on Options

I have too many good options for what to do next year. I am of course grateful for the range of opportunities open to me, but trying to determine which is the best option sometimes makes me want to go curl up into a little ball and take a nap, rather than carpe-ing the diem. (Which diem should I carpe, the inferiorating (and not just because of the disgusting Eng-Lat-ification) question festers.) The question has been brought to a head this afternoon by the arrival of a list of choices from the service organization I applied to, which I now need to prioritize.

Option 1: Seattle, WA. I just visited Seattle with the men’s chorus and like the thought of living somewhere with mountains, the ocean, and winters slightly warmer than (albeit as grey as) Goshen’s. I also have 3 good friends already living in the Seattle area–having a few people around that I already know would be nice for this introvert. My work would be for an organization that provides web and network support for environmental groups–very much up the alley of the part-time work I’ve been doing for the past few years.

Option 2: Washington, DC. Washington would also be a fascinating place, though I must admit the West draws me more. A definite plus would be that I have an aunt, uncle and cousins living in DC. The work assignment would again be in IT design and support for nonprofits, but would also include a half-time component in a computer training center. That would be an interesting challenge; potentially good, but I’m not sure I like working with people that much.

Option 3: La Jara, CO. Here’s one that’s not in the city — but I’m not the biggest city fan, so that’s fine…and I do love southern Colorado. The work would be for a Boys and Girls Club, maintaining their computer network. Their is a decently large Latino population in the area, so it would be a chance to practice my Spanish. The service organization is particularly anxious to fill this position. But it’s less likely to turn into a job offer than the previous two, and less likely to be somewhere I’d want to stay long term.

Option 4: Goshen. There is a decent chance that I would be able to get a salaried programming job here next year. My current boss is eager to keep me around, because the other guy who knows the system well will likely be leaving for grad school. The opportunity to make a bit of money would be nice, and I would get a bit more time with my Goshen friends. On the other hand, this seems a bit like the easy option, and I know that after spending 19 (minus 1.3) years in Goshen I don’t want to stick around too long, for the sake of growth and independence.

Then there is a small part of me I just noticed this evening which is still yearning for something more….some time overseas? I haven’t quite identified what it is yet. I think it is a yearning for a full life, for a life in which risks have been made and in which I’ve walked faithfully as a disciple, and found peace, or an impulse and opportunity to work for peace. Of course, the options outlined above wouldn’t necessary preclude this. But while I find computer work interesting, I’m not sure I’ve ever quite been able to imagine how it could lead me to that which I am deeply yearning for.

Sooo… Help! How do I make this decision? I would certainly appreciate your prayers for direction in my discernment.

3 Responses to “on Options”

  1. all the options seem like good ones, and I affirm your desire to get out of Goshen for a while. I understand the pull to go overseas and to find something that’s fulfilling. I hope that you find an option that makes you happy. Sometimes it’s just a gut reaction. Seek out friends and adults who you respect to talk to about it. Maybe a certain question, or comment will help you look at the decision with new eyes. Good luck!

  2. Look on the bright side – at least it’s not something important like the rest of your life or anything!


    Seriously though, whatever you choose doesn’t have to be the final choice. More opportunities will open up wherever you are and whatever you end up doing – you’re always going to have more choices in front of you! Much of your happiness is going to depend on HOW you live your life rather than what you’re doing. And it’s ok to have hesitations about taking big risks – it means you’re taking them seriously and will be better prepared when you run up against obstacles. Prudence is actually a useful skill…

    Having said that – take the risks! Follow your heart! And so on. It won’t be easy, but you won’t regret it.

    Ok, the ACTUAL reason I’m posting is to note that your formatting is a little weird – the left margin cuts off about four letters. Perhaps it’s just my browser? I tried it in Firefox and Safari, and neither worked….

  3. […] I of course rejoiced with the masses when Google released Google Earth, with its satellite images of the entire globe, from my host home in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to the up-close view of campus that I have turned into a giant poster in our living room. More recently, I have also had fun playing with Wikimapia, which takes Google’s satellite imagery and lets you tag places in it–the tags must be corroborated by other viewers to remain. And while investigating Seattle, WA as a place to move next year, I discovered Lost in Seattle, an extensive map of the city which identifies buildings and such. (By the way, for those of you who read my blog about options, I am leaning heavily toward Seattle at this point. Thanks to those of you who offered counsel and encouragement!) […]

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