General Question

lovelace's avatar

What should I do?

Asked by lovelace (199 points ) January 23rd, 2009

I work in education. I’ve live in the same city I was born in and I attended college and grad school here as well. I want to move so that I can expand my horizon and maybe dabble in some other fields, but I don’t want to leave my parents or my boyfriend. I’m the baby of my siblings and no one will be here to help my parents if I leave. Neither one is sick or old but we’re very close. My boyfriend is the love of my life and we will probably get married one day. When I talk about moving, he always says that he will take me wherever I want to go just as soon as he can (when we get married). I’m thinking that if we make it, we’ll be married within the next 2–3 years. I don’t want to regret leaving or staying. What should I do?

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18 Answers

Judi's avatar

Do it now while you’re young and before you have kids or before you’re parents DO need you to care for them Carpe Diem! If your boyfriend is for real he’ll either come a long or wait for you. If you wait until you get married you probably won’t do it.
FLY!!!!

dynamicduo's avatar

If I were in your situation, I would stay home and work hard for the two or three years, get married, then go start your life with your wonderful husband and a clean slate in any city you want to. Working hard and saving money will make your life much easier and will facilitate having the wedding of your dreams, if that’s something you want. Or maybe you’d prefer to have a house, or to start a family, or to live in a certain town, or to buy a certain house. All these things are made much easier with money and planning. Two to three years gives you a wonderful time period for making a game plan and sticking to it. Two years is only 730 days after all.

I can’t really interpret what you mean when you say your parents are “very close”, but if they have a chance of dying within the next year I would recommend staying home to take care of them, but only if that’s something you really want to do – no one should be forced to take care of people for any reason. Ask your parents if they have plans or what their situation is if you don’t know. If no one is there for them truly, who is the executor of their wills? What are their funeral service wishes? Do they want to give certain things to people? Asking these questions may seem intrusive but it is really just taking care of the inevitable issues for the sake of the family, and can avoid years of problems down the line if different family members assume different things and get into fights. Of course, you can approach this situation with tact and grace versus launching into the volley of questions in the middle of another discussion. :) Visit them on a non busy day, perhaps call in advance and request a serious discussion, and ask them a simple starting question such as “So I have a question about your estate.” And perhaps go into asking who the executor of the will is and if they had any plans you needed to help with. This way you avoid saying something like “So when you two die…” It may very well be that they have it all taken care of, and that way you know that you are not required to be the executor or have the burden of figuring out finances etc, and you can plan your life without having to budget that time. It may be the case that they have some plans they could use your help on. It may be they wish to not discuss it with you. Or they may open up and share their plans and be appreciative of your help. Regardless, you will exit the conversation with knowledge that will help you in planning out your life.
If your parents are very healthy and you can reserve the finances to hop on a plane to come back home, you could very well go and live somewhere else and start up a life. But it’s still nice to have some type of plan for where you want to keep going.

And by plan, I don’t mean take out a calendar and block off the next thousand days with events! I mean set a few goals, think about where you want to be and how you want to get there. If you don’t know where you want to be now, perhaps go through a brainstorming session to think about your values and how you want to better yourself. If you’re interested, there are lots of self help books about finding your passion or path in life, now I’m not recommending any here, but for some people they can be helpful blueprints or at least get your brain thinking.

Bottom line is it comes down to what you truly want to do. Do you want to pursue your career? Do you want to start a family? Do you want to own property? Do you want to be close at hand to your parents? Some goals overlap each other, some are excluded when others are picked.

And don’t worry about regrets in life. No matter what you do, some little thing or maybe a big thing will cause regret. This is just a part of life. What matters is you learn from these events and it makes you a stronger and wiser person :)

Holy essay Batman! Sorry!

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@dynamicduo yeah, i didn’t read all that, but i can tell by the first paragraph that i totally agree with the rest as well. Good answer! and probably worded much better than I could have worded it.

dynamicduo's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater Thank you for your nice comment, and I don’t blame you one bit for not reading it! I don’t know where that essay came from to be honest! tl;dr indeed.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@dynamicduo I did go ahead and read it.. don’t want to be too lazy.. trying to quit doing that.. lol…I think your answer was inspired by that 20–20 hindsight vision that we all get when we’re a couple years past those decisions she is making now.. if only we’d invested, or if only we had worked harder.. or if if if… and she has the advantage of hearing our what-if’s before she chooses. I have a feeling you are just a very compassionate person who just wanted to jump at the chance to prevent a “what-if-i-hadda-done”.. which would explain the absence of brevity and the presence of wisdom nuff said. =)

lovelace's avatar

see that’s just it. i’m young but not that young and everyone who’s older says what they would’ve done (save more, invest more) but no one actually did it. it’s hard to do and eventually, i think people just jump out there and make it happen. i’m starting to wonder if there’s a safe way.

@dynamicduo thanks so much for the essay! my parents aren’t sick and by “very close” i mean that we’re a tight-knit family. they’re not sick at all but i just kinda think that you never know what may happen. we’re all close to death if you ask me. one day you’re hear and the next day you’re gone. i’m going to try your “goal-setting” idea for whatever time period i have until i make a move/decision. and i’m gonna get a book too.

the only hesitation i have with waiting for my boyfriend is because i did that with the last relationship and that’s why i was even here to meet my sweetie. i don’t regret being here for that reason and others but i just feel like i’ve waited before and ended up stuck. i don’t want to waste time and then it doesn’t work out.

@judi i have no kids so i’ve thought about that a million times. that’s what make me really want to go

Raggedy_Ann's avatar

You need to do what is right for you. How many times have any of us thought…“man I should have done that differently”! As the other’s have said, if your boyfriend is that special he’ll either wait for you (and he may want you to do what is right for you) and perhaps even join you. I was in a similar situation 18 years ago. My boyfriend moved away to college, I finished where I was and then had to decide if I wanted to move where he was. It’s not an easy decision and there were times I thought “why did I do this?” But in the long run, we both ended up with great jobs, great kids and great life. We are lucky enough that we are only 5 hours away from our parents which makes it a little easier for us to visit or go home is there is an emergency.

aprilsimnel's avatar

The only “Safeway” is a supermarket. That’s what I’ve come to learn. What do you really want, especially after knowing that everything has a cost?

susanc's avatar

You’ve been all the way through graduate school?
Then you’ve made a lot of other decisions.
How did you do that?
Do it again.

lovelace's avatar

@susanc it was really a thoughtless process. education is really big in my family so it was natural. kinda like grade school. once you finish first grade you go to second grade. no one really has to encourage you and you don’t really have to make any decissions; you just go cause that’s what’s next. that’s how i did it. i didn’t even realize it until after i was done and took a 2 year break…i have a master’s degree.

flameboi's avatar

It does’t matter how many dregrees you have, is about how much you love what you do, even if you don’t have a degree… take a trip in south america, or africa, I’m sure you will find it interesting and as a friend said, “you might find everything else a little bit useless, specially the degrees”

dynamicduo's avatar

Oh, that kind of close! Well then I guess my portion about death etc is not too relevant here at all :D

@NaturalMineralWater et al, my answer has been inspired by things I have seen in my life, such as how both of my parents handled their parent’s deaths. But luckily not things that have directly happened to me – my parents are both alive and well, and I myself am pretty young too. I also know of their plans for death and who will be responsible, in fact it is an issue we speak frankly and openly about.I’m also working hard while my partner is in school, then we will be working hard together to gain lots of money so as to make our lives super awesome and fun and pleasant. So I’m doing pretty much what I advised – I guess you could say it’s the life path I’m on now. I’ve given my life a good deal of thought and this seems to be the most effective way to get to where I want to be – doesn’t make it easier, of course, and I have my regrets in certain things, but like I said you’ll always have regrets no matter what you do in life. I will also admit it’s a bit hard waiting with my partner, as we are growing onto each other and sometimes clash here and there. But in general I’m happy, and since being happy is my primary goal in life, so long as it’s satisfied I’m happy wherever I am :)

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

To quote Irma Bombeck (humorous woman’s writer from the 1960s-70s) “The grass is always greenest over the septic tank.”

It sounds like you don’t want to burn bridges, but need some change and variety.
Do something that doesn’t involve uprooting your life on a permanent basis first. Sign up for TeachAmerica or Vista, or AmericaCorps for a year, or teach ESL overseas. Or go to grad school in another city for a year. Who can fault public service, especially if it nets out student loan forgiveness?

jessturtle23's avatar

Since you have summers off use them to go live somewhere else for a few months. You can spend your summers teaching whitewater rafting in Alaska or go tend bar at a resort in Mexico. You can find seasonal work just about anywhere and it will be like a mini-vacation at the same time.

pathfinder's avatar

It is hard desision,In deed .Fallow the love.

cyndyh's avatar

@jessturtle23: Just what I was thinking.

I’ve known teachers to do different things with their summers. One went on several summer trips as a chaperone for a high school group. He got his trip paid for a small amount of money, but got to see the world. One spends summers writing.

If you spend summers doing something away, you can try out other places before you make your big decisions. And a couple of months isn’t too long to spend away from your fella and family.

75movies's avatar

Just go already. Life doesn’t wait for the indecisive.

mollypop51797's avatar

If it’s what you want to do, then do it! Don’t move too far away from them, then you can visit them without trouble. Or, if you want to travel farther away, depending on where, you can write letters or email and stay in touch on a daily basis. For your boyfriend, you can get your relationship on a move on by getting married sooner. I’m sure that won’t be your first decision with him, but, as others have said, you can go and if he’s really “the one: he’ll wait for you when you can pursue a life together. Or, you can go for a year and see how things are. But these are just a few options you have enless possibilities.

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