Thursday, April 3, 2014

On When To Say No

A month ago, a friend asked me to submit my resume to his company, which I did, not thinking much would come of it. Ten days ago, I was given a job offer. And over the course of these past ten days, there's been cheesy motivational posters and blog posts and TED talks and "two paths diverged in the woods" and wonderful, beautiful, heartfelt (and if I'm being honest, tear-jerking) advice from my dear friends, mostly saying the same thing: take a leap of faith! Just do it! Be afraid and do it anyways! You'll regret what you don't do more than what you do!

But I couldn't help but think - what if "do" is deciding to do nothing? What if "do" is saying no? What if the scarier thing is not to take that leap? And worse, what if "do" is seeing an unexpected opportunity fall into your lap, and making the decision to leave it?

Some of me argues that I should take it. It's a great career move, it's very slightly higher take-home pay, and it's closer to many of my college friends. I'm afraid that rejecting this offer would mean I'll be seen as unambitious, or lazy, or afraid, or making a mistake, or be letting people down, like I'm settling. I'm afraid of going against most of the advice that's been offered me the last ten days. It's a great job with many opportunities, there's really no denying that. But at the end of the day, I just don't want to go. And I think the people who know me best both sense and understand that.

I've always had to leap at opportunities like this in the past because of circumstance - I needed a job, any job and so had to take an opportunity when it came. But now I'm in a place and position and circumstances where I don't have to. I have a job. In fact I just started a new position barely two months ago at a huge company, I am finally starting to "bond" with my bizarre little city and although I'm not rolling in the dough, I can finally pay my own bills.

I like where I am, right now. I might not like it six months from now, but it's not six months from now yet. Right now, if I stay, it's because I've consciously chosen to do so. It opens up the world of being able to choose - I chose to stay, therefor I can also choose to leave when that time comes.

The past ten days have been unbelievably and indescribably difficult for me. I've literally given myself migraines trying to rationalize taking either option. Every time I thought I was close to deciding, my brain went AH NO BUT WAIT and started to swing back the other way. There's two radically different paths in front of me, and I saw happiness down both of them. I really really hate "no take back" decisions like this. But for the first time potentially ever, it is fully a choice, and I'm choosing to look at it like that knowing that there will be more choices like this down the road, both more and less difficult and life-changing. There will be more jobs, and ones I fall in love with, and ones that feel right, and ones that are too good to pass up.

Am I thinking about all this just way too much? Am I still mildly terrified that I'm making the "wrong" choice or that I'll regret it in six months? Yes on all accounts, but it's silly to be paralyzed with fear of something that I can neither predict with any accuracy, nor control the outcome of. I only know my gut and what I think is "right" for me, right now.

So for now, I'm staying.

p.s. I am utterly incapable of expressing how much I appreciate all of the care and kindness my friends near and far have shown me the last couple weeks, and for the advice from so many unexpected places. Truly, thank you. And come visit me sometime! <3

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