jeudi 3 décembre 2009

What do I want?

When it comes to choosing whether or not to accept a job in a small town 9 hours away from where I currently live, I've been told I have to figure out what it is I really want.

One thing I know for sure is that I want a job that's stimulating. But as for a "career", well, I'm not sure my career is my priority, in that as much as I could see myself moving up the ranks right up to the DG (Director General) level, I also don't ever want my work to become my life. I want to work to live. That is, I want to make a good salary but also have enough free time to live my life to the fullest.

What I like about the job (and level) that I have now is that I don't have an entire staff depending on me. It will be perfect for when I have kids: if one of them is sick, I can take the day off to be with them and not worry about leaving anyone stranded. Postponing the update of a database a few days won't hurt anyone. Nor will ensuring linguistic follow-up a few days later instead of on schedule.

I want to be able to put my personal life first.

Then again, I am at the point in my career where I am still learning. I need mentors. Which is why I think I would like to go work with other terminologists. I wouldn't be learning very much as the sole language professional in M-town.

So what is most important to me? Furthering my career as a language professional? Or finding a stimulating job and continuing to learn on my own by reading (there wouldn't be much else to do in that town), taking courses (they'd probably be cheaper than here) and maybe attending conferences.

I think what attracts me the most about this new job is the low cost of small-town life. We want a nice house and a plane, and money left over for travelling, skiing and skydiving. We can't afford a nice house and a plane in the big city where we live. I want to be debt-free as soon as possible, which means paying off the house and the plane as quickly as possible.

Low cost of small-town life?

Aside from the price of houses, and lower taxes, I'm not sure how much cheaper life would be in a remote area like M-town. Parking would probably be free. Groceries might be a bit cheaper (but maybe not too).

Skiing would be cheaper and closer. But travelling wouldn't be cheaper, and neither would skydiving. In fact, they'd both be more expensive because we'd have to travel to get to the bigger cities where we can travel from or skydive.

Small Towns

The reason I always say would never want to go back to living in the small town where I grew up is that I feel like I don't have anything in common with the people who live there. Most are less educated. They don't like to read literature or attend theatre. Their hobbies wouldn't match mine. It would be hard to make friends that had similar interests, I think.

Then again, people who share a love for the outdoors and sports are everywhere. And while there may not be as many people who share our interests, there have to be some. We can rent Bytowne-type movies and watch them at home. We can travel to Quebec City or even just R-town for cultural events, theatre, etc. It's not like we go very often even now.

Owning a House

If I didn't have my significant other in my life, I don't think I would mind living in a semi-detached or very tiny house, as long as it was "original", in that it wasn't in one of those new neighbourhoods where all the houses look the same. No thanks. But then again, the reason I wouldn't mind a tiny house is that if I lived by myself I wouldn't need as much space... but I don't live by myself. The "what would you do if you didn't have him in your life" question is unrealistic and kind of pointless. I do have him in my life. We've decided to share our lives together. That implies taking into account the other person's opinion and needs when making decisions.

What's important to the person I've decided to share my life with is owning a house where he can do things he couldn't do when he was renting: playing the drums, playing loud music until late at night, having people over and partying until late at night. I respect this.

So the options for city-living are having an ok-looking house in a not-so-nice neighbourhood instead of the house of our dreams in the country. If we want a beautiful - affordable - house, I'd have to travel over forty minutes morning and night to get to work. No thanks. That's not what I call living life to the fullest, that's living to work and not working to live.

Are we ok with having a not-so-nice house? Or even just renting for another ten years?

How important is it to have a beautiful home? How important is pride-of-ownership to us?

Do we mind raising our children in a not-so-nice neighbourhood? Or in an apartment in a nice neighbourhood?

To be continued...

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