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Real life soap opera

I seriously feel like my life is a soap opera right now. Minus all the infidelity, murder, and poor acting that is. Okay, maybe I’m being dramatic. My life is not really all that soap opera-ish, but the last few days sure have been crazy.

As you all know, I’ve been in a two year application process trying to get in with a HIGHLY competitive federal agency. I wont share which agency, but I will tell you the position involves guns, undercover work, and bad guys. Pretty freakin’ sweet huh?! I am one step away from completing all the prerequisites to receive my final offer

Next Wednesday, I will be taking my final physical fitness test. Assuming I pass (which I should), I will receive my final offer from the agency. I already know they have me slated to attend academy from late March through August. In my third month of academy, I will be told what my division office will be. It could be anywhere in the country. New York, Houston, Detroit, Boise, no city is ruled out.

Upon academy graduation,  I would then report to the field office of their choosing and start my life there. As exciting as the job seems, I find myself wondering if it is really the best choice for me and Girl Ninja. What if they station us somewhere we don’t want to live? The agency has made it very clear; you go where they tell you and we shouldn’t expect to be able to transfer for at least five years.

Some of you are probably thinking, “Why don’t you just quit if you don’t like the city they locate you to?” I’ll tell you why I couldn’t just quit. I don’t want to be unemployed! If Girl Ninja and I decide to pursue this dream job, we have to accept the fact we might be relocated to a part of the United States we don’t want to live in. I just don’t know if Girl Ninja and I are as flexible as the position may require us to be.

To make our life even more exponentially confusing, I received an email from my current employer indicating there was an opening in the Seattle field office and my agency was looking for anyone that wanted to transfer. Our DREAM city is Seattle. That’s where we both grew up and that’s where our parents live.

I love my job, I work from home, and I make a decent salary. That said, there is little room for upward movement in my current agency. I can’t imagine I’ll still be doing this five years from now.

So here is our dilemma. Do we take a huge risk and accept the dream job, not knowing if we will like the city we are located to, or even if I really would like the work? Or do we take the opportunity to transfer to Seattle (our dream location) with my current position.

There is something enticing about going on an adventure together. We will never be as flexible as we are now (not having kids or a mortgage payment). If the dream job is as COOL as it sounds, I’d way rather do that for the rest of my life, than what I currently do. Heck, there is even a small chance dream job would locate me to Seattle. But what if the dream job isn’t anywhere near as sweet as it appears? What if we live in Houston (no offense to those in Houston, but 100+ temps and 99% humidity does not appeal to me in the slightest)?

Seattle is the safe choice. I know I already like my job. We know we love the city. And we know we will be happy there.

Do we take a risk, or play it safe? We have about 10 days to make our decision!

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  1. Seattle will still be there in 5 years (hopefully), but the flexibility to try out your dream is ticking and will be gone once Baby Ninja comes along. If you don’t see yourself in your current position in 5 years, that means you either see yourself in Seattle with a new job or where ever you can find a job, maybe even the same place this new agency sticks you. You can always try out the new potentially crappy city for a year or 2 then start looking in Seattle for a new position, maybe the economy will even improve by then.

    • She’s a teacher so she will be looking to get certified and in the classroom ASAP as soon as we know where we will be living. She could be unemployed for a few months. And the dream job would be an initial pay cut for about 1.5 years. If they stationed us in NYC, we would be screwed cause I wouldn’t make enough to support us. If they locate us in Omaha, we should be fine. Definitely makes things complicated.

      • “If they stationed us in NYC, we would be screwed cause I wouldn’t make enough to support us.”

        I honestly don’t see why you’re taking this for granted, even though you sometimes hear that you can’t live in NYC for under seven figures. That’s nonsense. But of course, you don’t even know if you’ll be in NYC, SF, DC, or one of the more expensive cities.

  2. duh! Take the adventure! Like you said, you will never be as flexible as you are now AND you don’t want to do your current job in the future anyways…not even in Seattle. Take the adventure! Sure, you might be placed in some stupid city you don’t like but you know what…you’ll be together and doing what you always wanted to do! Awesome in my book.

  3. Wow! What a wonderful dilemma, seriously both have obvious perks. The adventurous side of me says to go with the opportunity for dream job now while you are without kids and mortgage (they really do tie you down, but in an amazing way). The safe, secure, family side of me says jump on the next moving truck to Seattle. Now that we have 3 kids, I would give anything to live in the same state as my family.
    If I had to decide, I’d go with dream job. Since you have already voiced that you plan on being the bread winner when babies come along, it is really important that you are happy in your position while providing for your family. My husband loves his job and that is literally the biggest factor keeping us here. We are hopeful that when the MBA is done, he will find work in SoCal.
    Best of luck in your decision!

  4. That job sounds too dangerous. I vote for Seattle. Money is not everything. The way you manage your money you should have no problem succeeding in Seattle. Good luck in your decision. Did you make up that soap opera character? Pretty awesome!

  5. I had the same thing a while back after college. I applied for a job and when the whole process was done I was told where I would end up.
    It was Seattle, at that point in time for me a city I had no interest in living and probably the farthest place away from home possible. In the end, it ended up to be one of the best experiences ever. Seattle was amazing and fun to live in and I met some wonderful people during that time.

  6. Take the risk! This is once in a lifetime, with perfect circumstances! You can change your mind in 10 years if you don’t like it and still not even be 40, but you can’t get this opportunity again, I’d imagine. Good luck with the decision!

  7. take the dream job, now while you are both young and don’t have kids, you are young enough to change careers a couple of times, and once you have kids you just won’t have near the freedom you have now. Just do it! Good Luck!

  8. Which one of your priorities (dream job vs. living in Seattle) weighs more?

    My family has started the BIG move from New Zealand to Portland, Oregon. We have a 3 year old kid who we had moved to another country (where my parents live) temporarily to ensure a stable environment for him while we go full-on transition with the big move. My husband grew up in Portland and REALLY wanted to go back home. He narrowed his job search to the Portland area and luckily landed a job there. We got lucky. It’s not his dream job but he believes he will find one, he just needs to get to Portland first for his mental health. 🙂 But, it means that I’m going to be jobless for a while until I find my next one in Portland. Some things need to take a back seat for now, but we believe it will all work out. Of course, the kid will be with us soon.

    I’m pretty sure this dilemma will be one of the things you’ll punch soon. 🙂

  9. I’ve given up jobs before that became available again later. I’d probably do the tougher to get into one first. I think it’ll be easier to go from dream job to seattle vs seattle to dream job if you decide you made the wrong decision. And who knows, you might end up in Hawaii or something.

  10. Well I guess I’ll go against the grain a bit with my answer. I like the idea of the dream job, but I’ll point out a few realistic things too.
    That dream job, guaranteed, will not be as cool as you think it will. I’m not saying you won’t enjoy, I am sure you will, but I am pretty certain I can guess what it is, and I have a similar position, although in Canada not the States, and those types of jobs are not like they are on TV. They are usually 1% that fun, cool stuff, and 99% paperwork. Trust me, no other job in the world involves as much paperwork. But the 1% times do make it worth it.
    Do you know what kind of odds you have to get placed in certin cities. Is it very possibly to get NYC for example, where you know your pay would not support you? I don’t know if I would want to take a job where I risk that.

  11. My vote is for the dream job; there’s something to be said about you and Girl Ninja sharing this adventure of a lifetime before the mortgage and Baby Ninjas come along. You’ve proven you know how to manage your finances; I don’t think you and Girl Ninja will have any issues in that area, even with a pay cut for 18 months. What Hubby and I wouldn’t give to do something we REALLY love for a living! We have a mortgage, but no Baby D’s, and we would relocate in a heartbeat if an awesome opportunity came along. Can’t wait to hear your decision! Remember. Girl Ninja does have a say; you two will do what’s best for you, I’m sure!

  12. If you didn’t take the Seattle job, what would you miss out on?

    If you didn’t take the anywhere-but-here job, what would you miss out on?

    Which one of those is easier to get back after your five-year commitment?

    Good luck!!

  13. Adventure! There are so many possibilities and you won’t even imagine some until you try. Plus, the USG takes care of us. Especially when you move abroad…..

  14. I think you already know what to do. Go with your gut, right?
    Is it the DEA? 🙂
    Can you even blog anymore if you get this job?
    I vote for Dream Job.

  15. Dream job!

    Yes, you may end up somewhere you don’t like, but on the other hand you may end up somewhere fabulous and new! If you don’t take the dream job, you will spend time in the future asking ‘Why not?’.

    If you take the new position and are stationed/posted at the furthest reaches of the country, although not ideal, you will still be able to contact/visit your family. It’s not as if they will be lost to you.

    If the job doesn’t interest you after you are into it (and have given it a fair trial), then you look for another opportunity. New opportunities do present themselves – maybe not the day you want them, but eventually they do.

    PS I know of what I speak. I moved across the country (without a significant other), alone to a place I’d never heard of let alone visited. Hated year 1, stayed through year 2, and by year 3 loved my new life. I left 20 years later – to do the same thing all over again. I am now in year 3 of my latest move….

  16. I say take the dream job. And don’t assume you won’t like cities/areas of the country you haven’t thought about moving to before. Seattle will always be there.

  17. I agree with the line of thinking that the dream job is probably not going to be nearly as cool as you are thinking right now. Still, most people do not make it this far in the selection process so I do think that doors are being opened for you in that area.

    What does Girl Ninja think about this whole thing?

  18. “there is little room for upward movement in my current agency. I can’t imagine I’ll still be doing this five years from now.”

    There’s your answer right there. Why trade your dream for what will be only a few years in Seattle? This agency has a field office in Seattle. Once you pay your dues, you’ll be able to apply for open positions there. I work for the federal government too and trust me, positions will open up. And then you can have your cake and eat it, too. I think you’d really regret passing up this opportunity.

  19. You said it yourself– you don’t see yourself in your current job five years from now. If you go to Seattle, how many other options are you going to have that are even half as exciting as your current job prospect? The unknowing is difficult but that’s all part of the adventure. You don’t have to worry about kids growing up in your ideal environment, and once it is time to have Little Ninjas you can reassess. For now, go for it!

  20. Look at the BIG Picture! Breathe, pray, and get feedback. But if it were me, I’d move to SEATTLE! You could end up in Houston or who knows. Your job is only a portion of your life. Seattle you have friends and family which is much bigger than a job, especially if you have children. I took the ‘adventerous travel route’ and regret leaving the place I love for a career. 15 years later I haven’t made it back and moving with kids is tough (because not moving is best for them). Even if your current job is ‘dead-end’ in 5years I have two questions for you, NINJA
    1. Are you telling me with all your talents in a city the size of Seattle you couldn’t find another great job in the next five years there?
    2. What is YOUR goal? Many a lessor man fell off the career ladder assuming higher is better. If you like what you are doing, SO WHAT if you aren’t earning as much. You’ll be spending more if you are promoted to a place of misery! You can live on less when you are happy and balanced and save more $$$ at your current salary.
    Good luck, and keep us posted!

  21. If the dream job is a federal paycheck, I would take the federal paycheck and risk it all. Government paycheck trumps all. So what if you have to take a paycut? you are smart with your money, you’ll deal. government opportunity will lead to bigger things

  22. You’re young! You have many years to make it to your dream city… Seattle. Take risks now while you are childless and full of adventure! Enjoy! I vote for RISK. As long as Girl Ninja is along for the ride. You don’t want to spend your old age on what ifs.
    Do this exercise: Imagine you and Girl Ninja are sitting in a rocking chair in Seattle in your 80’s… would not taking this risk be one of the life regrets you talk to her about then?

  23. You should always strive for your dreams and do what you need to do to follow them. When we aren’t true to ourselves we almost always find ourselves with regrets. There will always be somewhere to live and settle down in but you may not always have the opportunity where you can do what you love. I say go for the job. Wishing you the best of luck.

  24. Ninja,
    I think you’re being a bit biased towards what you know at this point. While I understand that you and girl ninja want to be around your friends (in san deezy) or around your family (in seattle) there are more than just two cities in the country. You may get stuck in some city that you have never been to, know nothing about, and think you’ll hate. I think that if you honestly take the dream job and they put you in a place where you’ve never considered, you could end up finding out a lot about yourself. You can learn to like new expierences and things about the city that you never would have otherwize.
    As for GN – she’s a teacher, and I’m assuming she’s certified in CA. Most states will let you teach right after you move, pending you’ve taught in another state and apply for a liscense in that state. They may stick you with a mentor teacher or something like that for a year, but it usually works out fine.
    Just like you said, you could be put in seattle anyway, making this point moot.
    It seems like you’re doing quite a bit of nay-saying and trying to talk yourself out of this opportunity – How come?

  25. I vote take the job, you seem like a very optimistic person and I think you and wife ninja would be able to make the best out of any possibly location.

    I’ve lived in several cities; most of them I wouldn’t have chosen if it were up to me, but if you’re adventurous and open minded what seems like a crappy place could turn out to be something very exciting and special (Pittsburgh comes to mind here especially).

    There’s always time to return to Seattle later, you’ve already had that experience, go for it.
    Good luck to you guys no matter what you decide.

  26. Do you want to be the guy who had a stable job his whole life in Seattle or the guy who took down bad guys?

    Either way is pretty good, but it’s up to you.

    I feel like location shouldn’t matter very much. You seem to be a happy person, and I’m sure you can be happy anywhere if you choose to be happy.

  27. Take the risk. Like someone said Seattle will be there in 5 yrs. Plus obviously your current job likes you. If Dream Job turns out to be not so dreamy you can always go back. Once a Fed…(more often than not) always a Fed…at least in hiring.

    Take the chance now and then in 5 yrs you’ll have a better outlook and idea of what course to follow/stay with. Good luck and congrats on both!!!

  28. I think both options are good choices, but unless the “dream job” involves a high likelihood of danger to life or limb, I’d go with that one if I were you. It’s not as if you’re transferring to Madagascar; you can always visit Seattle.

  29. Take the risk… it doesn’t matter where you are, as long as you are together you will make it work. This opportunity probably won’t come again… but there still might be other opportunities to go to Seattle in the future.

  30. Haven’t read the responses, but go with Dream Job — it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and while five years seems like forever, it’s really just a flash in the pan compared to the whole trajectory of your life. If you go to Seattle, you’ll wonder “what if” for a long, long time. If you take your Dream Job, you’ll know the answer, and you may wind up with a sweet placement and an awesome life. Punch fear in the face, and be adventurous!

  31. If you were single, I would say go with the dream job. But because you’re married and have someone to consider besides yourself… I don’t know. I would take Seattle. You know you’ll love living in Seattle, even if the work isn’t ideal. Work is just 8 hours of the day. You’re at home far more than you’re at work (especially right now since you work from home, haha). Even if the dream job IS as amazing as it sounds, if both you and Girl Ninja hate the town you’re living in, the work is not going to make up for the sucky location.

    But it sounds like you’re already leaning toward the dream job… Can’t wait to hear what you both decide!

  32. I say take the risk and pursue the dream job. I have a major case of wanderlust and so I tend to move around a bit more than most. What I can say is that living in a less than perfect location, but having your spouse and a job you enjoy is much better than living in a place you like, but hating your job. I’ve lived both scenarios and nothing about the nice location was enough to override the abject misery of a horrible job. Now you are lucky that neither job is terrible, but your current job is a dead end and you honestly have no idea where the new job will place you, it could place you in Seattle. Plus, it has more opportunities for advancement as well as the possibility of transferring to Seattle if you don’t end up there the first time around.

    For me, being married to a pilot means that I don’t know where I will end up when my husband switches airlines either. We were extremely lucky/blessed that when he joined this airline, we could have ended up in NYC on a salary far smaller than what you will be getting, but instead we got placed exactly where we wanted to be. You never know how placements will shake out.

    I also agree with the sentiment that you never know, you just might like where you end up.

  33. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Ninja don’t do it. Stay with your current job. I just can’t imagine you living in a place like Detroit or SIMILAR. I’m from Detroit. What I know of you and GN suggests that you would be miserable. If GN was a teacher in any inner-city, she would come home depressed everyday after looking into the eyes of (likely) under-privileged children. Ain’t nothing worse than a depressed wife. Well, except under-privileged children- that’s worse. But a depressed wife is a close second.

  34. It’s your life, so of course you should make your decision with your wife. But, since you are asking….I would say from my life experience thus far—GO FOR IT!!! Try something new. You and your wife both seem resourceful and if you hated the experience, you could work your way through it and eventually end up in Seattle. You might as well try a different life path why you have the opportunity. Assuming your wife is up for the adventure 🙂 I have changed cities twice in my life. The first move I LOVED and the second one I regretted moving. So I moved back. In retrospect, it was a great experience and I’m glad I took the chance.

  35. I agree with Jeff (sustainable living).

    Where they put you may be somewhere you never thought you’d live – but could be the most amazing place for you. I am a SD girl and wanted to stay there forever. Kansas was on my list of ‘do not want’ to live states. Now that I’m here I love more than I could have possibly imagined (even more than SD). Don’t poo poo a place just cause you’ve never been there.

    Seattle will be there. Your ability to do this won’t always be. You’ll have baby ninjas and mortgages and a wife who may not be as game for adventure as she is now. I’m afraid if you don’t take this you never will and you’ll always wonder “what if?” This truly is the only point in your life you can make a risk like this and lose nothing. So stop talking yourself out of it and just do it already!

  36. All I can say is… how do you know you don’t want to live in a place if you’ve never lived there before? No matter where the dream job took you, you’d have a new area to explore, new friends to make, new restaurants to try… Places like Omaha sound kind of sucky, but think about the HUGE house you could buy there. Or if you ended up in NYC, you could always live in a more suburban area and you’d probably get locality pay. You’re young and you have plenty of time to move to Seattle in the future… besides, once you move there you’ll probably be there for the long haul. This is your opportunity to have a big adventure before you settle down for good. If you don’t go for the dream job, you’ll probably spend the rest of your life wondering about what you might have missed out on.

    (Not to mention… once you work for the federal government, it’s pretty easy to move around. If you hate the dream job, I’m sure you could just reapply for your old job in the Seattle office and you’d be able to get back in.)

  37. Looks like you are getting slanted feedback my friend. It’s about 10 to 1 take the dream job. You’ll be happy either way. Decisions are great. A life w/ decisions like this is exciting.

    My only request of you, is that no matter what you pick: Seattle with friends and family or offing criminal lords, do not look back or regret your decision. “What if” is a trick to make you unhappy with what you have and what you’ve been given. The grass will always be greener, but that doesn’t mean that the grass on your side can’t be softer w/ less bugs.

    You’ll do great my man. I have complete faith that you’ll be led.

    Go get ’em.

  38. Follow your dream! Time and life moves by very quickly, you don’t want to regret your decision. You have been working 2 years to achieve this dream career. I was in your position 25 years ago although different circumstances, similar decision. I have no regrets!

  39. My husband and I already put a few years of our life on hold so he could go back to school and pursue his dream job. I don’t mind because we are young with no kids. Some of his classmates weren’t so lucky and it was very very difficult.

    You have the ability to do it now so go for it! Take a risk. I wish I could be so bold as some of my friends who are moving to other countries for a year and there is nothing wrong with trying out another area of the country. In my husbands field we could also end up any where in the country and we have already decided we would do our dues for the 2-3 years (after doing our dues and moving away from school for two years for grad school) and then he would have enough clout to go someplace we wanted to live, but might as well enjoy the adventure now. And Ninjia Girl has the advantage of being a teacher, she can work anywhere. I do not and it sucks looking for a job every time we move, but I support my husband and I’m excited for his career field.

  40. Go with your Dream Job Ninja! You may end up loving the city you end up in. I took the risk too and ended up in NJ 2 years ago after living my entire life in TX. I love it up here and chose to stay another year, despite the snow and higher expenses. I joined local groups to meet new people. My friend moved to Detroit, did the same thing, and loved it too. Every city has great people and fun things to do if you keep an open mind. Besides, you’ll probably have readers from wherever the two of you end up that will give you insight on the city.

    5-10 years down the road, if you can’t get your Dream Job to relocate you to Seattle, then you will still have a very selective job on your resume that will make you an even better candidate for any job you want. Better experience = better resume = better job opportunities.

  41. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by retirebyforty, Tiny_TCrss4home. Tiny_TCrss4home said: Reading: Real life soap opera: I seriously feel like my life is a soap opera right now. Minus all the infidelit… […]

  42. There is no debate. Guns and bad guys win everytime!!! Take the adventure while you’re still young and able to. You don’t want to look back and say, “I wish I had done it”. Regrets are a hard thing to live with. If you end up in a tiny, roach filled apartment in NYC, look at it as a test on your emotions. If you end up in sweltering 100+ degree heat in Dallas, think of it as a physical test.

    No matter what, if you’re with Girl Ninja, you guys will be just fine. John Wayne never had to look back and think, “I wish I had stayed with the government desk job. That security is sure appealing.”

  43. I know a lot of people say “do what you love”, but here is my advice for you, do what you are. You should take the job which you will most likely to succeed based on your strengths. From my experience many people do not know what their “dream job” is really about until they get into it, and they realize that it is completely different from what they expected. What makes our lives whole are the relationships we have not the actual work we do. You should really consider Girl Ninja’s feelings as well. Which choice with enhance the relationship you have with her, that’s the one you should take.

  44. If you may end up quitting either job (location or interest), go for the one you truly want to do. If it fails, you’re just stuck in a place you don’t care for looking for a job in Seattle (or contacting your old boss). 🙂

  45. For me, a job that’s more or less a dead end with little opportunity for advancement sounds like pure hell no matter what city it’s in. So I’d pursue the dream job. There’s always a certain amount of risk with any kind of change. I still think that beats stagnation.

  46. Both prospects are a great opportunity…from a purely momninja stance go SEATTLE. From a been there done that stance I would say take the other opportunity. I followed dad ninja to 3 states in 14 months and do not regret it. We got to try another part of the country and you turned out ok so did not do too much damage to you.

    Whatever you pick we have your back!

  47. I know its cliche but I always make a list of pros and cons. If I feel the benefits out weigh the risks then I take a chance.

  48. RISK! One day you’ll get back to Seattle – you have like 28 years until retirement, that’s practically forever! I truly believe that life works out. I hope you get this job, sounds awesome. Maybe wouldn’t be able to keep blog due to secrecy, etc.? You know what awaits in Seattle, you don’t know what awaits elsewhere. And being stationed in BFE is a good learning experience – you learn about yourselves, find new hobbies, and at worst it’s typically only for a few years, so there is an end in sight! Not to mention, when people dislike BFE, they usually miss the high entertainment or dislike doing stuff outdoors (though some dislike attitudes of different regions of the USA). You & GN sound like you like the outdoors, and you sound like well-adjusted folks, so it’ll likely work out.

  49. Depends on how much you enjoy risk. And don’t forget to factor in how GN likes taking risks.
    Me? I’d take the safe choice – the job in Seatle. There’s NOTHING like being close to family, especially when you begin your own little family. I know your parents are still pretty young, but it’s also nice to be close to parents when they age.
    If you’re more adventurous, you might not be happy with the safe option. You might NEED the adventurous option to keep your life interesting and enjoyable. There’s always the option of getting a job in Seatle down the road, say 7-10 years from now.

  50. My BF’s brother and wife were in a similar position. Bro was in an awesome highpaying job in the gal’s hometown. They were comfortable and they were happy. Guy got the dream job (bad guys, undercover work, etc) and LOVES it. They live in New Orleans but after the 3rd year they might move to Hawaii. He took a paycut but he would have never felt the same way about his job now with his old IT job.

  51. What if one of the bad guys shoots you in the face? (seriously)

    Are you sure the job pays well enough to risk that?

    • “What if one of the bad guys shoots you in the face?”

      Then I suppose the blog would have to be renamed, “Shoot Ninja in the Face!”

  52. How does GN feel about all of this? That’s an important question that I think needs to be answered a bit more in detail.

    Honestly, I would probably take the safe path, because I’m naturally conservative. But, I (Along with the rest of your blog audience) get to live vicariously through you, so I vote for the more exciting option: The F…um….”dream job.” 😉

    More seriously, I don’t think you can really lose with either choice — so stop freaking out about it! You’re in a win-win situation. Pray, talk with GN, and make a decision, but don’t worry about it. No matter what, you can’t screw this up. To me, at least, that would be a comforting thought.

  53. Which one are you more likely to regret not doing? I find I regret the opportunities that I didn’t pursue more than the ones I did, regardless of how they turned out. Several years from now, which regret would be easier to take: “I wonder what would have happened if I took the dream job” or “I wish I was in Seattle”? Seattle will always be there, the job won’t be. One opportunity will go away forever if you don’t take it, the other will still be available, just maybe in a different form.

  54. […] Ninja weighs up a difficult decision: dream city, or dream job, pay cut, and a city […]

  55. I vote for adventure! You’re right – there will never be another time in your life (until you’re retired) to pick up and just give a new location a chance. There’s also something to be said for being in a city where you have no one else to depend on but each other. It’s such a great marriage builder, and one I recommend to EVERY newly married couple. Garry and I moved to Miami the day after we got married, and we lived there for four years (until Ashley was 8 months old). We had good times and bad times, but we had those times together, and all we had was each other to get through them. We grew up and learned SO much. But mostly we learned that we only had each other to depend on – no running to mama when things got tough!! Seattle will always be there, and will make more sense to be when you have kids. But now’s the time to take the chance, relocate to a place unknown, give your hearts and souls to immersing yourselves in the culture of that new place, learn new things. go new places, and most of all – do it together and grow. Being near mom and dad, brothers, sisters and friends is all good – but it’s so easy, when things get tough, to go where it’s familiar. If you’re away from those familiar to you, you have no choice but to figure it out for yourselves, together. Seriously, you and Girl Ninja will be so glad you did – you’ll learn to appreciate each other more, you’ll learn to appreciate home more, and you’ll have life experiences that you might not get to have if you don’t take the chance. I see the dilemma that you’re feeling . . . pray about it, and do what you feel the Lord is leading you to do (but I hope He’s leading you to take a chance!) Good luck on your Physical Exam!! Can’t wait to hear what you decide to do!!

  56. Okay, first off this is the dumbest question you’ve asked on your blog before, and I love your blog and follow fairly religiously. The answer is simple: Take the risk. Not taking the risk is like not putting money into your IRA because you can’t predict what the market is going to do. Or, not choosing to marry Girl Ninja because there’s a possibility it might not work. Yes, life comes with risks. Now man up and go for the dream job. You’re at a dead-end job right now anyhow and with your level of intelligence and drive, you’ll be bored and looking for something new in two years, all the while kicking yourself for not following through with your dream job in the first place.

  57. Take the dream job. It sounds like only downside is where you might be located. You are newlyweds! You will be with each and have a new area of the country to explore. Six months to find the best walk on the weekends or where to window shop. A year to decide what coffee shop is best. Living in a new place is fun no matter what the place is. And you will have each other – the first few years of marriage you don’t need to live in a fabulous place. 5 years in a possible crappy place doing the dream job is way better than living in seattle doing a job you can’t see yourself forever in. It will be one of those decisions you will always regret if you don’t try. You are just a little scared. The academy, a new job and a lot of responsibilities, a new place, primary breadwinner. That is a lot of different ways to test yourself and maybe fail. And that is scary. Which choice makes you a little sick to your stomach when you think about it. That is the one to take. Sounds weird but the stomach test really works.

  58. Yikes! A room full of GOOD CHOICES you have, so congats!

    I will tell you this, as an old man now….. your DREAM CITY will always be there sans a natural disaster. Your DREAM JOB may not be, not by a long shot.

    Go after your DREAM JOB and don’t look back. You can always take a vacation to your dream city.

    Take my advice. Trust me on this one. You will regret not going after what you really want to do.

    Best, Sam

  59. Hi! I’m a brand-new reader (loving your blog already!), so I don’t know a ton about your background…

    …however, if my husband and I had your dilemma, he’d vote for the unknown adventure, and I’d want to take the safe, comfy route. And I’d let him win. 🙂

    Really, it sounds like either decision will bring you both happy opportunities. Best of luck to you and Girl Ninja!

  60. […] from PunchDebtintheFace, needs help choosing between a safe work option he’d love, or a riskier adventure he may love or hate. I think if I were in his situation I’d go for the safe route, but there are so many factors […]

  61. Since I know you are a Christian – I will say this. You and Girl Ninja need to pray about this decision. God puts dreams in your heart for a reason. Ten + years ago, after an unexpected divorce, I followed my dreams to graduate school and assumed with the degree I was seeking, I would end up in the non-profit world where I would never make any money but would have a fulfilling job. The degree led me to a job and a City I never expected (or had ever visited). I loved the City but it was well away from friends and family. I fell in love with a wonderful man and am now in my dream job making a very decent salary with a great group of friends, a loving extended family, and a church we love. Sometimes following your dreams leads you down a path that God has planned for you and can give you more than you ever expected rather than following the safety of what you already know.

    • What a great testimony. Sometimes in the process of making these decisions, its nice to hear stories like this to know that God is with us, guiding us.

  62. in my experience, the choice that seems the safest is often the one that ends up being the most unsatisfying. all the good things in life involve taking chances… heck, if marriage isn’t proof of that, i don’t know what is. if the job sucks, you leave it, rejoice that you have the financial security to deal with temporary unemployment, and be confident in yourself and your wife’s ability to become employed once more. if GN is willing to come with you, you should go.

    i live my life by two quotes, and the one that applies here is from helen keller: “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”

  63. Take the risk, you could end up somewhere you never considered and actually LOVE it! Or somewhere you think you won’t like and do, if you stay open. Like others have said – Seattle will STILL be there in 5 years and you won’t have this flexibility in your life again. Plus, that dream job is a DREAM job and you should never, ever turn down an opportunity like that. I can guarantee you’ll always regret not taking that leap. (I’m going through a similar situation and trying to move to NYC, which is expensive but not as bad as you think – basically rent and then entertainment/dining out IF you choose to do that on a consistent basis!) Good luck! 🙂

  64. Take the dream job, and give it a couple years. If you don’t like it then, pack your things up and hit the road to a new location. What do you have to lose?!

  65. Ninja,
    You (and by You I mean you and Girl Ninja) are living in Beautiful San Diego. While not Seattle, I’m guessing that San Diego is approximately 93-95% of what you would look for from Seattle.

    Based on my own experience, the main question you have to ask yourself is if you have a 5 year commitment to this dream job and your new location (whatever it may be including, but not limited to: Kansas City, Huntsville Alabama, Amarillo Texas, Pueblo Colorado, or Casper Wyoming, etc) would Girl Ninja be happy there 3-4 years into your assignment?

    Another way to think about this, what if Girl Ninja’s Dream Job were available, but she had to commit to moving to somewhere not of her choosing within CONUS? Would you be willing to make the same commitment to her that you are expecting of Girl Ninja by putting your name forward for your dream job?

    To take it a step further, since she’s a teacher. What if she found her “dream job” teaching in Seattle? Would you be open to Girl Ninja moving to Seattle and you attempting to find a job there with her even if it wasn’t your ideal job? That’s basically what you’re asking of her by taking your dream job and asking her to roll the dice. In the Seattle roll reversal, she gets her dream job and you both wind up in your dream city. The only downside is you don’t get your dream job (for now).

    Lecture time: You both are young. What you consider to be your dream job now may not be your dream job or career path 10 years from now. You need to be clear in what you value. If it were me, Girl Ninja is #1. #2 is tricky, but I think it can be best summed up as “the combination of where you both live and the additive effect of how happy you each are doing what you’re doing”. If I were to write an equation it might look like this —> AVG of (Girl Ninja Happiness with City + Ninja Happiness with City) + Girl Ninja Happiness with job/career + Ninja Happiness with job/career.

    Long story short, it doesn’t do either of you any good if she’s miserable in the new city AND isn’t happy with her job (and that is a real possibility under the scenario you described for you to get your “dream” job).

    Put another way, if she’s not happy, you’re not happy.

    Hope that helps!

  66. Take a risk my friend! If your dream job doesn’t work out in the long term, you can always move back to your dream city. But give it a try and take a risk!

  67. Seattle will always be there. The opportunity to work in your dream position may not. And, it seems like you’ve been working really hard towards this opportunity. I’m sure that where ever you are stationed, you and Ninja Girl can make the best of it (there’s always SOMETHING to like about a city.) If you don’t take the dream job now, you may regret it later always thinking, “What if…”

  68. Agree with Little House – unless you two want to settle down RIGHT NOW and have kids and buy a home and all that sort of stuff, then you may regret not taking this dream job path. My personal opinion: I vote for dream job. But this is obviously a relationship decision as much as a financial and career decision, and I’m not Girl Ninja. So…look forward to hearing what you two decide to do!

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