Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Living with Your Decisions

Well, she finally did it. My daughter chose.

It wasn't easy. There was a daily battle and, depending on the hour you asked her, it could have gone either way. But my baby - my oldest - made her first decision as an adult: she chose her university. Now, for the next year, she will be living with that decision. Right now the strongest feeling is one of relief. No more angsting, no more pros and cons, no more eenie, meenie, miney moe. Later will come the hardest part: the living with it.

Living with a decision is hard only if things are going wrong or if you're unhappy with your choice. Since oldest had two good choices the likelihood of her being unhappy with either of them is slim. But there will always be niggling questions and considerations. The main one being "What if I'd chosen the other way?"

As writers, this is easy for us to deal with - we can always write a scene making the characters go in that different direction. We can read both versions and say - this is the way to go. This is where I want my characters to end up. It would be so much easier if, in life, we had a button to press that showed us where our decisions would lead us. But we live our lives not as writers but readers - life (like a good book) is exciting precisely because we don't know where our life (and the book) is leading. And, as I told my oldest, she's still so young she can change directions a number of times or, if she likes the path she's on, then she can continue with that storyline for awhile. She is the maker of her own fate. But if she believes in destiny then the things that are destined for her will happen no matter what path she's chosen.

Either way, she shouldn't stress. The decision is made and all I can hope for her is that the living with it will be easy.


  1. Yay for making a decision! :) Sometimes that's the toughest part. Once you're set on your course, you're free to expend your energy on making it work rather than the ping-pong game of trying to guess the best choice.

  2. My oldest just finished his freshman year at college. He had a great year, learned a lot and made great friends, but still may transfer after sophomore year. And he may change his focus, too. Even in life, changes are still possible!

  3. Good for her! Now she can put her energy into getting ready for the new page in her life.

  4. Hi Linda! I totally agree. The energy expended in making a decision can sap you for a while. Now comes the fun part - picking courses, residences, paying for all that ... oh, wait. That part's not so much fun.

    Hi J.A.: At this age so much is possible - there are no dead ends! So glad to hear your son had a great experience as a freshman. I can only hope the same happens for my daughter!

    Hi TerryLynn: Yay! is right. It was a monumental decision for her.

    Hi Ruth: She's so ready for university she's already skipped ahead not to a new page but she's several chapters into her new life already!

  5. I'm new here. *waving* Nice to meet you. (I'm here from Cynthia's blog)

    Congrats on your daughter making this BIG decision, and having the 'good problem' of two great choices to struggle with.

    Part of me feels a little freaked out by your post. I only have one daughter and she is a freshman in high school. After being a sweet straight A student all her life, her grades dropped to B's and C's this year and her snarky, PMS-y, MOODY 'tude is nearly killing me.
    She's still a good kid, doesn't lie or hang with troubled kids, she hasn't had a real boyfriend yet. I'm hoping it is just a short phase. I'm hoping next year she puts more energy to her schoolwork/grades, so she can have good choices of colleges. I'm also sad to think the little girl I just sent off to her first day of kindergarten is already having to think about college choices in a serious way and making big adult decisions. Yipes.

    I wish your daughter every success!


  6. Glad she decided. I can imagine the relief. Life changing or Manuscript changing decisions are never easy.

  7. Hi Lola! So nice to meet you, too!! Oh, that early teen 'tude. Sigh. I know it so well. You see, while my oldest is jetting off to God knows where (and, yes, she's now having second thoughts! Ack) I still have a 14 year old daughter at home. My roller coaster ride is only part of the way through. But, no matter what they put you through, when it is time for the Big Leave it is the scariest, most exciting, most emotional time of all the scary, exciting, emotional times you'll have experienced with them. And all you can do is smile and say (to yourself and to them) "It's all going to be okay." And pray you're right!

    Hi Laura: Oh, the relief was short lived! She's now having second thoughts! I wish this was a manuscript change (even though those can drive you just as crazy!)