Does what's important to you change your memory?

Russ MillsRight now I feel like I'm on the brink of a huge change in my life. There are a few possible outcomes but what outcome I land on is completely out of my hands. I guess the one option I have is to walk away from the situation, but I feel like it would make me a horrible person for doing such a thing and I would look back on it with a sense of shame and regret. I might be able to influence the outcome somewhat, but it's something that means more if I don't, and I'll know it's right outcome if I let it unfold with as little intervention as possible. I won't be getting into the details of the situation here but this has gotten me thinking about lots of things and asking myself lots of questions.
Have you ever been stuck in a place where you knew your whole life could change and you had no control over it?

Even when I went off to school, got a new job, or bought a house I knew it was my choice going in. Right now, I feel like I don't get to make any choices. I also wonder about the actual importance of this event. Right now it feels like it could possibly be one of the biggest events in my life, but if I look back in 5 or 10 years, will I feel the same about it? In the past I've felt nervous about things like starting new jobs, knowing that I will probably only do that a handful of times in my life so in theory, it should be a marker or a milestone in my own personal time line. I used to think that was a big deal, but I actually just started a new job last month and while I'm still adjusting to it, I look back and think of all the times I started other jobs and now those moments don't seem so important anymore. I wonder if it's because I'm older and I've gone through more. Or maybe it's because I'm starting to know what is important, or that I've re-categorized what is important to me, and that has changed those past events.
I know that to me, a job is just a job. I've never been passionate about my work so it's not important to me. In the past I think that being able to afford to do what I wanted was important, so a job that paid well was indirectly important to me. But now that I have that and I have a large step up on saving towards "not working" or retirement (another goal of mine), something else snuck up on me and became really important in my life. I've realized that this new situation in my life seems to weigh on me in ways I didn't think I was concerned. In ways that I didn't think I would give other things up... Even if I have to give up some other things I once thought were so important. I found something even better that I don't want to lose.
There are a few possible outcomes, all of which effect my life. Some more than others, some of which would suck in the short term but looking back in 5 to 10 years I would probably say, "Yeah, that seemed so big at the time, but looking back it was just another branch my life took." One of the outcomes, touches every aspect of my life and I will have to adapt my life to many new things, and to be honest, that much change scares me. Right now I think that it's the outcome that is the least likely to happen, but I also think I'm ready for it. It's the outcome where if I look back in 5 or 10 years, I think I would still view it as a major event in my life. But I really have no control over it, I just have to let it unfold.
I guess the point I'm trying to get across is that you should know what is important to you. 
For me, early retirement has been all I have thought of for years now. But I found something that is more important to me than that, and now when I look back at what I thought were big events in my life. They don't seem meaningless, but they don't seem as important to me as I once thought they were.
(Image by Russ Mills/Byroglyphics)


  1. Growing up poor I cannot agree with you more on how much things can change, especially around the importance of money. I put school and everything else aside to just make money. By the time I was in my early 20s, I was making more money than my parents, and much more than a lot of people my age. I worked a part-time job and a full-time job to make sure that I had a savings. I wasn't going to be like my parents, I was going to be well-off. Money was my goal because money equaled security. I went to school during this time, but it was always on the back burner and I never really thought about where I wanted to go with it. My only true passion was making I thought. It wasn't until I was fired from a horrible job I worked at for 5 years (after asking for more money-I know, lawsuit!) and coming across a different job that I began to see things differently. I worked at a place that valued me more than I valued myself. My bosses encouraged me to see how good I was at business, not just working hard. I worked there for the next 7 years and loved what I did and loved the support I had. But then I realized something... I was fortunate to have a job I loved and made good money at, but it stopped there. Where was my growth? What else was there besides making money? Didn't I have any other dreams as a kid, before I took on the responsibility of making money? I had only focused on that for so long that I didn't really look at other parts of myself. Besides a money making machine who was great at business, who else was I? I ended up leaving that job and went back to school full time. My goal was to go to one of the top business schools in the nation, even though I was told that I had the business sense already and didn't need a degree (it was that whole "not good enough until I have a degree to prove it" mentality). I did earn my BA (not in business) and later my Masters Degree (not in business either) and now I am in a profession that invigorates me in so many other ways, but doesn't make a lot of money. I was asked to come back to the job I loved and was offered an insane amount of money to run the business, but it isn't about money anymore. My life has so much more meaning in it now, and though the past doesn't seeming meaningless, it's importance lies with where I am today. So I believe that people who come into our lives can be the motivating factor for such changes in what we find important. People whom we look up to and are doing things, people who have passed on reminded us of life's fragility, and people who we have let into our hearts and reminded us that there is a difference between desire and love. People who remind us that money is just a thing, and the real value in life comes from connections and being able to spend that money on things/ people that make us happy.

    1. I'm glad that you seem to have grown so much through the years and found a profession that really stimulates you. In a way, I have a desire to want to work for a cause that I appreciate more than my current job. But my issue is that if I switch to something else I know my pay will decrease significantly.

      Money is a factor in that it will help me buy my freedom faster. But these changes in my life might slow down the pace of which I can afford my freedom. It may only set me back a year or two but who knows, there are other things that are more important for me NOW. I don't know how the next 10 years will be for me, but I don't want to forget about my time now.

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