So Why Not Try?

You can always change your mind. It’s taken me a long time to realize this. I mean I knew it, but there’s a period of integration where you theoretically know it but fail to implement it. As kids we’d say learn it, know it, live it.

Almost all decisions can be reversed. And somehow the ones that can’t seem easier to decide, because they are irreversible. I anguished over making so many decisions, as if my whole life depended on my choice. As if it was final and there would never be any going back. The best advice I got was when I was 15 years old (no that’s not a typo), but it took me years to practice it. And even now, it’s not always smooth.

Some guy asked me to the movies and wanted to start dating. He would be my first boyfriend. I remember dwelling over it, not sure if I should or shouldn’t. I tried to figure all it implied and imagine all the outcomes. As if anybody can predict the future.

You Can Always Breakup

A close friend commented, “Well you know what? If it doesn’t work out, you can always break up.” What? What a concept. I could just put it in reverse and go back to before. Or as close as you can get to before, because we all know you can never truly go back. I could even pretend it never happened!

Side note here, I’ve always been grateful that I’ve picked up on these bits of wisdom over the years. Call it God, fate, the universe, a loved one who has passed looking out for me, I’ve been lucky enough to have not only been given these pearls of wisdom, but clued into their importance.

But back to our regular programming. She and I would laugh about that phrase over and over through the years. It became a catchphrase for the possibility, and, even more empowering, the right to change your mind. As in “Should I take this job, do you think it’s suited for me? I’ve listed the pros and the cons.”  To which one of us would answer, “If it doesn’t work out, you can always break up.”

It was funny to apply the word break-up to telling your boss you’re quitting, or quitting a group, a team, a class. Although, another side note here, I did actually leave a job where my speech was exactly the same as a break-up speech. The It’s not working out, I’m in a different place, I want to move onbut I’m really grateful…yada yada yada.

There’s Nothing Like Doing It

This may sound cheesy, but it’s true. Almost always, you can change your mind and go back. Yes, it might’ve cost you some time and some money, but it truly is a learning experience. There’s only so much thinking and planning and trying to project the future one can do. Trust me, I’ve tried. I hesitated over this website and blogging. Could I, should I, would I?

Obviously fear is at work here. We want to try to predict all the outcomes because it would remove the unknown. And in the primitive reptile brain, unknown equals danger. So if we don’t know every single step we’ll have to take, we chicken out.

If you’ve weighed the pros and cons, if you’ve tried to figure out all the things that can go wrong and this isn’t in the 1% of things that are absolutely life-threatening or life-changing (and even there sometimes you need a life change) the only thing left to do is to try it and see what happens. There’s nothing like the experience. I’ve learned what to do better, what to avoid, likes and dislikes. What my style is. What I want in the future. Trying is part of growing and learning. Not only about the experience per se, but more importantly about yourself.

Photo by Noah Silliman on Unsplash