Just the other day on LinkedIn I saw that an old friend had a new freelance role at an agency in New York.
It’s been years and years now since we pored over Harvard scholarship application forms in her room, convinced she was going to become a criminal lawyer down the track. Me, I thought I wanted to go to Columbia like my favourite fictional character, Jessica Darling.
How things change.
Another friend is moving to New York next month and while I’m super excited for her – and envious of all the amazing food she’s going to get to eat all the time – I couldn’t help but feel a bit parochial when we turned to discussing my career and what I want out of the next few years. For the perfect opportunity, I’d be happy to go overseas for a stint (though the headache of having to find a place to live and set up all the elements of a new life is a daunting prospect). But the odds of something like that actually coming to ME is, shall we say, unlikely.
I live a small life, I know. In a small country at the bottom of the world. Expat friends are doing cool things in exciting cities abroad, but of course that comes with a tradeoff – a degree of financial security (because I hang with creatives, not lawyers and bankers).
I also have a good career here – I’ve had the privilege of working for great companies in great roles that I really care about – and it would be tougher to continue that overseas. Big fish, small pond…
This week’s links:
I had to laugh at these 10 tips for Japanese tourists visiting the US
20 Years Hence interviewed me about two of my favourite things in the world: food and travel
Manda reflects on what it was like to lose her father at a young age
Think twice about these things before starting your own business
Whenever I get annoyed about the rain or lack of Mexican food here and ask myself why we don’t live in California already, I manage to stumble across something like this … or Scandal reminds me that politics is influenced by the gun lobby … or I see a LinkedIn blog post that reminds me US employers don’t have to give staff any paid time off. (Also: jobs, family, friends.) America, I know you can do better!
Goddamn, the human spirit is an amazing thing. This powerful story just got nominated for an award, which is how I found out about it. Masterful use of the second person – I hope it wins. (And the PF nerd in me rejoiced in the paragraph that talks about his retirement account, good credit and platinum card.)
Lastly, I just finished a freelance feature on the basics of personal finance, and changed a line in my author bio from ‘believes that money buys happiness’ to the noncontroversial ‘money buys peace of mind’. But I truly believe money DOES buy happiness, for all the reasons Revanche points out. Too many people say they’d rather be poor and in love than rich and alone without actually having experienced it. I’ve been broke and coupled up and it nearly sank the relationship. I haven’t experienced being rich and alone but I suspect I would prefer it (of course, YMMV, depending on your personality and need for security).