Life Happens

Life happens and things change.  Things often change because of what happens in life. I’ve changed my mind about what to do with mine frequently.  One second, I’m set and ready to leave for Saudi Arabia to teach ESL, and the next second I just want to stay here, safe and content with the familiar. Comfortable.  Is it worth risking unhappiness in a far-away land in the pursuit of happiness? Of some dream, when you aren’t even sure what that dream is? Or is it better to have risked it, not living to regret not taking the chance later?

Back in February/March, I was set to go.  Nothing was happening for me at home, I had itchy feet, and decided to just say ‘Screw it, I’m going!’ and take the risk. I’m still at home. I was getting ready to leave when my youngest was involved in a bad accident.  He was hit by a car while riding his bicycle is still in the hospital recovering, though he is set to return home tomorrow!  The first few weeks after the accident were especially hard on my family because we didn’t know what was going to happen. Was he going to be quadriplegic? That’s what the doctors said, luckily they were wrong.  Will he walk again? We don’t know.  How severe is the brain damage? His brain has healed. What will his quality of life be like?

With this, I emailed my recruiter and Saudi and told them I wouldn’t be able to come at that time.  I will admit to not being that close to my cousin, but he’s family, I love him, and I wasn’t comfortable with leaving. I also didn’t want to put the additional stress on my 87 year-old grandmother.  She’s a rock-star, I can only hope I’m in half as good of shape is she is at her age, but she was obviously stressed over what was happening with my cousin and I didn’t want to add to that.  She’s less than thrilled with the idea of me leaving again. Really, she’s actively against it, but now, with my cousin doing better and things looking up, she can at least cope with it and I’m comfortable leaving.

My Saudi situation is a little complicated, be that will have to be saved for another day.  The opportunity is still there, I’m waiting to here about a couple of things, but should know what I’m doing soon.  It would be nice to have a decent income, be able to save some, pay off debt, even go to the dentist without worrying about how I’m going to pay for it. Plus, I’ve been seeing pictures people have been posting on FB of their travels, and I could use some of that in my life.  On the other hand, its a risk, and if I’m not exactly happy with where I am now, I am content.  So, who knows where in the world I’ll end up? Or what I’ll be doing? I don’t, and I’m coming to except, rather unhappily, that there can’t always be a plan.

I had my life planned out from the time I was in middle school. I was going to go to college, probably fall in love, go to law school, get married, have some awesome career in D.C. working on policy, have kids, basically have it all.  What life has taught me is that I don’t really want to work in politics, I don’t think I want to be a lawyer (I definitely don’t want the outrageous amount of debt I would incur from law school), and I want to have a career or a job that lets me live the life I want. As it goes, I want to work to live, not live to work.

I’m still not sure what I want to do long-term, career wise, but I’m stressing less about it. I’m currently taking a course to get my Real Estate license so I can go into business with my mom.  It makes sense. She’s a Real Estate broker, co-own’s a Real Estate agency, and has been a Realtor for, like, 16 years.  And its a career that is flexible, so I could travel whenever I wanted. One downside is that pay isn’t stable, but so what? I’d have a day job for at least the first year or two while I become established. Since I grew up with a parent in Real Estate, I already know a bit about it, and a lot about the not-so-nice parts of being a Realtor.  It could work out really well, or it could not.  I think I’m going to end up having had many careers during my life, though I would like to find one that I really enjoy and stick with it.

So, that’s where I am. My cousin was the second person I care about who was hit by a car while on a bicycle in less than a year. Both were hit by drivers who didn’t see them.  Please, pay attention to the road and be especially careful around bicyclists.

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