You know the old adage that your entire life can be based on a decision you made in your teens?

I always thought that didn't apply to me. I was never one of those people who always knew they would be a doctor or lawyer and focused their entire life's energy on that. Nor did I marry my teenage sweetheart. Not that there's anything wrong with making those decisions, but that just wouldn't be me. As a teen, I would even have balked at the idea of living outside of Ireland... emigration seemed like a small tragedy to me at that age.

Still, there are other ways that the decisions made then became the foundation of my life: Types of boys I dated and dynamics cultivated with friends and family. Even art, books and design styles. At best, these things became integral parts of my identity, elementary pieces of me. At worst, they became recurring mistakes I got pulled into making over and over.

It's easy to feel doomed to accept these things as unchangeable parts of yourself. But, in the last few days, I suddenly felt the power to correct one error or misjudgment I made way back when. I've been able to start over in an area of my life that I've always assumed I couldn't. It's a nice feeling for Spring. It fills me with hope.

Image by Annabel Mehran
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