A couple of months ago I went to a lecture in which the topic of “sustained thinking” came up. I pointed out that it’s difficult to find a career these days that allows for it; we all seem to be expected to multitask like mad. One of the presenters, a European, said the only solution she has come up with is for people to take sabbaticals from their jobs every few years.
Being a European, she may have that option, but here in the U.S., our only option, it seems, is to quit. Then of course we have to worry about our resumes and eventually finding a new job.
Be that as it may, I’m approaching the five-year point, have a bunch of money saved up, and can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I also have a person or two in my former city of residence pressuring me to return.
The thing is, I suddenly feel quite content and, dare I say, excited about where I’m planted. The job, though, still drives me batty, and perhaps some of my elation is stemming from the fact that freedom, or at least the option of it, is at hand. What to do?
I’m trying to look at my situation rationally in order to weigh the pros and cons. There are more and better-paying jobs in my profession here, but there are opportunities in my former city and a lower cost of living. If I returned, I could afford to take some time off, even as much as a year or two, to take classes and think about a new direction.
As far as the things I’m enjoying here, I could do them there. Yoga, swimming, dance, hiking– check, check, check, check. Catching live music. Check– in abundance. Comedy and theater shows– not nearly as much but pretty good.
A sense of expansiveness and possibility? Not in comparison to here, but on the other hand, the possibilities here have remained theoretical. They haven’t amounted to anything lasting.
In the meantime, I keep going out on the town, waiting for the signs to add up to an arrow pointing in one direction or another.
Putting rationality aside, what does your heart say? Does it lean more one way than the other?
In some ways it’s telling me to stay, yet the evidence that nothing ever leads to anything here, I must say, continues to mount. It seems to be a great city for stuff to do and the worst for forming interpersonal relationships.