dollars & cents…and ideals & dreams

I learned something about myself today: I have absolutely no problem sneering at the idea of devoting any portion of my life to building material wealth (e.g., choosing a job solely for its financial remuneration). The size of a paycheck has never been my #1 driving force in taking a job–I’ve always taken into consideration how happy I’ll be in the job, and whether or not I’ll be able to effect some small positive change in the lives of others with it. However, when presented with a choice between making a lot of money, or going back to school to pursue my (lowpaying) dream job, I find myself vehemently desiring both!

The perplexing things is that this is a very new feeling for me. As an English major whose dream has always been to teach at a community college, I just never thought I’d have much money, and I was perfectly OK with that. The wunderhusband, being even more extreme, planned to on working overseas in warzones ’til the day he died, with no retirement savings, financial stability, or significant assets. This was before he got married, of course.

Having worked in finance for 3 + years, I’ve seen dozens of real-life, horrifying scenarios in which people have run out of money and are too old/sick/disabled to earn more. It’s heart wrenching. So, I don’t want to work for free and have zero money saved for retirement. I’ve also learned that the wunderhusband and I both have the qualifications and ability to devote several years of our lives to accumulating wealth.

HUH?? When in the world did we BOTH become qualified for high paying jobs??

As I said at the beginning of this post, I’ve always rolled my eyes at the thought of ever spending time doing anything but my dream job…but it was easier to do so when I didn’t see an actual alternative! Now I want to have my dream job AND I don’t want to be broke anymore.

My mind races thru possible scenarios: What if this is an opportunity that I’m not supposed to pass up? Am I stupid/narrow-minded for dropping this opportunity?  Why do I have to choose? Why can’t I have both? How do I know what the right decision is? What if I’m missing a crucial part of the puzzle, and I lock myself out of an opportunity to have both? What in the world is God trying to teach me through this? Why would he present me with such a seemingly cruel choice? Why is this suddenly even a dilemma for me??

I love to learn and grow…but the process hurts so badly, sometimes. My soul feels beaten and weary…yet I have so many blessings! An amazing, resourceful husband, loving friends and family, a beautiful home, transportation, more than adequate food/shelter/etc, and the privilege of being among the top 10% of the world’s population in terms of material wealth and quality of life…just by living here in the USA!

So, why do I want more? And is it bad to want more? And why is this a decision now?

Why did I not desire more before now? Will this desire hinder my reaching my telos? Or will it spur me on, beyond anything I could have imagined? Or is this desire a distraction introduced by lust (that which keeps you from achieving your ultimate purpose in life)? ARGH!

I have faith that prayer and diligence in searching out God’s will shall result in solid, workable answers….in the meantime, here I grow! :)

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