Too Many Options

Making decisions as an adolescent has (in my experience) been choosing what I wanted the most despite the consequences. This week was a large step toward making more adult decisions, but I did it kicking and screaming.

In August 2014 I moved in with my boyfriend of (then) 8 months. Since then he and I have been making “we” decisions. He has been searching for a new job for a while because his commute was starting to drain him and his bank account. This month he has had interviews with three companies and received job offers from two of those companies at the beginning of this week.

Monday night we had a family meeting (it was just us and the three cats…) to discuss our options. One job required a move to Metro DC area paid out of our pockets but a hefty increase in pay from what he is making now. The other job was local and would cut his hour to hour and a half each way daily commute to 20-45 minutes each way and still included almost the same pay increase.

I have lived in South Florida for five years and I know that it isn’t where I want to live for the rest of my life. He has lived here for almost 30 years and he has expressed that he too would like to move elsewhere.

In our relationship he is the numbers guy. He ran the numbers; adding up all of our collective debt and reoccurring expenses, then calculated the differences in cost of living, gas expenditures, taxes, etc. for both positions and places. His numbers said that staying in SoFL was a smarter (financial) option. So after much fuss on my part – because I am getting very tired of the BS down here – I conceded. I reluctantly agreed to stay here and pay down our bills.

The next day he called to decline the DC positions and the company asked for some time to make another offer. All day I was hoping that they came back with just enough to convince him to jump… I think the waiting and building up hope was the most difficult part when he text me with their second offer. It was more than the first, but still not enough of an addition to the spreadsheet to convince him to move both of us across the country.

There were a fair few tears shed on my part out of shear frustration that he wouldn’t be convince and the cats being completely useless in the bargaining process. Again, I was forced to concede as he was unmoved by any of my arguments, I had no numbers to add to the equation, only feelings and past experiences. It is really hard to argue against numbers.

This hurt. It hurt a lot that I had to let go of the dangling carrot. I couldn’t have it and I didn’t like that I didn’t get what I wanted. Do I see that this will put us in a better position to be more successful in moving later down the road, yes. Does that make me enjoy having to stay here any more, not in the slightest.

The lesson in all this I think was that you can’t always have what you want when you want it when you’re a real adult. There are consequences and unknown, unpredictable variables that should be considered before making such life-changing decisions. This is a difficult lesson for a fiercely independent and slightly reckless (financially) person to learn.

About ‘Your Adult Life’

In the past two years, I rode a roller coaster of life changes that are not uncommon for those in their 20s or early 30s. True to my New Year’s resolution in 2013, I got my first full time with benefits job and exceeded everyone’s expectations by doing a fantastic job running my department, bought a car on my own, and discovered a very fulfilling adult relationship. All-in-all I felt I had finally crossed over into adulthood.

Thus far 2014 has been less successful. I was challenged to do nearly impossible things in my job which caused me to work insane amounts of hours. The hours and frustration put a strain on my fledgling adult relationship and nearly killed a few friendships out of shear neglect. When I didn’t succeed in making the impossible happen, my position was eliminated, I had to file for unemployment, apply for food stamps, and am currently a full-time job hunter.

At one point in my crazed attempts to hit my targets at work I brainstormed a few ideas to generate interest and revenue for my department. The organization I was working for is very family oriented and didn’t truly offer much beyond a place to workout for those in their late teens to late twenties without children. The idea was to create a program or event for people my own age to reach a new audience.

In my brainstorming session I came up with a list of skills and subjects that aren’t a primary focus in traditional education systems. Through research and contacting a few experts I endeavor to simplify these unwieldy concepts for others out there like me who focused on learning to fill a role instead of learning to live a life.

My posts will not be new information for some, but might be life altering for others. If you have any topics you are struggling with please comment on any post and I will add it to the list. If you think I’ve got something wrong, by all mean correct me! Mostly, my goal is to inform in a slightly entertaining way to ensure some retention of the information provided.

– Elise