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Making Life Decisions

This article was written by in Personal Development. 13 comments.

This is a bit of an introspective article, which, while it does have relevance to personal finance, is a little heavier on the personal side and lighter on the finance side.

One of the hardest issues for me is making big life-related decisions. This has always been a problem for me. I tend to picture the most negative outcome, and rather than making a choice, taking action, and perhaps turning my life on its side, I often tend to stick with the status quo. I have a laid-back personality, and I’m often content to go with the flow.

I don’t think I’m satisfied with this approach to my life, and this has been weighing on my mind lately. Do I want to remain single and living in a rented apartment in the middle of New Jersey forever? I feel I need to move my life in some direction, but I’m not sure which way.

I started out with a plan: study music education, teach in a high school, and live a fulfilling life of making a difference in people’s lives. Yet, I’ve always had such a variety of interests, I didn’t see any problems when my life moved in a different direction. And I’m truly blessed that I can make a comfortable living doing something I enjoy today even if it wasn’t on my radar screen fifteen, or even ten, years ago.

For the last decade, I’ve been trying to live under the philosophy that every action you take is a conscious choice, but yet, I find it difficult to make some of the bigger decisions.

For example: where do I want to live and settle down?

I want to feel like my living situation has more permanency. I’ve liked the flexibility I’ve had by renting an apartment, but I haven’t really taken advantage of that opportunity as much as I had hoped. I feel older now, and I want different things. If I buy a house, where would I buy it?

  • My girlfriend lives and works in Queens and wants to stay there, so this is one option, although I’m not particularly a fan of so many people in so small an area.
  • Even if she and I don’t live in Queens, we could find a nice suburb within driving distance to her job.
  • Staying in New Jersey would be an option otherwise, as I have somewhat of a circle of friends here, but I don’t see them very often anymore.
  • I have family in California, so I could live there and have an automatic small community for moral support.

There are other factors that complicate the matter in terms of future employment. I don’t know if I’ll remain working for myself forever.

What I do know is that my life isn’t really moving forward the way I’d like it to. Although the philosophy I’ve been trying to live by these past few years is to make conscious choices rather than to wait for life to happen to me, I haven’t been very successful with this approach.

Published or updated August 17, 2011.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar 1 Anonymous

Morning Flexo,

A happy girlfriend/wife usually leads to a better life, so I’d go with whatever she wants :) Since you can work from anywhere in the world, she’ll love you for it!

Good luck!


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avatar 2 Anonymous

hahaha. happy wife (girlfriend)=happy life

very true!

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avatar 3 Ceecee

I hate to break it to you, but I’m a lot older than you and in a way this feeling is always with you. I am always wondering if I’d like to move somewhere else, do something else. Life is short. It is so easy to get stuck. That being said, I have owned and rented housing, and I lean toward renting, or owning the smallest place that will suffice. You don’t own big houses, they own you. Something is always calling out for your attention.

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avatar 4 wylerassociate

life decisions are never easy because many people don’t want to leave their families especially their parents. But I can say for me leaving michigan for arizona was one of the best decisions I ever made and you grow up really fast when you live on your own not depending on family.

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avatar 5 shellye

Indeed. I haven’t lived near my family in Cali for nearly 20 years as we moved around the country so hubby could climb the corporate ladder. You do grow up really fast when you are moving from state to state and depending only on each other until you create a new support network. I have many friends and experiences that obviously would have never happened had I stayed close to home near my parents (and his). Best decisions we ever made.

Ceecee is also right, Flexo. The feeling never quite leaves you, regardless of age. All I can advise is that you get a few stamps in your passport and cross a few things off the bucket list before you start having kids. That changes everything. :-)

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avatar 6 qixx

Most people who move far away from family did so for a reason. Make sure the reason you live so far away is not still there or you will likely regret moving back near them. It may take some more thought and introspection to determine why you really moved away. Then you’ll know for sure if living near family is still on your list and how far up the list it should really be.

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avatar 7 Anonymous

Well, thanks for giving us a bit of insight into your personal life! Life decisions can be pretty difficult. All of those living options sound great (Cali especially! I would love the warm weather.). No matter what you decide, if it doesn’t work out and you don’t like it, you can always change again, right?

Anyways, best of luck in whatever you decide. I’m sure it will work out in the end. ;)


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avatar 8 Anonymous

Here’s an approach I’ve used many times: Talk Talk Talk and Listen Listen Listen. Talk to that princess in Queens, to the friends “around here” and the family on the left coast. Listen to all of them and then make you own decision. It’s tough but doable!
Right now the DOW is down over 400 points, the heat in on again in the mid-west and the world just sucks. That all seems dark, uncertain and downright bad but remember this – If the world didn’t suck – we’d all fall off!

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avatar 9 Anonymous

Man, I wish spell check did better at word usage. That should be ” …make YOUR own decision.”

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avatar 10 Anonymous

You and I are so similar Flexo, it’s untrue. I’ve rented for about a decade longer than I’d planned to, and I haven’t moved out of town for more than 2 weeks in the whole time.


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avatar 11 Cejay

Great article. I think that when you make the right choice, no matter how long it takes to arrive there, you feel a peace and do not second guess yourself. I think one factor is if the girlfriend will remain a girlfriend or something more. An unhappy girlfriend is bad but an unhappy wife is unbearable. Now is a good time to buy a house and that has to be a factor. Good luck with your decision. Just listem to your gut.

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avatar 12 skylog

thank you for the honest post flexo. it goes a long way to showing that you are just a “regular” person, like many of the readers here. perhaps your job is different, your financial situation may be different, but you deal with many of the same issues and have many of the same feelings as your readers.

i can not provide the best advice, but you have several things to figure out. the first is for you to try to determine what will make you happy/at peace. then go from there. girlfriend/wife. job. location. etc… until you can determine what you want, truly, i feel you will have trouble going forward. change is very hard, but when it is needed, it can be a great thing.

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avatar 13 lynn

It appears you are heading into the next season in life. As we mature -and change- the things important to us progress (change). It’s perfectly normal. Good luck and keep us posted.

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