• A Big Decision

    Date: 2012.09.27 | Category: Family, Home, Life, Me, Travel, Work | Tags:

    Sometimes life has a way of kicking you in the head and making you take notice.

    After high school, I wanted to go away to college. I applied in several different states, but after getting a full ride scholarship to a fantastic local, private college, I stayed put. While I was in college, I traveled extensively, even studying abroad one summer. I was terrified to do it, and once I arrived, homesickness reared its ugly head. I stayed though, and I’m glad I did. I learned a lot and spent a good amount of time in another country. But man was I ever glad to be home again when it was over.

    Similarly, after college, I was ready to pick up and move again. I even applied and got into a graduate program in another state. But then I got sick, really sick. Like laid up in the hospital for a week, constant monitoring for months and then eventually surgery sick. It kept me home for a year. And by then my fiancee had started his own business locally, so I stayed again, this time with a twinge of regret.

    But, staying allowed me to finally dip my toes into the field I was so interested in – the print industry. And eventually, I got a really great job in this field. A job that I’ve pushed and grown. A job that I’m passionate about. A job that I can continue to grow creatively in.

    Then we had our little girl, bought a house, and I’ve been happy. Really happy.

    Having close friends in states both near and far away, I’ve joked with Mark about moving, He, of course, lists a number of reasons why he’s happy we’re here, including his business, and I always laugh and then agree. We’re settled, we’re happy.

    And then, out of the blue came an e-mail. An e-mail from a very prestigious and large company that wanted to interview me as the editor of their weekly publication. Oh, and it’s only 20 hours north from where we live now.

    My heart stopped. First of all, I’m beyond flattered. Someone trusted by the company submitted my name for the job. But then, an onslaught of emotions hit me. Could I uproot my family and move them 20 hours north? Could I move that far away from Sarah’s grandparents? Was I an idiot for even taking all of that into consideration when such a big opportunity and “move up” presented itself? Make no mistake, this opportunity would be huge for me. I would take a giant leap up in the publishing industry and probably increase my paycheck substantially. And being “wooed away,” especially at 27-years-old, is a rare thing, especially in this industry.

    So I talked to Mark about it for several days. Leaving would mean closing down his business, something we’ve sacrificed years and lots of money for to get going. So if I did this, I would be effectively asking him to close it down and try to find a job 20 hours away. And to his credit, he honestly considered the move. He told me he didn’t want to be the reason I was held back.

    It would mean going through the daycare saga all over again. It would mean telling our parents that we’ll see them during the holidays at best, and telling my mother, who has an intense fear of flying, that she would need to make 20 hour drives to see her daughter and granddaughter.

    All of those are huge sacrifices. And most importantly, in my heart of hearts, after all those years of wanting to move, I actually feel at home here now.

    But the ultimate deciding factor was this. I love my current job, and have been working with them to have more time with my family. This new job would be a huge increase in work and stress load and take away all that flexible time I’ve worked to gain. When it comes down to it, my professional decisions have always come down to this: “Would I rather have a more successful career if it meant less time with my family?” And the answer, for me, every time is “no.”

    I don’t judge those who do what they have to do to meet ends meet, and I applaud those who take giant steps to improve their careers. And in this economy, I know the weight of turning down a “better” job opportunity. But in the end, I only get one life, and right now my family is at the center of that life, and I really don’t want it any other way.