I’m incredibly proud of where I come from and how I was fortunate in every way possible growing up. I always felt safe, loved, prioritized, and so much more. My dad went out of his way to keep me from being spoiled, but I can confidently say that I’m spoiled in the best way possible. I’m nowhere near ready for kids yet, but my life’s purpose is to give them as great of a life as previous generations gave me. It’s feels much easier when the only way to go is up. It often feels like the only way for me to go is down, because my parents gave me the absolute best. However, I have the advantage that I’m not fighting an uphill battle. The odds are skewed in my favor, as much as I still have work to do.
I make more decisions on my own than I give myself credit for. I was supposed to be a doctor, but I majored in Economics. I was supposed to move back to Chicago, but I took a job in Seattle. I’m supposed to be with someone Jewish (and not in the military) but how many times have I said no thank you to that? I’m keeping that for the offline journal 😉LOL. Up until last week, I was supposed to get my MBA in a year or two, but I’d rather stay in my current job. I’m better at doing what I want than I thought.
I was planning to start my grad school applications after Hawaii. The plan was to get my application in and keep working until I reached the next level, so that I could go immediately once I reached it. I spent months trying to convince myself that it was the right decision and that it was time, but it didn’t feel right. As I was telling my friend about study abroad and how miserable I was, I realized that I went because I felt like I should, and I didn’t have the guts to say no. I was miserable. (If that isn’t the biggest first world problem, then I don’t know what is, and that’s not lost on me.)
I wish I wanted to get my MBA now, because it would make this decision easier, but I don’t. I LOVE my current job. I love the work, my team and the growth opportunities. In the moment I’m about to fall off the face of the mountain, I’d rather be at work. When I’m so upset that my brain can’t function, I’d rather be working. If I was a penguin in Club Penguin, my pink mouse would be the puffle that follows me around the island. Sorry not sorry. I don’t know where exactly I’ll be in a year or 5 years or if I’ll want to continue my education then, but it feels like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders now that I reclaimed my professional freedom. Is it bad that I want to tell my team that? I’m excited to study for the solution architect exam when I get back, between my long hours and the gym.
For the last few months, I’ve been looking for someone that checks all the boxes before I decide if I want to invest my emotional energy. In theory, it’s a great strategy. In reality, it’s nearly impossible to keep emotions out of it, unless I’m never going to have emotion in the first place, which means I’ll never fall in love. As a kid, I remember being embarrassed to share my crush or admit even to myself that I had feelings. Sometimes I miss those days, because it was simpler. My mom described the categories of who I go for (1) Guys who check the boxes but aren’t interested in me, (2) guys who check the boxes but I don’t feel a romantic connection towards but wish I did, and (3) Well, the guys that I’m genuinely into whose lifestyles aren’t particularly compatible with mine.
I’ve been feeling like it was time to ‘grow up’ and make the right decision for the last 4-6ish months, but I was trying to convince myself to take the safe and predictable route, rather than what I actually want. The thought of choosing someone to be with for the rest of my life it would make life ‘easy’ or ‘predictable’ makes the future sound unexciting. I want to be excited to get out of bed in the morning to be with my person, even if it means we’re going to fight and I’ll have to compromise more than I planned for. I’m willing to take those risks in exchange for everything that comes with it. It might be against what I’m ‘supposed’ to do, but when have I ever done what I’m supposed to do? Reflecting on the major decision on my life helps me to realize that, and the last few months affirms the decision that I’m willing to make different compromises than previously planned.
There are two things that I want out of life exclusively for myself. In no particular order, I want to be in love with my partner, and I refuse to compromise on my career. I would love to live close to my family, share a religion, have a standard poodle and travel, but all of that is secondary.
I would love to travel and live near friends/family, but that’s negotiable. It feels like I’m asking for a lot, and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to find it. This time, when I say that I refuse to settle, it’s based exclusively on what I want, rather than a combination of what I want and what my family wants. I’d rather be alone for the rest of my life than settle for something less than being in love with both my partner and career. I’d hope the guy that I end up with is as ambitious as I am, but quite frankly, if he wants to drive fancy cars around all day while I’m at work, I’ll support it, as long as I’m genuinely respected and understood in the way that I need to be.
This isn’t the first time I’ve been at this crossroads, but I hope it’s the last. This type of decision has affected several of my relationships. I have no regrets in life so far and I intend to keep it that way – relationships or otherwise. It’ entirely possible that I’m making a huge mistake, but I’d rather make a mistake going after what I want out of life than be unhappy.
This is the first Valentine’s day that I’ll be single in a few years, but it’s also my 24th Valentine’s day with the night to myself. Whether I’m single or not, February 14th is still my 2nd favorite holiday, and I plan to enjoy it. I’m still the girl that wanted to be a wedding planner because of how much I love the concept of love. I wish I was kidding when I say that my outfit was planned 9 months ago. My favorite colors are red and pink, what can I say? (My sister agreed to be my Valentine this year – and asked me to be hers in return 😊) It’s taken me a long time to get here, but here I am. No regrets, and no settling. I’m not afraid to make moves, but I’ve done my fair share of chasing – with varying degrees of success. Your move, universe.