Today I kicked my job search into full gear. The Obamabucks run out in a few weeks, and the carefree existence I have been afforded over the past few years is drawing to a close. I called up the last company that made me a job offer in Portland, Oregon and they still seemed interested. The woman said to me, "oh yeah, you're the one that got away." Though it's comforting to know I could likely get a job again, the reality of making such a big decision is a little unnerving.

Compared to the last time I was in this position I feel as though I have a lot more life experience under my belt and a lot more insight from which I can draw on to make my decision. It's a much more difficult choice this time around for several reasons.

I see the fact that I only have a few more chances to "start over" before I get pigeon-holed into a career (maybe I am being short sighted here). I want to make sure the career I choose does not limit me geographically or with respect to salary and that I will be able to enjoy what I do (this entails growth, a flexible schedule with some travel, some measure of sustained interest in the job and regular interaction with people)

The second is the fact that I see my family's mortality staring me right in the face. In all honesty, this is the first time I have really considered life with out my mom or dad and it's a pretty saddening thought. I feel lost when I consider the possibility and a bit of regret if I were to trade a job for time with them. They really are such a huge safety net and source of comfort, even if I don't directly lean on them. I spoke with them about it and dad sort of hinted that he'd be happier if I was away with a "good job" than here being a wanderer. As an aside, after talking with my dad about marriage and jobs it seems that his overarching priority isn't my happiness or emotional/philosophical/spiritual satisfaction but simply that his little boy is safe and healthy. I guess I can't blame him for that. Maybe I should have a conversation with him about the source of my angst rather than the peripheral issues like this (job, relationship, ect).

I also have a very comfortable life here that doesn't require a lot of money, though I think this sense of security might just be a crutch. I have a nice home I am proud of, friends I can rely on, social outlets I can pour myself into, and clear sense of what I can do to make the area better.

In the end I know I could be making a lot more, though I don't really need it. It just annoys me knowing I'd be working below my "fair market value." Part of me just says take the job, pretend it's an extended vacation in the northwest and live it up. The other part of me says no, don't squander the chance to spend time with your family and lose touch with the life you have created. Part of me says it will be here when you get back, but I know good and well that's not true. Nothing stays the same, especially after years. I'd be starting over. Just like I did when I came back from Connecticut.

Anyway, if you have comments leave them below or shoot me an email - I'm all ears...