From the Vault: Staying the Course


In search of light.

A year and a half ago I made the decision to work toward living abroad (read more here). My desire to live in Scandinavia was rooted in the follow:

  • A better work-life harmony
  • The accessibility of traveling and exploring Europe
  • Professional opportunities within HR
  • A chance to challenge myself and grow personally

Today, I am living that vision. Somewhat.

As I write this, it is November 2018 and I am not working. I am six weeks into my new world and I have my first job offer in front of me. And after 51 job applications that haven’t worked out, I finally have something on the table.

The role is exactly what I want: working for a large, international company in HR. I’d have a lot of autonomy and the ability to use my interests and expertise to move the company forward. The team, the salary, and the company all seem great.

But it comes at one heavy price – frequent travel. While I put travel on my list of why I wanted to move to Scandinavia, this isn’t the type of travel I am looking for. This is packing on a Monday and unpacking on a Friday every other week of the year. This is being away from my partner and my newly developed friends. This…isn’t what I wanted.

But this is also exciting. This is a job, something I have been greatly missing since June.  And more than that, it is a job function that I really want. This is security, financial freedom, reduced stress, mental space to focus on things other than finding a job, and a sense of purpose.

This is – what feels like – a big decision.

I can’t help but reflect back on the other parts of my life when I have also had to make what felt like big decisions. There are two specifically:

  1. An internship with Tesla. Over the summer between my first and second year of my MBA, I tried hard to get a summer internship in HR with Tesla. Unfortunately, that wasn’t offered to me. But I was offered a 6-month Fall internship. I had every reason to take the job – an awesome opportunity that I had wanted and worked toward, practically guaranteed post-graduation job placement, high hourly salary, working with a company I valued, living nearer to my parents…the list goes on. But I had one big reason not to – it would put me behind in my MBA. I would no longer graduate on-time, nor with my cohort, and I would be giving up my Fellowship (which paid for my entire second year of my MBA). It was a tough decision, but ultimately an easy one. I needed to stay the course – the one that I had worked hard and sacrificed to be on.
  2. Leaving my job and relationship to move home with my parents. If you have been reading FromBrownEyes since the start (thank you!), then you know all about this. If you are just joining us (welcome!), then read here. Essentially, I had every reason to stay in my relationship, job, and geographic location of Northern California. It was easy, safe, normal, expected, convenient, successful, etc. But again, I had one reason not to stay: I wasn’t happy. And the things that once were important to me lost meaning in that unhappiness.

So many reasons to say yes. One powerful reason to say no. I worked hard to get to the truth of my desires, and I have never once regretted those decisions.

And now, I find myself in somewhat of the same place. 99 parts of my body saying, “Yes. Yes. Yes.” One part screaming, “No!”

During this time, I was reading Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed. In this book, which I highly recommend, Strayed wrote something that touched me in a deep way:

I ask what my motivations are, what my desires are, what my fears are, what I have to lose, and what I have to gain. I move toward the light, even if it’s a hard direction in which to move.

I turned down the job. I moved toward the light.

When have you moved in a hard direction toward the light? Let us know below.


2 thoughts on “From the Vault: Staying the Course

  1. Jeanette

    After graduating from my MBA (like mother, like daughter), I took a job in Indiana. I knew not one person, my sister had recently had a baby, all my family were in LA, there was really no compelling reason to say yes to the offer…except for the fact that it was a chance to live somewhere totally foreign to me, to really stretch out of my comfort zone. It was a tough and easy decision, all at the same time.

    Liked by 1 person

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