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Get excited, change your mind, get excited again

Last November marked what would have been my twentieth wedding anniversary, which quite frankly, blows my mind a little bit.

I got married when I was 21 after dating for just over a year. He was nice to me; he loved me; I’m sure I loved him too. But even before we’d said I do, I knew I didn’t want to be married. I did it anyway and we stayed married for four years after that.

I can not tell you how many times I have asked myself why. Why would I get married when I knew I didn’t want to? Why would I stay married for four years?

The truth is, I hate admitting to changing my mind. I’m terrible at it; I agonize over it. I just hate the way it sounds. To me, it sounds like the opposite of the way I strive to be - strong, independent, steady, determined.

But can I ask a sincere question? One that no matter how much work I’ve done I still struggle to answer?

Who cares?

It’s good to have goals. It’s good to be working toward something, striving, moving in a direction, growing. But what difference does it make if the goal is different this week than it was last week?

Because the reality is, we make the best decision we can with the information we have at the time, but we’re always incorporating new information - learning new things about our worlds, ourselves; having new experiences; being exposed to novel ideas.

Of course we are going to change our minds!

When I think back now to the damage I have done by not being true to myself and my changing wants and needs, it makes me so sad. It wasn’t only my marriage, but other relationships too, that I stayed in long after I knew they weren’t right or good for either of us. And it was also opportunities that I let pass me by because I had already made up my mind to do something else.

In the end, what does it matter if you change your mind? Get excited, change your mind, get excited again. What matters is that you are out there living, experiencing things, getting fired up, making plans. Who does it hurt if those plans don’t come to fruition?

Please then, I beg you (and this goes for you too, Bridge), stop letting people convince you that there’s anything wrong with changing your mind and give yourself permission to open up to all of the possibilities that life holds. I’d rather change my mind a hundred times because I’m excited about something new than to never be excited at all.

And I mean, you don’t have to be destructive about it. Honor your commitments, don’t break promises lightly, but have the courage and the compassion to be honest with yourself and others when something is no longer serving you. That’s really the best thing you can do, after all, for everyone involved.

Besides, I think it’s a myth that you can’t achieve a goal if you allow yourself to change your mind. I would argue you’re more likely to achieve the right goal - the one that’s best for you, the one that’s most fulfilling - if you’re willing to abandon something else you know isn’t right for you.

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