Just one week after I got back from Europe, me and the Pianist ended our relationship. I was the one who initiated the breakup conversation, though in the end it was a mutual decision. I felt guilty about ending something that, just one month ago, I had been so excited about. I felt like I was shutting the door on romantic possibility. I felt like I was letting him down after he had been so sweet to me.
But I had to face the truth that I simply did not want to be in the relationship anymore. Even while I was in Europe, my mind had begun to drift elsewhere. I missed him, but I wasn’t exactly ready to come running home. In my head, I was already sketching out my next solo trip or maybe even pursuing a path to teaching English abroad.
When I came back, all I wanted to do was be alone and focus on myself, not on anyone else. I could tell that the Pianist was hurt, but he would have been even more hurt if I had waited until we were a year into it.
Every time I thought about having The Talk, I would chicken out because I didn’t want to see the disappointment in his eyes.
I had to keep reminding myself:
It’s OK to change your mind.
When you know you don’t want to be in a relationship, a job, or even a particular city any longer, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to STAY there.
Just because you’ve chosen one path, doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind and pursue a different one instead at some point. Nothing is permanent unless you want it to be.
If you are unhappy in your relationship, you can end it. You can break up, separate, get divorced. The fact that you made the decision to be with someone at one point in time does not mean that you have to continue down that road if the love is gone.
If you are in a career field that no longer lights your fire, you can get a new job or even start your own business. If you have a job now, chances are, YOU CAN GET ANOTHER ONE. It might not be the perfect transition, but it could lead the way to work that you actually like doing every day.
There’s power in knowing that you can change your mind at any time. You can wake up tomorrow and completely reset your life.
Now, I’m not saying that changing your mind is easy. Uh uh. No way. It’s not.
People will say things like:
“Well, why did you get into the relationship in the first place?”
“I thought that was your dream job. Isn’t that what you went to school for?”
“You just moved there. How can you be ready to leave so soon?”
“You just have no idea what you want to do with your life, do you?”
Don’t be surprised if you end up questioning your own feelings right along with your friends and family. It’s tough to admit that the big decision you made this time last year is now causing you nightmares.
In those moments of doubt, however, it helps to realize that staying on a path that is bringing you misery is worse than enduring the effort it would take to change it.
Is it time for you to change your mind about something in your life?