Thursday, December 04, 2008

Its All About Me and the Benjamins

In the near future there is a good chance that I am going to have to make a tough decision. It will mean choosing between career satisfaction and great money, or the chance to say I'd rather pursue the rest of my life's dreams. Prior to this point in my life I've never really had to choose between the two. My career was always the center of my life because it could be. The "rest of my life's dreams" weren't really something I could pursue yet. And my jobs have always required a lot of attention and time.
All that being said, forget it now.
This is a question for the single people out there. Marrieds, its not that I don't think you don't have words of wisdom here, but unless you got married after the age of 30, I'm pretty darn certain you probably haven't ever had to encounter this situation. And without experience, quite frankly, your input will just be annoying. Because nobody likes know-it-all marrieds who think they know what singleton life choices feel like.

So Singletons-
We all know, especially after the age of 30, that there comes a day when you ask yourself if there is any point in pursuing dating. There also comes a day (and I know we all reach it at very different times in our lives) when we have to choose how much we want our jobs to be the center of our lives. Sometimes we never even encounter the question, it just happens.

I think most of us want to think we are on a path to a fulfilling life. At least as far as I know most people don't intentionally chose the non-fulfilling, not so purpose driven life knowingly. If I'm wrong, let me know.

So where is your tipping point? How much money is enough money to get you to walk away from "the rest of life" to become amazing at your career and make serious bank?

Is that even a question for you?

The reason I don't want to hear from the Marrieds is because it is all a very different situation when its just you and your own bad self you have to take care of, versus choosing what is best for a family. I want the "its all about me and me only" responses!


  1. I'm married, and going to speak just to remind you of the quote, "Don't give up what you want most for what you want right now."

  2. I've encountered the question, though it doesn't involve money, really, because who the heck thinks they're going to make money in publishing? No sane person I know who actually knows the business.

    But I have struggled a lot with the question--moving here instead of New York City after my layoff, for one thing, was a decision based on the Spirit telling me that I need to do something good for my *life* rather than just my *career*. I really do think my career coordinates well with my life. It's flexible, it's something I'm passionate about, and it's something I can share with the children in my life when/if they come around. But sometimes location is everything, and I thought if I moved back to Utah I might have at least some semblance of a dating life, more than in NYC while pursuing the ladder.

    I'm still working on the freelance possibilities that will hopefully make up for that. And who knows, with the implosion of publishing over the last couple of days, in another year or two it might be a good thing for me to start my own publisher, nay?

    But for me it's not about money--at least, if I can pay the bills, have health insurance and all that, and still have a little left over for a few nice things, then it's not about *more* money than that--it's really about whether I'm able to continue following my passion or not. Working for the Postal Service, for example? Not my passion. And following my passion will usually mean having to live in places I don't really want to live, like NYC.

    My job has been the center of my life for the past several years because I didn't have the social network in Seattle to balance it with. We all need balance. Here, I feel a little more balanced in that I have good friends who I spend time with regularly, and my job doesn't take up quite so much of my mental space as it once did, but I'm still passionate about it.

    But if someone offered me a full-time job in my field with benefits, as opposed to the freelance life I'm sort of cobbling together right now, I'd have to have a long hard think about it, because even though I hate Utah, this is where my life is right now.

    But I'll never regret following that counsel (which it was--it was from a blessing I received while making the decision to move here) to keep in mind my whole life rather than just my career when making my decision. Things have changed a lot for me recently, but I think it's mostly for the better.

  3. Since I'm a smug, know-it-all married, I will only comment on Stacer's advice and not on the benjamins. (Of course Erin will get my opinion whether or not she asks for it anyway...)

    Definitely start your own publisher when the time is right. And maybe it's time for Erin to ask for a blessing to help for a little personal clarity as well. Put your bishop to work if he hasn't assigned home teachers who can do that for you.

  4. Not sure I can help, but I know that after I turned 30 - my desire to pursue my career waned.

    To succeed in that career requires sacrificing a LOT. nights and weekends for one thing. Sanity for another.

    my attitude moved toward -- if I can just make enough money to live comfortably - that's all I need. That and a job that doesn't suck the life out of me.

    and hopefully a husband and family.

    My desire for lots of money just isn't there - except for the idea of not having to work. Yeah, I'd love to win the lottery just so I could enjoy life, buy a house and adopt babies.

    Don't know if that helps...

  5. Anonymous12:55 AM

    I dropped out of life long ago and my "life" as it is is my work. I dont think it is about the green, at least not for me. I find that for myself that because I dont have a life I bury myself in my work. In fact I am hoping to leave the country to go to a developing country where the bitter temperature will match my bitterness. Yes I am going knowing that it will be the death knell of any marriage hopes that may still ficker dimly in the furthest nether regions of my blackened soul. hmmm a bit darker than I intened ok long and short I am not dating and it isnt going to happen just because I want it to so I work. I am not chasing $$ I am chasing meaning and self worth/value.

  6. I think that anonymous has a very good point. It's very hard as a single over 30, especially in this church, to feel like you have a life of purpose. What good am I doing in this world? Who do I love if I don't have a family? Do I make a new family of my friends, and be satisfied to be an aunt, sister, daughter? I mean, yes, but no. It's just not enough, and it's hard to deal with.

    So, rather than spending my nights at home watching pointless TV, why not spend my time immersed in my work, where there are measurable goals that I actually have control over. Especially when I choose a career that I feel influences the world in some way (in my case: making good books so kids become life-long readers), then I feel I have a purpose in my life, even if it isn't the highest purpose that I've been taught to want--and sincerely have wanted--all my life.

    It's an empty sort of life, though, in a way, and for me, I need the balance.


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