Archive for November 9th, 2011

In my classroom, we got into a discussion about making the “wrong” choices. One of my students shared that she had married young, which turned out to be the “wrong decision.” I challenged that comment, asking if she thought her decision was “wrong” versus a harder path. I thought that question might make an interesting blog topic.

So many of my decisions have been shaped by my abuse history. The “who” and “when” of getting married directly tied into my abuse history. I married the most predictable man on the planet as a 180 to the chaos I had grown up with. I married when I did (straight out of school) to avoid living with my mother/abuser. I don’t think of a decision about when or who to marry as a “wrong” or “right” choice. In some ways, marrying the person I did when I did made my life easier, and in other ways, it has been harder. I think that is a normal part of life.

My sister dropped out of high school after ninth grade because our mother started abusing her again, and I had left for college. Her life was much harder with only a GED under her belt. She started college in her mid-thirties as a newly divorced, single mom. She doesn’t seem to think about her choice to drop out of high school as being “wrong,” but she definitely does not want the same for her children. She doesn’t want them to suffer the hardships she did from dropping out of school.

When it comes to major life decisions, such as marriage and school/work, labels of “right” and “wrong” don’t really apply. “Right” and “wrong” are judgment words that imply that there is only one “right” way to do something and that any deviation from the “right” path is “wrong.” I think life, especially big life decisions, is much more complicated than that.

I also think that labels such as “right” and “wrong” can cause us to judge ourselves. If I made a bunch of “wrong” choices, then that makes me a “bad” person.

I used to be a judgmental person, but I have softened quite a bit on making judgments. I have learned that everything we go through, no matter how easy or hard, has the potential for a life lesson. Some people choose a more difficult path on their life journeys, and that’s OK. Some of my most difficult experiences and harder choices have shaped me into the person I am today.

What are your thoughts on “wrong” decisions? Do you think that big life decisions have a “right” or “wrong” path? Or do you agree with me that some paths are harder than others without being “right” or “wrong?”

Photo credit: Hekatekris

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