In general, I am not a reckless person.
When people talk about the crazystupid things they did as teenagers, I usually cannot relate. I’m a play-it-safer. In general.
I can think of two things I’ve done in my life that were probably stupid, even though both of them worked out. One I’m not allowed to tell you about because it happened during the JAB Florida Trip of 2007 (a) the third best trip I’ve ever been on and b) OMG we’re old that was in 2007), but the other…the other I can tell you about.
I was actually reminded of this bit of recklessness by my friend Michelle’s blog post that she recently wrote about quitting a job she had just accepted because she realized she would hate it (even though she could really use the money right now).
When I first moved to New York over two years ago, I had an internship that paid me a solid $20 a day.
I think you probably read that over kind of quickly, so I’m going to need you to take a second to really think about what I’m saying. I was living in New York City. And my only income was $20 a DAY. You probably spent more than $20 on your last dinner out. You probably spent more than $20 on the last T-shirt you bought.
Plus I was only working four days a week, so I was pulling in $80 a week, about $320 a month.
I don’t really want to get in to what I was spending per month on rent and food, but suffice to say it was more than that. Thank goodness I got hired when I did, because my entire savings account was steadily depleted, including the money I got when my parents finally sold my car. Times they were a-dire, folks.
However, I wasn’t totally insane. I fully intended on finding other employment for that extra week day and the weekend. Enter me applying at a shoe store that was actually right next to my internship.
And wouldn’t you know it, they actually hired me. And I actually went to my training day. And then I never went back ever again.
I know what you’re thinking:
Whoa, whoa, WHOA! Hold up a second. You’re telling me you were suddenly gainfully employed, and then you just flaked?
Well…yes. Allow me to explain.
You know that guy I talk about a lot? The one who asked me to marry him and with whom I live happily every day? Well, I had really started to get to know him a couple of weeks before I was offered the job (though we weren’t officially dating yet). And the only time I could ever see him was on weekends when I made the jaunt out to Long Island.
So when they told me on my training day that they wanted me to work that Sunday, and I had already been invited out to the Island for a party by the fella in question, well, I found myself with a little dilemma.
I knew what I wanted to do. I also knew what I probably should do. Incidentally, it was my dad who made the decision for me.
I had called my parents to explain the conundrum and ask their advice. I expected my father, a former lawyer and analytical to a fault, to launch into a speech about work ethic and rational thought processes and the dire straits of my finances, but instead, he got on the phone and said simply, “I think you should go to Long Island.”
It was my turn to start throwing around a “whoa” or two.
So the decision was made. In all fairness, there were other red flags to accepting the shoe job. For one, they had scheduled me on both of the days/times I told them I absolutelypositivelywasnotavailable. Did I really want to make a pattern of that? Plus, the manager was really creepy. So…yeah.
So I went to Long Island. And about a week later, I had myself a boyfriend. And about a year later, a fiance. (I think you see where this is going.)
Am I aware that I’m saying “I chose a boy over a supportive job”? Yes, yes I am. And I’m not making any excuses for that. It was reckless and motivated by emotion and so downright female that my first instinct is to cringe whenever I tell the story.
But you know what? I would have hated that job. And I love what I ended up with instead. Supportive husband>supportive job.
So I like to think that someday if I have a child and they come to me with a moral dilemma where they either need to choose rationality or happiness (provided it’s not too reckless…I’m still planning to be a responsible parent after all), I’ll have the guts to tell them to take the chance. And maybe I’ll even tell them this story. Without any cringing at all.