This, of course, in the queue maybe a play or two in front of making incredible, earth shaking, monumentally significant decisions…of course I have no idea what they are. One menacing crossroads has loomed above me for years now, albeit at a safe altitude. Its descending now
Today’s question: What do I want?
30 minutes – GO.
For just me – I want to feel healthy and inspired and supported by relationships. Those are three very distinct, yet inter-related things. Health; I want to live in a climate and locale that helps facilitate healthy living. Inspiration; whereas I have enough time to write now, I don’t have enough ambition. It was the thing I was most excited about when Rhonda & I got together. Relationships; I want to be surrounded by people I care about and who care about me, people who have similar interests and values.
I want my relationships with my side of the family to be better. For the most part, I feel like I am the one most in control of making that happen. The next ten years are critical for the health of my mom and sisters. Most of all, I want to choose things in my life out of proactive will, not out of fear or default; that is to say I want to go out and get the things that I want. Its’ what I’ve always done and how I have become confident and happy in life.
For our marriage – I want us to be connected and trusting of each other and both feeling like we are a strong unit that does things together. I want us both to feel good about where we wake up, where we go and what we do during the day and what we’ve accomplished when the day comes to an end. We’ve always been connected, with some notable, temporary, exceptions. When we’re connected everything is good. We have fun doing things together. We deal with problems efficiently and effectively. If we’re not a unit, everything else is probably going to turn bad. We’re in a really tough place right now because if we stay in Ohio, it’s probably going to deplete me. If we go, there will be inevitable stressors for us as individuals and us as a unit.
For the kids – I want our kids to be worldly, multi-cultural and rich in experiences. I want them to have relationships with my side of the family. I want them to develop close friendships that they maintain in life. You don’t build adults when they’re 18, you build them now. I know that, and I want them to have enriching experiences that add to the fabric of their character and help them make smart decisions in life and always hunger to fill their brain. Can you do that in Lima? I don’t know. Maybe. I also don’t want them to struggle for things I now believe that they need – like higher education. Both Rhonda and I were lucky enough to get our school paid for. I want to be in the position to do that for our kids, should they need it.
For our careers – Both of us have only really worked in the grown-up world for 10-15 years. Amazing that we likely still have twice that time left in the workforce… maybe depressing. To date, things have only been good for both of us. We’re both professionals with enough education and experience to a) always get jobs and b) get better jobs than most people – that’s an incredible ace in the hole and something I reflect on and am grateful for every single day – no exaggeration. Still, for me, work is secondary, that’s no secret. Even so, work certainly doesn’t play a secondary role in my life. Rather, it takes a huge bite out of everything I do.
If we stay in Lima, I have two options that make sense – 1) I keep a national job out of DC and expect to travel significantly. 2) I pursue campaign jobs in Ohio, which is probably more time spent working and just as much travel. Working in Ohio would be less possible with me living in Lima; I’d need to be in Columbus or Cleveland. I probably could ebb and flow w/election years and take on special projects as I care to. That doesn’t sound massively unappealing. And neither does America Votes. I like where I am and what I do most the time, but it does drain me.
On daily living – Just as most of marriage is down time and not honeymoons, most of life is daily living and not vacations. The decision about where to live is far more complicated than it was nine years ago when we colored in a map and then high fived that some of our interests overlapped. That was an exciting time; we were just starting our life together and we were just excited to be together. That’s how I want things to be. At the same time, we’re better off than we ever have been before; we have a day-to-day routine that is working; our family is healthy; we’re cash positive in every way. So then the question is this – If we’re better off now that we ever have been, why change that? I can argue it either way and make either way make sense. On staying – Rhonda’s job, cheap living, no stress of moving, etc… On leaving – Limited time w/family left, Ohio is awful, etc…
Lima was never supposed to be permanent. I was never asked to consider it as a lifetime, or even long-term decision. I was asked to move here for a short time for specific reasons. I didn’t choose Lima. I chose Rhonda. How I’ve dealt with Lima and my life in Ohio has always been predicated on believing our stay here was temporary. It’s why my strategy with work has been national and not local. It’s why I am not all that invested in any friends here. Today I think that may be an outdated paradigm, and that reflection is making me nervous. What have I been doing with all my time? I’ve never considered myself to be living in the skin. The truth is that I gained a lot moving here but I gave up a lot to move here as well. Whether or not I’m actually missing out or I just feel like I am owed what my brain has been programmed to want is the real discussion to have. With myself.
In thinking about all of this, it’s become clear that finances are weighing heavily on every category. I don’t like that.