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.