Permission to Change Your Mind

In writing, it's easy to change your mind. You can change your character's appearance or career. You can change their name or the way they dress. At least until the manuscript goes to press. I remember one day I was watching a women's volleyball game and I thought, "I could make Kelsey (a character in Gifted) a volleyball player." I couldn't. She was already a basketball player and the book was released. I had a copy on my shelf. It was too late to change Kelsey's mind.

A few weeks ago my daughter was home from college. She was miserable--overwhelmed, unhappy and worn out. She was trying to arrange her schedule to get as many requirements for her major finished as possible and the thought of some of the classes had her really discouraged. College wasn't fun. It wasn't interesting. Four years stretched out like the Sahara desert with no water.

We staged an impromptu intervention and after a couple of hours of discussion, debate, counsel and tears, we realized that she might be heading down the wrong career path. It was a logical choice. It sounded smart. But it didn't interest her or excite her. We let her know it was okay if she changed her mind. The difference in her excitement about school and learning has been dramatic. Maybe after a couple more semesters and a mission, she'll go back to her original plan. Maybe she'll take a new path. She doesn't have to decide for sure right now.

Sometimes our fear of looking foolish makes us stick with a wrong choice. We don't want to look like failures. But sometimes altering our course isn't a sign of failure, it's a sign of strength. The easy thing is to stick with the wrong thing because changing course sounds really hard.

I have a brother in his forties. He and his wife and son just moved to another state so he could start law school. He changed his mind about what he wanted to do for a career. He didn't take it lightly because it now affected other people. He and his wife counseled together and prayed to know if his change of mind was a good thing or not. They left convinced that it was and that conviction made the drastic life change easier.

Of course, there are a few choices that we can't turn from easily. Some choices need to be followed through on because of the harm a change would do to other people.

But I'm convinced that if we're unhappy or if we dread what we face every day, we should do some soul-searching. Maybe we're supposed to change our mind.


Scott / Lori said...

AWESOME! What a great reminder. Thank you.

missy said...

I don't even remember how many times I changed my major in college. So many interesting things available out there! I hope she finds what she loves (even if it takes a few years) and enjoys the journey!

Torrie said...

And I think it's good for your daughter to know that it's totally NORMAL to change your major (lots of people change it multiple times!). Since your young adult life is when you're trying to figure out where the rest of your life will go, it's okay to not get it perfect the first time. I used to be a math major because it was far more practical than an English major, but when I finally just went with what felt the best to me, school become something I loved again.

Tell her to hang in there! Hope things pick up for her soon :)