I change my mind often, and I usually feel bad about it. I hate to look flakey, unreliable, unstable, all over the place, flighty. And many times, I do look like all of those things. However, I’ve recently begun to be more compassionate with myself and much more okay with the idea that I change my mind. I realize that changing my mind is also a sign that I am willing to listen to my inner voice.
Seven months ago, my friend passed away and in a rush of emotion, I decided I was moving to France. Then when it came to renew my lease on my apartment here in Austin, I realized I really just wanted to stay right where I am. It may sound trivial, but I wanted to buy a huge leaning mirror for my apartment, the kind of furniture that is totally a pain to move. I wanted to partner with local businesses and plan events to promote my book among Austin’s twentysomethings. I wanted to make Austin my home, not just another stop along the way. Yes, I would love to spend time in France someday, but I finally admitted to myself that it wasn’t this year.
After releasing my book earlier this year, I was exhausted. I decided that planning and throwing a launch party would be too expensive and too much work. However, after a few months of having a real live book on the market, I admitted I really wanted to celebrate this momentous accomplishment. I’d set out to write a book three years ago, and it’s finally here! Instead of deciding not to throw a party at all, I reached out to my mom and friends for help. Now we have a date, a venue, and a very nice flyer that I made myself (thank you very much!). Over the next few weeks, I’ll be reaching out to local businesses here in Austin to try and get snacks, drinks, chairs, and a tent for the event. It’s no small task, but it’s nothing compared to writing an entire book (not to mention that Kickstarter campaign!). I’m so glad I changed my mind and decided to have a launch party for the book. You only write a first book once, after all. If you live in Austin, please join me for the celebration!
The most recent thing I’ve changed my mind about is that I no longer have the desire to leave admissions consulting. In fact, I’m excited to grow and expand this part of my business, to “lean in” you might say. Nearly a year ago, after reading Steven Pressfield’s excellent book Do The Work, I got convinced that admissions consulting was my “shadow career,” the job that feels like what you’re really supposed to be doing but actually distracts you from your art. Then, as I wrapped up the 2012-2013 season, I realized I didn’t want it to be my last. Sure, there are some changes I definitely want to make. I worked like a crazy woman in the last quarter of 2012, and I definitely don’t want to be that overworked again. But I’ve recently been infused with a new enthusiasm and appreciation for my skills as an admissions consultant. I’m realizing just how big a part of my life it is, and I’m grateful for it.
My revelation and newfound passion for admissions was the culmination of many seeds that were planted throughout the year. However, the big bang occurred just two weeks ago when I had a coaching session with my friend Shenee, who edited some of the copy on my website. For the first time ever, I was the client having something I’d done my best on edited. After seeing how she transformed my work from good to great, I was struck with the thought: This is what I do for my clients. I had always known that I was talented as an editor and a great guide for my clients, but it was hard for me to fully appreciate it, because in many ways, editing essays is very easy for me. However, I realized that admissions consulting is much more than just editing for me. It allows me to run my own business, to work from anywhere, to use the skills I learned in graduate school as I manage a team and limited resources. It allows me to help people achieve their goals, and it often gives me great fodder for writing my inspirational essays. I get to experiment with different marketing strategies and email my professors at Harvard for their advice on how to handle various issues. Now that I’ve mastered the editing part, I can use the business as a playground for my imagination to run wild (well, not too wild).
As a part of my realization that I want to continue with admissions consulting, I’m resurrecting the website for The Art of Applying. I’ve been working on the design, the pages, and planning out the blog posts. The admissions-focused newsletter, The Offer, will come back as well. Kaneisha.com will get cleaned up and serve as my author website. Kaneisha.com will be where I keep you all updated on what’s happening with the book, and where you can meet me in person and see me speak. I’ll continue to write and share personal essays like this one, though I’m unsure of the frequency. The big split will likely happen sometime this summer, depending on how quickly I can pull it all together—or rather, pull it all apart. I’m very pleased with the decision and looking forward to learning and growing as a writer and as an entrepreneur.
Change is often scary, but don’t let other people’s opinions keep you chained to decisions that are no longer right for you. We’re all constantly evolving, and it makes sense that our mind would change right along with our spirits.
Have you changed your mind about something lately? Tell me about it!