Recently, I’ve had time to sit here and actively think about things that could potentially be much different with a career change. I spend a lot of time writing about my daydreamings on this subject such as living life as a dirtbag while not being a dirtbag and most recently, living life without a car.

The two pieces are a little conflicting. In one, I’d like to make a nice salary, be able to climb and backpack and do all those dirtbaggy things, but without actually living my life out of a car. In the other, I’m stating how great it would be to actually not even own a car.

I think I’m romanticizing the siutation a little.

Making a career change and being happy all the time and “not caring” about money is probably the most desirable thing in my life right now. Unfortunately, I have always cared about money. Growing up, my family had very little. I chose, at a VERY young age, that I would never want to have such little money when I grew up. I started basing my career decisions on that fact as early as 8th grade. By the time I was off to college, I had made that decision and chosen electrical engineering.

For many reasons, that was the wrong choice. But for one very important reason, it was the right one. Money.

For all the many wrong reasons that make me sit here and daydream of living simply off a modest salary, the one and only “right” reason is the one that often speaks the loudest.

This is very obvious when I contemplate the DRASTIC swing in income of two recently considered positions.

On one hand, the position with the lower income than I currently make is the one that would offer me the chance to follow my passion, live simply, live in the mountains, offer a flexible work schedule, and be a [bigger than now — which is pretty nonexistant] voice in the outdoor industry.

On the other, a recent engineering position I saw also had some positives: it was a small start-up, it was in an industry I am very interested in, and it, too, was located near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

So you see, one offers everything. Everything! Except, the salary. The other, offers hope and a salary. Hope that I’ll re-fall in love with engineering. Hope that I can tolerate working at a small company as opposed to a globo-corp. And hope, can be a very dangerous thing if it doesn’t work out, and I’m right back here in 2 years, contemplating the exact things I am now. Except then, my salary will be even higher and the decision to give it up, that much harder.

Depending on the path chosen, my current salary could potentially swing from minus $25k to plus $25k. A $50k swing is an extremely loud voice, especially to me, someone that has a strong psychological connection to money (right or wrong).

While it’s easy for me to sit here and dream of all the possiblities of the life that makes me happy, it’s not easy to ignore the one that holds me back. I like having newer’ish things. I like being able to go out to eat as many times in a week as I want. I like saving for my retirement. I like knowing I could help my family out if needed. Am I really ready to give that all up? I honestly don’t know, but I definitely dislike not “knowing” what I’m “supposed” to do.

I’m not sure what this post is supposed to accomplish, and I’m not really asking for any advice, but I just felt like I needed to write it. If you’ve got any life experiences you’d like to share, I’d gladly read them.

Thanks for reading.

Don’t Miss Your Chance

I was stuck in Corporate America for 9 years. I was miserable.

Then I took control.

You can too, and it starts right here.