To oversimplify the decision that lies in front of me, it is as if I must choose between the paths of a courageous idiot, or that of a wise coward.
Indulge my generalizations for a moment – as I think this dichotomy also applies to America’s political divisions.
On the one hand I have a path of integrity. Of unflinching loyalty to the direct path in pursuit of my values. It would require courage to brave the risks involved with returning to Chicago due to its greater degree of financial uncertainty. Yet the same act of taking this risk also represents ignorance – because all of the information I’ve seen seems to indicate the Texas option would ensure a larger and more stable income.
On the other hand is the path of adaptation in Texas. I would have to compromise a more direct quest for my goal in order to adapt to the realities of financial limits. This would mean shying away from the former Chicago path due to its risks, though it would enable me a greater degree of freedom from money worries.
A book I have been reading lately splits people into 3 categories – dependent, independent and inter-dependent. That last one it considers the most effective, because through working with others we can achieve more than we can alone.
I see American politics as embodying the 2 way split I’ve outlined above – we have Red Republican courageous idiots, and Blue Democrat wise cowards. The right hates what it views as a betrayal of its core character and values. The left hates what it views as ignorance of reality to stay ideologically pure.
The right sees the left as dependent and esteems independence. Whereas the left values inter-dependence and considers the right to be independent to a fault.
Traditionally I have been a left-leaning individual – though I certainly understand where the right comes from. My parents consider it inconsistent that I am somewhat of a socialist yet I am pro-gun. Personally I don’t see any contradiction there.
For a final dissection, I can view each path as one of lightness and one of heaviness respectively. Texas would be the lighter path, with lesser burdens. Chicago would be the path of more immediate responsibility and weight. (Ideas from Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being).
There are intense positives and negatives associated with either decision. I have to choose which pair of blessings and curses seems more appealing.
If science journalism works out well – I have the career I always wanted. If it does not work out – I am in huge debt, with a low salary and a job I did not want.
If IT works out well – I make great money and am financially secure. If it does not – I turned away from the path I was once so sure of for nothing.
This is so difficult! I have about a week to decide and whatever I choose will impact the rest of my life profoundly.