What to Expect When You’re Expecting…To Make Big Life Decisions
Life is comprised of many big life decisions. The decision to leave home. The decision to go to college. Buy your first car or maybe in my case, move out of the country. While these are exciting occasions to you, the people that are most important in your life might not be as enthused. And of course, no matter what you say to yourself, it is always hard knowing that not everyone can accept what you are doing. So here are a few things to expect when you’re expecting to make big life decisions.
Telling Your Family
So I have always been one to run any idea past my parents first because I mean hey they kept me alive for this many years, they obviously must know the secret to adulting. But even though this is true, there comes a point when you’re going to do something that your parents are going to disagree with. I don’t care how close your relationship is with your parents, that moment will come. I like to think of it as the true moment of becoming an adult is when you have angered your parents. In my situation, telling my parents that I wanted to move to Ireland after I finished my Master’s was my adulting moment. For the first time, I had experienced rejection from my biggest supporters and I was at a loss. If you are lucky like my traveling companion, The Wayfaring Photographer, her parents were more understanding and just very wary of her future. So just keep in mind that you may come across some hostility or apprehension, but if you’re lucky you will find never ending support. But you have to remember that they love you and just care and deep down know matter what, they’re just scared.
Reaction from Friends
This is what I would think is the easier and yet harder group when making a big life decision. See your closest friends have grown with you, they know more about you than your parents might and therefore they know your deepest you. These are the people that will ask you the questions that you have been trying to avoid internally but know need to be answered at some point. Your friends are your mirrors staring back at you. However, they are typically the ones to give you the most support and keep boosting your morale. So for me, my friends asked the things that I was afraid of facing: Are you sure you want to do this? Are just wanting to piss off your parents and everyone that doubts you? Can you really afford it? Is this just for instant gratification or will it have long term success? These are all of those nagging questions that just sit in your mind and now come face to face with you. But they are ones that you have to really answer before making big life decisions. Either way, your close friends usually have your best interest at heart and want to see you succeed so be sure to hear them out.
Regret/Fear Set In
With all these opposing opinions and constant state of emotion fluctuation, regret and fear begin to set in. You begin to wonder if this is all worth it and if you are making a mistake. Regret is a part of any major decision that you make. But what we tend to forget is that this is a great indicator that you’re on the right track. The great Winston Churchill once said, “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something in your life.” I believe the same holds true for fear and doubts. You have fears or doubts? Good. That means you made a decision that was monumental and right for you and your life. Now what you need to keep in mind is that there is a difference between fear and deep dread. Deep dread is that gut-wrenching feeling that makes you feel sick. If you are feeling that then no, you probably shouldn’t be doing it. However, a little bit of fear or regret is healthy in all situations.
But Here’s What You Need to Remember
- Reason you made decision
- You made that decision for a reason. You know you the best and what is right for you so when you decided on this, you need to place a little trust in yourself. No one is going to put as much trust in your dreams and goals as you are. If you are still faltering on whether it is right or not, make a pro/con list to see if it is really right and be completely honest with yourself. Hold nothing back because there’s no use in lying to yourself. The repercussions are only going to affect you and no one else. So respect your decision and yourself.
- What it will do for future
- Is this still going to be beneficial for your future? I’m not just talking about your 5-year plan; I’m talking about your entire life. So for me, I know that moving to Ireland is not going to only make me further develop as a person but also make me well-cultured for future careers. No matter which direction I may take in life, even if it’s a complete 180 on my goals, there is no way that moving to Ireland will have been a negative influence on me. Even if I packed my bags, moved back stateside, and was penniless, every moment would have been worth it.
- How you feel
- You need to really hear your heart and your mind on this one. Neither should be silenced. With big life decisions come needing full agreement holistically. How does this make you feel? Against all odds, will this make you happy? What is your end goal for life? If you were to die tomorrow, what would you say is the one thing you would have wanted to accomplish? Mine is being happy. So even if everyone disagreed with my decision and it ended up backfiring on me, at least I know I’m happy. These are the things you need to keep in mind.
So no matter what big decision you make, these are some of the things you can expect. If they were called small decisions, they wouldn’t make this much of a fuss nor would you ever grow.
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Great post – I think making big decisions is something people really do stumble with a lot. I like that you mention gauging reactions from friends, as this in my opinion is always a really honest way to get feedback. Tamsin xo
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