"Should I? No! I want to. I can't. I must. Of course not. I should try immediately."excerpted from Bossypants
Tina Fey offers up her latenight decision making process that eventually culminated in getting ready for baby # 2 after 40. Why is it so difficult for people to make decisions!? Supposedly we all are a central actor in the lives we lead, and yet our heels cool as they dangle. The larger question of "what the hell do I want out of life?" dances close and then slips away - on repeat - until change becomes the only option left. Books abound on the subject these days, a mix of scientific acknowedgment of why it is so difficult to cut out new, invigorating paths, and also, "how to" take that information and become the "master of your own destiny". The range and sophistication is broad, from manifest destiny to brain plasticity. If you are interested, it's out there! Watching how decisions or non-decisions play out is one of the reaons I love fiction.
Like the riff Tina Fey confided , the neurotic overtures characters make to themselves may be lost even to those closest to them. Samuil Kransnansky, a feature voice in David Bezmozgis AWESOME new novel, The Free World, is a perfect example of this. This wonderful book is set in the purgatory of Ladispoli Rome, as a family of Lativan Soviet emigres wait to see which country will accept them. Throughout the book family members explore their new reality, dealings in the black market, infidelities, playing around with being "Jewish". While this is happening, Samuil walks the coasts wondering what the hell happened to his life. A commited communist who gave everything to forge a life of "soviet virture", abandoned, to follow his children and wife, who according to Samuil have little virture and even less sense. A touching memory series unfolds Samuil to the reader, while to the rest of his family, he is doomed to remain the quiet, pissed off old soviet out for a stroll. I champion people's courage to pick up books to better help themselves navigate the world. I champion fiction for underscoring, that perhaps it ain't that simple.