Working out the big decisions…

If and when I have kids, I imagine I will want a blog just to post pictures and stories, keep my family and friends updated as they grow.  But for now, it seems that I just don’t care so much about using this blog to document events.  I keep this blog not so you can read it, but so I can write it.  There’s something very cathartic about just typing and getting it all out.  It’s like the old theory that you learn best by teaching.  Explaining things to you helps me clarify them for myself.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m considering moving to another part of the country in about a year.  For a long time, I was completely undecided, just waiting for more information, waiting for the right answer to come along.  Then for a few weeks I was resolved that there are lots of good reasons to go, so that would be my decision unless I found some really good reasons to stay.  In the past week or so, I’ve entered into a phase of going back and forth about whether I should do this or not.  I’ve expected this for awhile, and I’m suprised it took so long.  It seems this phase is a key part of my decision-making process.  It’s some hard-core back and forth.  One moment I’m absolutely convinced I should go, the next moment I’m absolutely convinced I should stay.  Each moment, I know I’m right.  There is no in between.  I think this is the hard part, because patience for the right answer doesn’t come easily anymore.  It is suddenly so much closer than it seemed a few weeks ago, and I feel the need to reach a place where I can make a choice, and find some peace with it.  I don’t know how to do that, so I’m going to take some advice I received last night and make a list of pros and cons.  This will totally change as time goes on, but like I said, I just need to get it out and work through it, as it is right now.

Reasons to go:

-New experiences, new people.

-Not too many times in my life will an experience like this be so accessible.

-Getting to live with my sister.  It is so exciting to consider experiencing something like this with her.

-Having a good excuse to get on a plane more often than once every 8 years.  That’s a good reason, right?  😉

-I have the greatest career, I can enjoy weeks and months in the summer traveling and visiting the people and places that I will miss.

Reasons to stay:

-I love my friends.  I’ve gotten used to having Tara and Chad close to me, and I have a hard time imagining being away from them.  I already live about 4-5 hours from Becky and Blake, living half way across the country would be even harder.  Same goes for Dean, Betty, and Logan, Mark, Megan, all my extended family.

-I love my job.

-It took a long time to let myself settle here and start to let it feel like home.  I’m finally finding people outside of Tara and Chad, and outside of work, that I can hang out with and enjoy becoming friends with.

-At this moment, I have a small concern that if I move with Sarah, very soon she will move in with the boy and I will be roommate-less once again.  At least here, I can afford to be roommate-less. 

-At this moment I have a small concern that in a few years, Sarah will be moving again, and then my big reason for wanting to go is totally invalid.

-Every time I make a big change in my life, I harbor the tiny hope that this is what will finally solve all my problems.  Moving away will not solve all my problems!  My problem is me!  If I move, I have to go with me!  (Did that make sense to anyone else?…)  My problem is that I strive for perfection with the expectation that I can actually acheive it.  My problem is that I expect happily ever after, even though I don’t know what would come after that.  My problem is that I’m trying to find the attitude that I used to have that embraces good and bad in the same breath, the attitude that loves how pain and joy make each other sweeter, and make life as great as it can possibly be.  My life will not be happily ever after if I move.  Hmm, that’s actually just as good an argument for moving as for staying.

-Seasons.  This seems like a shallow reason, after the last couple, but I love the changing of the weather.  I can’t imagine living in a place where it doesn’t snow.  Or where it doesn’t get hot.

-Staying is certainly the easier choice.  But that’s not a reason not to go, if it’s the right thing.

You know, that’s true for each of these arguments.  None of those arguments is truly a good reason to make that choice, if the other choice is the right one for me.  Even the people reasons, which are the most important to me.  If it was the right thing for Tara and Chad to move somewhere else, they would do it.  They would be sad to leave me, I hope, 🙂 but they would still go.  Same goes for Sarah.  Even if I don’t go with her, she’s going to move if that’s the right place for her to be.

So, conclusion–I need to find out what’s the right choice for me, apart from what would be preferable to all the people around me.  I knew that already.  Crap, I’m not making any progress at all.  🙂 

Well, let’s just review all the advice I’ve been given so far.  Tara, admitting selfish motive, wants me to stay.  Sarah, admitting selfish motive, wants me to go.  Chad says if it were him, he would take advantage of the opportunity and go.  Tara suggested that I make a list of pros and cons, which I have attempted here.  She also told me not to stress about it, just let the answer come to me.  My parents thing I’m crazy for considering it.  Betty is not suprised that I want to take a chance like this, and understands that the attraction is the risk, doing something different.  She also predicts that someday I will want to move back to this area again.  I can’t tell what Becky thinks.  Blake (accurately) predicts that I will miss Runza.  🙂  My friend Miranda is afraid I will get there and hate it.  Megan suggested that I pray about it.  Mark said he didn’t understand the appeal of moving so far away, but offerred to drive the u-haul.  🙂  My friend David, who recently made a similar choice, although he will be back in a few months, gave me this advice via email today:  “Don’t worry about the going back and forth thing.  I think if you’re supposed to go, you will know.”  (And this is all after me trying my hardest NOT to ask for advice!)

This is one choice I have to make according to what’s right for me.  The thing that sits the most prevalent in my mind right now is that the answer will come.  I will try to ride out the back and forth, and just try my best to pay attention for when the right answer comes.

I also need to grow in my ability to trust God.  There is a constant fear in the back of my mind that if I make the wrong choice, I will screw up God’s plan for my life.  For example, if I’m supposed to get married and the person is there, but I stay here.  But the truth is, I have no way of knowing that.  Also, no matter how badly I screw it up, God will always get His way in the end.  It’s appealing to me to believe that even if I do screw it up, that’s the way it was supposed to happen.  If I move away, but it turns out to be the wrong choice for me, there’s a reason I had to experience that wrong choice.  But I fall into the fear of doing it wrong, I fall into looking for a way to know for sure that it will turn out well before I take a step.  When I was flying to Las Vegas, I was just a bit nervous because it had been eight years since I had flown, and two things were stuck in my head.  One was a line from The Negotiator by Dee Henderson, where the guy is teaching the girl to fly a plane, and he says, “I won’t let you fall out of the sky.”  The second was a lyric from Won’t Let You Down by Keith Urban: “Yeah, I’ll catch you when you fall, cuz I’m the one who loves you.  You’ll never wonder if I care.  I’ll always be there. …  I won’t let you down.”  I didn’t, like, put these things in my head to make myself less nervous.  They just came to me.  But my point is, God could say all of that to me.  There’s no need for fear.  If I take a step and I fall, God will catch me, He’ll fix it, He’ll clean up whatever I screw up.  I just need to learn to trust.  An ongoing battle.

If you’ve read this far, thanks for sitting back as I attempt to work this out.  I’m sure there will be many, many more attempts.  🙂

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tara
    Jul 01, 2007 @ 21:17:52

    I think you have a lot more reasons to stay 😉

    Reply

  2. Becky
    Jul 02, 2007 @ 13:30:04

    Don’t forget that even though you are going back and forth in your decision right now, that God probably already knows what you’re going to choose….he’s got your life plan in His hands! 🙂

    I love that you can’t tell what I think…..that’s the point. 🙂

    Reply

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