Decisions, decisions. I’m not always good at making decisions. I worry about making wrong choices, and often seek advice from friends to help me think through the consequences of picking one option over another. Mind you, some people say that we choose who to ask for advice depending on what advice we want to hear. That might be true. Some decisions are easy to make – perhaps because all the possible options are good ones (like choosing a favorite pudding) others seem to have no good options only ‘least bad’ ones, those are hardest to make. The important decision I can think of, and which I’m going to talk about today, worked out in the end, but it was terrifying to have to make at the time.
I’ll talk you through what the decision was, when I took it and what the results were. Finally, I’ll explain why it was so important that it still impacts on me today.
The decision was whether or not I should relocate to a different part of the country to take up a new job. I had to make the decision about 6 years ago. I had been self-employed for a while, but then there was a downturn in the economy and I stopped getting enough work to support myself. I applied for a job in Sheffield, which was a city I didn’t know at all, and when I had first an interview, and then a job offer, I was faced with a big decision. Should I leave my home and friends to start a new life in Sheffield for a promising job at a prestigious university; or should I stay where I was in my lovely house and familiar surroundings, and hope the work might pick up again in the future?
I thought a lot about the pros and cons; I cried a lot to be honest, as the thought of making a new start was really scary. I’d be all on my own, and what if I didn’t make friends or couldn’t do the job well? However, ultimately it came down to income. I couldn’t live on fresh air, and this was a well-paid job. I also thought if I turned the work down, and then didn’t manage to pick up new contracts I’d always wonder ‘what if?’ or how might things have been different if I’d just been brave enough to ‘give it a go!’ I accepted the job and started to pack. In less than three weeks I was renting a flat in a new city and turning up to work in a new office with new colleagues. One resolution I made early on, was to be really positive about the decision once I’d made it. I’d join societies, say ‘yes’ to every social invitation, and really try to build a new life quickly. I wouldn’t ever look back!
The result of the decision? Well, I moved to a new city, and took a new job. It was hard at first, there was a lot to learn and sometimes it was lonely too. However, I’ve never regretted it. Sheffield is a lovely city near to beautiful countryside. I’ve rented an attic flat which has great views over the city in one direction and woodland in the other. I think this city must be one of the friendliest ones in the UK, people were incredibly welcoming to me as a newcomer, and there is always lots to do. I don’t have that job anymore, but I don’t regret taking it at all. I do sometimes miss my old house in Leamington where I used to live, but I don’t miss anything else. I think the move revitalised me and took me on a great new adventure, sometimes you do just have to take a bit of a risk in life to progress, this bit of risk taking worked for me.
So in conclusion, I think it was a big decision, but I made a good choice. Of course, it was an important one as it changed everything for me, from where I lived and worked, to who my friends are. Honestly though, I think perhaps with decisions it matters less what you decide, and more that once you have made a decision you make the best of it, wherever it may take you. Sometimes the journey is speedy and smooth, sometimes it is rocky along the way, but whatever path we choose, it is what makes us the people we are – for better or worse!