Saturday, January 30, 2016

Scared of Turning 30: Part 3

Should I leave Dubuque?

Every few months one of my friends leave, and about once a year it is one of my closer friends. The conversation recently among a few of my friends has been that it may be time to leave. We've been here some time, and while life is good, that's why we are still here, there is more to the world. In fact we all all agree that us being here is a big part of why each one of us have stayed this long.

When I came here in the spring of 2011, I thought that my life would go one way, car, house, wife, stability, etc. I didn't voice it, or even articulate that in my head, and had you asked me I would have said that Everest was a higher priority in the short term than those things, but the way I acted that first year in town was certainly one of looking to settle down. Then those relationships didn't really work out, and I grew caught up in coaching, running, mountain climbing, work and now here I am nearly five years later, living in the same apartment, with nearly the same hobbies, making some more money but not tremendously more, and I've never had an actual promotion. What happened to the time?

It's not that Dubuque is bad, on the contrary, it's pretty awesome. For a runner like myself the Mines of Spain and Heritage trail are great facilities! Part of my wanderlust is that I have been here almost five years, and the longest I have ever lived some place is six years. What is home? I will never spend another night in any of the houses I grew up in. Sometimes I feel like life is a one way street, you get to live it once, no u-turns. Perhaps life is more like a jet plane, no reverse, but you can cover a lot of ground going forward. People put a lot of value into sunk costs, those things they have already put time and effort into, while undervaluing the opportunity cost of not taking new opportunities. Making the decision, by not making a decision to pursue new options, sinks more cost into the current situation, and gives up what opportunity may exist in the new endeavor. It's why I keep climbing mountains, what might happen is well worth the time, money and effort I put into it.

At the moment I am being recruited by a different division in my company for a promotion to move to another state. It is an honor to be recognized as a strong candidate for this position. I've been recruited for promotions in the past, but unfortunately they were not in areas that excited me much. While I am on the topic of career, I have realized that responsibility, and authority, do not directly correlate with pay grade. In general they do, but a grade to two grades often means little in terms of actual authority.

I heard once that if you stay five years you are more likely to stay for a very long time. Strangely I feel like I am making that a reality. Am I committing to Dubuque indefinitely? It feels like if there is a time to move, it might as well be now. I don't know.

I don't know. Those sunk costs are really emotional! And opportunity costs are so intangible, we don't know the future.

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