uncertainty vs. opportunity

About three months ago, I wrote this. In it I explained that I am where I am because I made the best choice I could. I stopped asking, “Is this the path I’m supposed to take?” I chose based on what I know for a fact. I act with intention even though I can’t possibly foresee every outcome. A podcast I listened to over a year ago compared this way of living to way-finding. He argued that it’s not about finding your purpose or your destiny. Life’s about making choices and making them work.

I’m so happy in my home. I truly love it. I love my crazy dog. I have plans here. I have monthly plans. I have yearly plans. I’m making a life for myself… and my dog. Up until the past few weeks, I was content and everything seemed like it made sense.

Have you heard this one? “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”

What about this one? “When God closes a door, he opens a window.”

A door is closing, slowly but surely. I’m searching for that open window. I knew this could happen. I had hoped it would be in a few years or so. I just bought a house and was on a schedule to pay off my student debt by May of 2019. Now,  I’m in the exact position in my career that I was over two years ago.

I have several options rattling around in my brain.

  1. Find a job in PA. It’s close enough to my family to make a weekend trip, and far enough to be out of NY.
  2. Get a part-time job and never see my friends, family, or dog.
  3. Find a job I’m not interested in, nor using my experience in, that pays better.
  4. Commute an hour to the closest city to a job that is either in my field of interest or pays better.
  5. Get a two year degree in engineering or nursing and change my field altogether so that I can stay in my hometown, perpetually single, with my dog and a homestead.
  6. Sell everything I own on eBay (plus the promise of my first born) and hope that puts a dent in my loans.

My company is being evicted from it’s building, and I will, more than likely, be laid off.

The first person I told was my cousin. She told me that this could be a really good thing. This could be a moment that puts me on the road to something greater. She also said that no matter what happened, I would most definitely be okay. She’s a “sign-seer.” I am not. This isn’t an omen or divine intervention. It’s just life. I want to listen to her and look at this as an opportunity for a window to open. I know she’s right. I know I’ll be okay, but there are so many things to worry about.

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Parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents always think that young people have all the options in the world. They don’t see my world being uprooted. They don’t see the hours of job searching. They don’t see the looming bills to pay. Uncertainty, to them, means opportunity. It’s the proverbial “youth is wasted on the young” outlook.

I wouldn’t need to tell so many people if I didn’t work part-time at the bar. I can’t lie when people ask, “How is work?” Obviously, I’m grateful that I have so much support, but at this point, I’ve heard it all.

“I’ll get you a job.”
“We have an extra bedroom.”
“You have so much talent.”
“You’ll figure it out.”
“Rent out your house.”
“You can go anywhere.”
“So and so is hiring.”
“You should be a teacher.”
“Move to Texas.”
“Take the Civil Service Exam.”

I’m practicing smiling and saying, “Thank you. I will think about it.” I can only take so much well-meant advice before I go crazy. A friend of my Dad’s says I should start telling people made up plans for my future to see which individuals are blabber mouths. It would be so entertaining to hear people say, “I heard you were starting a candle business,” or “So when are you moving to Canada?”

A couple people understand where I’m coming from: my dad and mom, a few friends.  My one friend was very apologetic and told me to fight. He said I should “pull a midnight coup d’etat.” He said “write your elected reps;” “write letters to the people at the agency.”  He recognized what I’m losing. He knows how good the opportunity that I had was and I appreciate him for it.

If there’s one good thing about uncertainty, it’s that it illuminates the people you really value for advice and support. There were a core group of people I wanted to tell, and each had their own unique response to ease my worries. Then there are people I didn’t plan to tell but was glad I did.

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