The Best Decisions

For right now, the best thing I’ve been doing is not putting pressure on myself to write here.  I expect that it will come back again, but right now I have to let myself off the hook a little in terms of needing to write.  With that said, I am also allowing myself the freedom to get all inspired and want to write here and there, and Amy’s post today did it for me.

The Five Best Decisions I’ve Made in my Adult Life

1. Leaving my PhD Program

Sometimes we are on a path and we let that become our identity.  I was 19 when I decided to major in Sociology and I knew that that path would lead to grad school and a PhD.  It was a huge lesson in learning to trust myself and trust that I could change my mind.  I remember the day I decided to leave the program.  I was walking to class, feeling miserable, thinking about how I used to adore sociology.  I spend most of my undergraduate career talking the ears off of anyone who would listen about all the amazing things I was learning about (criminalization of drugs!  gender inequality and power in marriages! marxism and the bourgeoisie!).  Grad school took all that joy away.  On that walk, I was playing with the idea of leaving in my head and when I did a weight lifted.  The simple idea of a life outside of academia was the happiest thought I had thought in weeks, so I went towards that.

I still got my MA, so that's something.

2. Moving to a new town, with no friends but my Grandparents, and living on my own.

I still can’t believe that I did this sometimes.  Have I ever mentioned that I picked my grad school based off of the relationship I was in?  I picked my college based off of (in part) to its proximity to my boyfriend.  I was developing a pattern of making huge decisions for the wrong reasons.  This decision was my own.  I went to the store and picked out my new bed alone.  I signed the apartment lease alone. I could decide to drive to LA Friday after work and not run it by anyone.  I could stay out late Thursday night and no one cared.  I learned about myself.  I learned about boundaries.  I learned how to connect the wireless internet, kill spiders, and hang wall art straight.  Most importantly I learned that I could do a hell of a lot more than I thought I could.  This was the period of my life that I gained ALL THE CONFIDENCE and I walked around feeling like I could handle pretty much anything life threw at me.

3. Forgiving my Mom.

Having a parent battle any addiction is hard.  (duh?)  It took my mom years, and one serious relapse, to get her life back. At the time she was going through everything, it was really crucial for me to put distance between us.  I could not be responsible for her sobriety, and that was incredibly difficult.  In a lot of ways I lost my mom during those years.  When she had been sober for a couple of years, I had a really hard time trusting the permanence of her sobriety.  I was also really angry.  I would recoil when she tried to hold my hand.

Miles changed everything.  Since the moment he arrived, I got it.  I understood my mom better.  I know she loves me as much as I love Miles.  Love heals a lot of wounds people.  My mom is the best Grandma.  I call her almost every day, because I genuinely want to.  Miles was a like the off-button for all of my anger and resentment… all I feel now is forgiveness and the desire for her to live closer to me.

4. Keeping the Baby.

Mike and I had been dating for a whole of 1.5 months when I found out I was pregnant.  An abortion could have been a real option for us.  We’d be crazy to have a baby after such a short time, right?

We chose Miles instead.  Of course this decision is the biggest decision I have ever made, but it’s also one of the best.  I am a better person because I am his Mamma.  My priorities have been adjusted to include a large amount of building obstacle courses for Miles to climb over.  He is so full of joy and mischief.  Life is better with him by about a million points.


5. Marrying my Baby’s Daddy.

Life is hard sometimes.  Sometimes we both get stressed out and we clench our jaws until we can just get through that day.  Most of the time, though, he’s a treat.  He’s my best friend.  I look forward to Miles falling asleep at night because it means I get to hang out with Mike.  I have full faith in him and us.  I want to have more babies with him and to spend my vacations sipping wine with him.  He’s hilarious and a good dancer and he adores me.  We chose each other and haven’t looked back since.


What about you guys?  What are the best decisions you’ve ever made?

17 Responses to “The Best Decisions”

  1. Aw, I loved this. I haven’t been blog-reading in ages. I’m glad I picked this one to click on today. =)

    And that wedding picture? Adorable.

  2. This is so sweet. Gave me goosebumps.

    Best decisions…
    as silly as it may sound, reaching out to blog friends and actually becoming REAL friends with them (you are totally included).

    Moving away from my support network for a year and learning to do things on my own, even the really tough things.

    Finshing my final MBA test a day early so I could go to my friends bonfire party where I met Knight. And not being afraid to ask him to lunch the day after that.

  3. Can I join the tear parade? I am welling up myself. LOVE these.

    Also, ironically, we share #1, and somewhat #2 – moving to L.A. changed the entire trajectory of my life, my belief system, my profession, and because of all that, my future.

    Inspiring post!

  4. This is just so sweet and I love all of the big changes/decisions you made on your own. And really, Miles is just the cutest thing and I’m pretty much obsessed with his cheeks. He’s so lucky to have you as his mama and you’re so lucky you get to actually squeeze those cheeks regularly, haha.

  5. This is freaking awesome!

    For the record, i also chose to *not* go the PhD route for my discipline and it’s one of the best decisions I made, too. (I did a terminal masters, and any time I would start the application for the PhD? I’d cry.)

    And I’m glad you’re giving yourself no pressure about being here. It’s awesome when you are, and understandable when you aren’t.

    Best, Stephanie

  6. I’m absolutely in love w/ this post Bri. I’m with Amy, I can’t imagine your life without Mike or Miles now and I remember your posts/tweets in the very beginning. It’s crazy to think of where you are now.

    The mom stuff really hits home with me. I haven’t talked to my mom in almost 4 years (other than he crazy bipolar emails and voicemails she leaves me). I’ve had to separate, to put myself first, and to accept the fact that she may never be able to be in my life.

    Thank you for this post Bri. I may just have to do one of my own. :)

  7. Best decisions I’ve made?
    – Taking a year off of school half way through college.
    – Breaking up with the guy who would have given me the world, but on his terms.
    – Leaving a very good paying job for one in the not for profit sector – less pay, better benefits and less hours!
    – Giving a guy in Chicago a chance and sticking to my guns about being in NY (job security, solid support base etc)
    – Scrapping the premed major. It wasn’t hard, but I’m not cut throat enough for med school.
    – Every time I trusted my gut.

    I too might steal this post 😉 Thanks for sharing. You made some awesomely difficult and ultimately perfect for you choices

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