Talking Through Life Changes With a Partner

Get Your thoughts organized

While it might look self-evident to you what might need to be done, one of the bigger stumbling blocks in talking through a tough decision with other people is often one of the most challenging parts of collective decision-making. I think it’s best to do this ahead of time as opposed to on the fly so that you can think through what’s going on in a way that is systematic and makes sense.

For this, I think journaling is a great practice. When it’s time to start thinking about making a big decision, there are likely a lot of ideas, hopes, fears, and other feelings that will come up. Instead of trying to work all of that out live during a conversation, it might help to do this preparatory work in a few journaling sessions over the course of a week or so.

In my case, I just wrapped up a doctoral degree, and I need to figure out what to do after. There are some faculty positions out there that might only last a year, many of which are at schools that do not have wonderful reputations for treating faculty well. The ideal, then, is something longer-term at a more prestigious and stable university. But all of these kinds of jobs have low acceptance rates, so it might take me a while. Being able to articulate that in a way that’s clear, and to make sense of why I might need a year or so to find a full-time position took some thinking, and I’m glad that I took the time to do it in a journal over a few months instead of doing it all at once over dinner.

Making any major life decision is likely to impact every aspect of your life, from finances to where you live. So, I think it’s important to take the time, if you can, and to do the intellectual work up front if at all possible.

Leave a Comment