I have to make a huge decision. And I would love your help.
As I wrote previously, I did not get either of the two jobs that I applied for. Which is fine – I am not sure either was a “perfect fit” as our very wise friend Sasha pointed out.
But I am not sure there will be a perfect fit. I am not sure a perfect job will just arrive in my life, wrapped up in a bow. And what would that perfect job be anyway? Can I work a full time, 9 to 5 job for someone else at this point in my life?
I have thought about it a lot lately, and what I know is true is that we all play a major role in creating own “perfect” – be that a job, a relationship, a home. I will have to create my new reality myself, as, I would venture to say, I always have. Opportunities have certainly presented themselves to me over my 50 years, but it is also true that more often than not it was because I was looking and open to them. I got my job now by telling everyone what I was looking for, and then putting myself in the right place at the right time with the right skills. There was no job opening waiting for me; I slid on into the cracks and then did my very best at keeping it.
Of course, I was born with a lot of benefits and privileges others in the world do not have, perhaps most important of which that I would never be homeless or hungry. But it is also true that who I have become is largely because of opportunities I sought. I took small chances, and notably perhaps, I got to know people, often by working low paying jobs which eventually led to the higher paying ones.
It is another interesting life-reality now to learn at 50. That, over the course of one’s life, job trajectories do not travel only in one direction, up and up like a plane taking off, climbing steadily into the sky. Many of us bounce around the pay scale trying new and different things as if in heavy turbulence, and, like most things it turns out, the journey is not always clear or direct.
So the task at hand now: I need to decide if I should stay at my current job longer, a job I love, that pays well, and offers job security (and health insurance). Or should dive into the unknown, the health insurance-less, and low paying world of farming and writing a book. I have always wanted to write one, and now I have a lot to say. Plus there are so many other things too we could do on the farm in addition to the farming if there was someone to manage it – create a farm stay program where coastal students could experience Midwestern farming, say, or develop an idea I have brewing I am calling “co-farming (more on that idea soon!).
In other words, there is a lot to be done, but for little or no money, right here in this beautiful, peaceful place. And while we are not yet “old,” being 50 does mean that we both have a limited amount of time and energy left to put into something (although honestly, John works harder than anyone I have ever met).
So, what to do?
The problem seems to be fear of the unknown (in addition to the sizeable cost and worry of health insurance!). Finding the courage to jump in completely and see what happens. To see if I can make Iowa my home, even if I have yet to make a friend and I feel in many ways that I am a complete and total outsider in a place where the culture is not yet one I am drawn to.
I thought this blog might be a good place to solicit some of your wise and supportive ideas about this decision. How have you found the courage to do something life-changing? What are your experiences in starting over? I have been amazed at the supportive and wise words many of you have sent our way via this blog over the past few months. I also thought if the comments were public, some of you might also benefit from the ideas shared.
Feel free to write in the comments. I think this Wix template makes you sign up to do so – but if you were on this subscription list, we already have your email anyway, and so “signing up” is just re-sharing that info with us again.
Thanks for all your support and love,