Let Me Explain: Ch-ch-changes

I’ve got some decisions to make. Let me explain.

Graduation. Career. Finances. Relationships. Maybe a baby. These are all weighing on my mind, so you can understand why I fantasize about booking an African safari or a tour of the Greek isles and never looking back. Sunblock? Check. Camera? Check. Companion? Hmm . But I wouldn’t want my future ghost babies to think their mama was a quitter.

There are few beliefs that I hold true in my heart of hearts. I know that Xavier Hall is a long, cold walk in the morning. And I know that the pinot noir stain on this sweater is here to stay. But beyond that, you’ve got me. And I’m fairly confused.

Relationships are volatile, and, according to Facebook -which is 100 percent proven accurate-everyone I know is breaking up or getting married. I wonder how people know themselves and their significant others well enough to make such extreme decisions. How do they know they are unhappy enough to end something or happy enough to continue it forever? How can the unhappy ones easily state, “I don’t love you anymore. Goodbye,” and the happy proclaim, “Be with me forever?”

As an English major, I don’t work well with absolutes, and, as a woman, I’m allowed to change my mind. (I believe the saying goes, “Question me, and I’ll kill you.”) The problem is that my mind changes constantly and not about inconsequentials like favorite color (purple) or favorite Christmas song (“The Christmas Song”). We’re talking about important things, things that should be definite by now in my 22-year-old mind: religious belief, political affiliation, faith in relationships and faith in the self. Am I the lone perplexed person, or is everyone else’s confusion simply well hidden behind sunglasses and pashminas?

Perhaps these people making big changes in their lives have complete confidence that their decisions are the right ones, but I cannot believe that. Socrates or some other goober said to question everything, but then, he’s dead, so he must not have tried very hard.

The serving size of Double Stuf Oreos is two cookies, but I refuse to think in such limited terms, and I am unable to constrict myself into making decisions of an important nature. I can easily decide to eat 10 Oreos and exercise a little longer, but I find it impossible to explain the state of my emotions. Someone asks, “How are you?” And I reply, “Fine. Well, I don’t know, really.”

Because we don’t know. We decide to break off on our own or accept proposals either because we are tired of being treated poorly or we do not want to be alone, but the thought floats in the backs of our minds that maybe, just maybe, an alternate reality exists in which the opposite of our final decision is the right choice, and yet we decide otherwise.

Teetering on the verge of a decision is dangerous for both your state of mind and that of the person involved. Sometimes it’s easier to stay with the wrong person and convince yourself that he or she can and will change. Or it’s simpler to say yes to security and no to exploration. Should we just suck it up, flip a coin and be done with it already?

How do we know when to throw in the towel and when to keep fighting?

Katie Lewis is a senior in the college of Arts and Sciences.