. If you don't choose one or the other, you miss out on both! Something wonderful and exciting could happen no matter which way you go. She confessed she gets chicken alfredo each time because she knows what it tastes like and she likes it; and what if she tries something else and doesn't like it?
I confessed that making decisions was tough for me, too. Making decisions, giving opinions - I hated to do it! What if I want sushi and everyone else wants burgers? Kimmie nodded her head. "Yes!" I told her to trust herself, listen to herself. Don't be afraid to make a decision or share her opinion. We talked about this for a good 20 minutes. "Next time, force me to make a decision. Tell me I have to try something other than pasta." Ohhh, no! I will do no such thing! She's going to have to trust herself, listen to herself and choose on her own. We hugged, said our goodbyes and went our separate ways.
I walked back to my office with such a warm and full heart. I really wish someone had shared these things with me when I was in high school. I'm just so glad the lessons were learner - better late than never. And, I hope these lessons and moments shared stick with Kimmie long enough for her to share with someone else.