There are a lot of reasons why I love Lena Dunham, and a lot of reasons why I love her book, but it's mostly because she has a way of being both hilarious and poignant all at the same time. Of the many Lena quotes I love, there's one that stuck out to me in her book, Not That Kind of Girl. While talking about one of her past relationships, and wanting to end it, she said, "It's okay to change your mind. About a feeling, a person, a promise of love. I can't stay just to avoid contradicting myself."
Her words are simple — it's okay to change your mind — but they struck a chord, echoing the same strange, hard-to-pinpoint problem so many of my friends have mentioned lately.
In the past month or so, one girlfriend told me she's doesn't want to "give up" on her city. Another told me she doesn't want to leave her job because she's "not a quitter," and another said she wasn't happy, but she wasn't going to end her relationship because it's "what she chose." All of them were disappointed in one way or another, and all of them felt guilty about that — about feeling disappointed, as if what they'd chosen for themselves had been wrong, a mistake. Their fault.
That isn't the way it works, though, you know? Just because something isn't right right now, that doesn't mean it never was. That doesn't mean it was a wrong choice, or that when you turned one way, you should have turned another. It just means that what worked for you before doesn't work for you anymore, and that might have everything or nothing to do with your choices. Things change, and your feelings about them can change, too, and even though that can seem a little bit unsettling, wouldn't it be far more unsettling to be so stubborn and so scared that you never let go of anything, just because you wanted to prove something to yourself?
The strength isn't in holding on to something just to prove yourself right. The strength is in being mindful and self-aware enough to move on when you know that's what you need to do.
There's a lot of courage in quitting, I think.