If this was what I wanted, then why do I feel like crap?

I’ve just made a decision, after agonizing over it for three days.

As I was on the verge of getting a job offer here in Chicago, I got a call at the 11th hour with my old boss to come back and work in my hometown.

Now, both options have significant good points, and significant bad points.

Chicago - good company, good people and a lot more money. This is important because I am stressed over my debt.

But I hate living in Chicago.

Home town - less money, but my friends and family are there. It’s been a very hard last two years here, and I don’t have any illusions that life will be all cotton candy and puppy dogs back at home, either, but having my friends and family around means the world to me. And that will make a big difference.

I’ve regretted coming here ever sense I arrived.

So, anyway, I was all set to go, mentally and emotionally, to be here for at least two more years. But this opportunity back home is a good one that wouldn’t be here two years from now. And two more years in Chicago is about all I could take. (But I’d be out of debt.) So now my life is all turned upside down. And I know I’ll be happier once I get back. I know I’ll start to feel human again once I get back. I know my sense of humor will come back once I get back. (No more wishing the bus would suddenly lose control and veer into the lake on the way to work!)

So, why do I feel like shit???

I don’t know why you feel like shit, but it sounds to me like you made the right decision. As long as you can live on the income in your hometown and eventually get out of debt, the difference in money is just a convenience, nothing more.

Life’s too short to trade happiness for money unless you absolutely have to.

Maybe it’s because the opportunity costs for both choices were so high. If you stayed in Chicago, you’d be giving up the opportunity to go home, where you’re comfortable and where the people who really matter to you are. If you chose to go home, you’d be giving up the peace of mind that comes from paying off your debts and whatever other advantages–status, the availability of cool things in the city–that come with being in Chicago. Whenever you have to make a choice with such high opportunity costs, you’re going to have a sense of loss–which often brings with it some regret–simply because you had to forgo one opportunity to grab onto another.

It might also be that you’d gotten much more used to living in Chicago then you’d realized. What attracted you to Chicago in the first place? Is some of that attraction still there for you, despite the annoyance of everyday living that brought you to consider other options?

Are you afraid that other people in your native burg will view you as a failure for having come back home? I remember having a conversation with a guy from a tiny town in Ohio. He was waxing nostalgic about his hometown, and I asked him if he planned to go back there to live one day. “Heck no!” he said. “Nobody who could make it somewhere bigger, more exciting, and richer would ever go back!”

Because you are worried about your debt.

And maybe there are actually some things about Chicago that you’ll miss

Or possibly you feel kind of like you’re retreating with your tail between your legs–like you went off to the big city and the big city won.

But whatever it is, don’t worry about it. All decisions have gains and losses.

Maybe you are the kind of person that never feels right after making a decision. If that’s so, just recognize that about yourself and realize that you’ll always feel weird after making a big decision.

Yay you! Have a great time in the next phase of your life!

Combine the bolded part and what Giraffe said, and it’s pretty clear you made the right choice for now.

Unless you signed a life-long contract with the boss back home, you can always head to bigger paychecks later. Try to enjoy what you have around you now. It’s better than looking back in 10 years and wondering why you didn’t. And good luck in the new job.

Relief… flooding psyche… feeling… much… better… I knew I could count on you guys. I owe you a beer or the soda of your choice.

I’m gonna print this out and read it over and over the next few weeks.

So, niblet_head, are you going to change your location to “Nebraska” soon? :wink:

Don’t let go of this too soon - it sounds like your subconscious was sending you a strong message. This would be a great opportunity to sit down and have a heart-to-heart with yourself, and ask yourself some good, hard questions. When I do that, I don’t always like the answers, but you know your truth when you admit it to yourself.

Expand, featherlou? I’m not sure the questions I’m supposed to be asking, and that’s what got me here in the first place, I suspect.

(And, yes, Scribble. Expect “changes coming soon!”)

Okay, let’s see, what would I ask myself in a similar situation? Why do I feel bad? Am I overlooking something about this decision? Am I kidding myself about parts of this decision? Am I just feeling a kind of let-down after a big emotional turmoil? If I made the right decision, why don’t I feel relieved and happy? Are neither of these the right decision?

You left your hometown for a reason in the first place; are you maybe looking back at your hometown with rose-coloured glasses on? Maybe going back home just feels like surrender and failure to you. If it does, why is that? Did you accomplish everything you wanted to accomplish in Chicago? Are you leaving too soon?

I’m not saying your decision was right or wrong, but right decisions usually feel pretty good, in my experience. Maybe it is the right decision, but you haven’t realized why it’s right yet.

Does this make any sense at all to you?

There are many possible reasons:

Is the job something you REALLY want to do?

It’s possible that you really don’t feel at home anymore in your home town? Sometimes when you are away from a place for awhile, it’s difficult to re-integrete back with your family and friends like you used to. People go in different directions and it’s not always realistic to expect to pick up where you left off.

There also may be aspects of living in Chicago you miss as well.
It’s kind of like if you graduate college and move back home for awhile. Everything seems exactly the same and yet a little wierd.

Where are you from originally?

Is there any guarantee with either job? Since you can’t be sure of either, I’d go to where you are happy. Your health (emotionally and physically) will probably improve and you’ll be able to make better decisions later because of it.

I know I’ve stayed close to my own home town (a few hours from Omaha) just becuse of familiy and friends and I think that so far it’s been worth it.

Why do you hate Chicago so much?

good luck, no matter what you do–but your vehemence struck me. Sounds more to me like you are unsure of yourself in Chi-town and maybe don’t feel comfortable here.

Just a caution–going home again…it ain’t all that easy. You many find you have changed more than you would like to think.

Guess I’m not much help here(!).

Omaha!!! :smiley:

I think that Scribble’s first post hit it on the head. There are definite opportunity costs in play here. Both are equally good, and where the one was bad, the other was good. So, most of it was a wash. But if I looked deep into my heart and imagined myself here in six months vs. there in six months, I felt happy in the Omaha scenario. I “felt” like crap and like I was just doing my time in the other.

And, I moved to Chicago to see if I would like to do something different for work. Turns out I don’t. (Well, my reaction was “meh”.) I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, so I’m back to square one in that regard. But I moved to Chicago because it was the best city to explore that option (an artistic one) and still be able to easily get back to see my family. So, it’s not like it was my lifelong dream to live in Chicago, or anything.

It has helped alot, as well, to realize that my panic about my debt is self-imposed, really. Yeah, it’s gonna take longer to pay off now, but it’s two years as opposed to one. I don’t know why I put so much pressure on myself sometimes.

And alot of my emotionalness about this has been my fear/dread of disappointing people, of being “bad” for putting my needs first. I’m as shocked as anyone that Really Big City life is not for me. But I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I moved way the hell away from Omaha for many, many years. I thought for sure going back that I would hate it and see it as a failure on my part. But it turned out to be the best thing I ever did. I was able to roll the dice by coming here in the first place because of the love and support of my family (which I was much disconnected from before I moved back home the first time).

Thanks, featherlou. Your post was helpful. And I am feeling much better about it today, and that is all because of all of the responses from you guys.

A wiser man than I said, “you can’t go home again.”
Has lots of meanings, and I have found them all to be true.

Still - wish you all the best and hope it works out for you.

It’s okay to be happy. That seems pretty obvious, but a lot of us spend a lot of our time making ourselves unhappy, and we really don’t need to.

Ain’t that the truth.

I realized this morning on the way to work that I’ve spent many, many years trying to be a type of person that I am not. I think I keep trying to convince myself that I want certain things or a certain lifestyle. But when I look at my behavior and my choices, I don’t spend any time or effort on those things when I have the chance. A lot of it has to do with being made to feel bad for who I was at the formative stages of life and therefore denying my true self and then also feeding in to the media/societal brainwashing we all experience. Certainly, these two years have crystallized in my own mind what I value, and I think that going forward the next stage of my life will be about honoring that.

Ooh, I’m a big one for buyer’s remorse and every other sort of after-the-fact second guessing. It’s annoying!

But I’d say your decision sounds pretty easy, from the outside. Getting out of debt is great, but it really is still only money. Money makes life easier but it never ever makes life worthwhile.

And you’ve put the song “Omaha” in my head. shakes fist

Yeah, insert my standard “not responsible for ear-worms” clause here…