The Alternate Future: Turning Down $30,000

The Alternate Future: Turning Down $30,000

I don’t mean for this post to come off boastful, but reflective. I want this post to be more of me untangling my life decisions out loud so I can reaffirm them and remind myself that the big decisions I’ve made as of late are actually good things. Yes, I turned down $30,000.

The research institute that I have been working at for the past year and a half offered me a job as a full-time employee, complete with benefits and salary and yada yada yada. The pay was $30,000 for the year. I was to be a research staff assistant. My responsibilities would have been to sit at a desk making phone calls and compiling reports and working with Excel spreadsheets.

I would have stayed in Potsdam. I would have worked a “traditional” 9-5 job. I still would have moved out of my college house and broken up with Zach. I would have lived in my own apartment.

I would have been lonely, bored, and well on the road for a career in research…which is entirely what my degree has prepared me for.

There is a lot of stress in America to make sure you do what you love. There is a lot of negativity in the conversations regarding what people make of their adult lives. I think many are worried that they didn’t choose the right career. I think many reflect that they quite frequently chose work or money over happiness.

I picked a $12,000 job with AmeriCorps in Montgomery, Alabama. Sometimes I’m like: “What are you thinking? You could have so much of your loans paid for at the end of your year with the Research Institute!”

And then I remind myself: Potsdam was only ever supposed to last two years. Zach and I were emotionally already checked out of our relationship. My friends were already bidding me adieu. It was time for me to go do something else in another, just as colorful part of the country.

I’m moving to Montgomery in a few short weeks, where I will start my job working to improve others’ lives. I will be poor and I will probably be wondering what the heck I’m doing down there some days.

But my life will be moving forward. Cool, huh? Ahhh, making big life decisions is grand.


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