• Nicola Owen


Updated: Mar 23, 2021

As a little girl, I was given an amazing story book by my Auntie, whereby I could make choices for the characters within it. I’d read the story in earnest and reach the bottom of the page, faced with a choice and on choosing I’d have instructions as to which page to turn to next. I found this whole concept fascinating and quickly realised how my choices impacted the character’s outcomes. Very powerful at the age of seven.

That book remained on my bookshelf for some years and was often referred to. In my own life, as I contemplated decisions I was presented with, I would think through the possible outcomes of possible choices and decisions. Then act accordingly. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes spontaneity and impulse were the basis of my decisions too- and this is still sometimes the case!

My point being choice is ours. We own it. It doesn’t own us. Even when we are faced with choices that we wouldn’t normally wish to make and it feels like that we don’t have a choice. We do still actually have a choice!

I have a choice to get up each morning, what I have for breakfast . What I choose to wear that day. I have choices about the things I fill my day, even within the expectation of my job, I still have choices. I am lucky.

I can often hear the phrase “ I don’t have a choice” pop into my head when I’m faced with a difficult decision. It’s not that we don’t have a choice -it’s just that we wish we didn’t have to make a decision. To be put in that position.

When I consider choices that have presented themselves in my life, where I have felt that I haven’t had a say- when I have made decisions to please or meet the expectations of others, then I would apply that phrase. But in fact, I had the choice to say no. The difference being, I didn’t have the strength to stand up and make that choice. I allowed myself to be oppressed by other’s demands or expectations. As I have taken more control of my own life, I’ve begun to see how I do have the strength to choose what is right for me. I do get to choose where the story goes at the end of each page. I do have that power within me. Why? How? Because I realise I have that choice. It’s mine to own. I own the right to make a choice for myself, as a woman, as a human being and as Me.

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