Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Good decisions

When I moved to DC, I thought I'd stay there forever. It was the perfect city for me. (I enumerated all the reasons why I loved it here--in one of the very first posts I ever wrote on this blog.) Everything was right about it for me at the time: I had a network of friends and family (most notably my sister) there; I had a great nonprofit job and, after awhile, the opportunity to move into an even better one (where I still am); it had great public transportation and lots to do; it was lovely and vibrant and just right for someone single and just out of college, and then for a new couple. Moving there was absolutely the right decision. (Plus, you know, I met Torsten while we were both living there, so that was a bonus.)

Moving away from DC was also absolutely the right decision. Denver is perfect for us, long-term. I know I've written about it before; the only thing it lacks is family close by, but our families are good about traveling, and in certain instances (ahem in-laws ahem), it can be nice to have that bit of distance. And everything else about this city is glorious: the size, the weather, the mountains, the atmosphere, the people.

I picked the college I wanted to attend when I was 11 year old. My sister was looking into college applications, and one day I sat down with her giant book of the top 300, or whatever it was, colleges in the country, and read through them and picked the one I wanted to go to. Then when I was in high school and it was time to actually think about colleges, I decided it was dumb to go to a school that I had picked when I was 11. So I picked out a bunch of others to look at instead. But I visited the one that I picked when I was 11, and as soon as I visited, I knew it was the school for me. And I went there. And I was right. I guess sometimes 11 is old enough to make big decisions.

I knew I wanted to marry Torsten the day I met him. He knew it too. I still made him wait nearly a year to propose. Both of those were the right decision too.

It's funny to think about how you got to where you are; some of these decisions were carefully deliberated over and thought through, but others were sort of random. Torsten and I met on Craigslist; the decision to get married was obviously more thorough, but the fact that we even know each other is completely random. In college I originally wanted to move to Chicago, but at the last minute my summer internship there fell through and my sister helped me find a place to live in DC, since she was living there at the time. Otherwise I have no idea if I would have moved there after graduation or not.

Sometimes I think that things have a way of working themselves out, and other times I see people who've endured unspeakable things and then I think that I have just been lucky so far. And not all my decisions have been good, for sure. But the big ones, they definitely have.

What about you? What are some of the best decisions you've ever made? And did you realize at the time what an impact they would have?


  1. I feel like my life's decisions have been very much like yours- I've made good decisions that have led me to favorable outcomes. I have a strong gut instinct that I've learned to trust, and I've been very happy with all of the decisions that have led me to where I am in my life. I'm happier here- so! much! happier!- than I EVER imagined I would be, even in my most idyllic daydreams.

    I think that why David's and my recent Big Decision has thrown me for such a loop. It's been such a HARD decisions, when all I've ever experienced is things working out easily and mostly in my favor. Also? My gut instinct on this one is ALL OVER the place.

    Anyway, it's amazing to me to think about how narrowly I could have missed meeting David-- or any number of other near-misses-- that would make my current life so very different.

  2. Oh! And the one that really gets me? Conception! If we'd had sex 10 minutes or 12 hours or 1 day sooner or later than we did, we wouldn't have the children we have now. Would we even have twins? Would we have three girls? WHO would have come to us, if conception didn't happen at the moments that it did???

    Blows my mind!

  3. While I'm more the sort of person who likes to lament past decisions, especially at four a.m. when I am lying in bed wishing I could fall asleep, I do have a few decisions that I wouldn't ever change. One is coming to Colorado, and two is marrying Mike. Well, three, having kids when we did. Pretty much every other decision is up for grabs, even ones that would have prevented a, b or c. (Regret is rarely logical).

  4. I think that I make good decisions when I base them on my gut. My college? Absolutely. Would not have picked anywhere else to go. My different moves (except for the two years we spent in the middle of nowhere MA) have been great. I sometimes question going to law school when my student loan payment comes around every month and I recognize that I am not practicing, but if I hadn't of gone to law school out west, I wouldn't have met CP. And marrying him was a great decision. :-)

  5. it's interesting - i was just having a similar conversation w/chris the other day. he has a friend who is agonizing over whether or not to propose to his gf of 5 years, with whom he lives, because the decision is so momentous he's paralyzed by trying to decide if this is The Best Relationship with The Best Possible Match for him etc etc. and i mean, i'm not advocating people just up and marry the first person they enjoy a cup of coffee over or anything, but in my personal experience all the Momentous Life Altering Decisions have a way of working themselves out, WHICHEVER alternative you choose.

    like living in DC: completely random, it was the first good job offer i got after college, in a city i hadn't even been seriously considering. might there be a better city for me somewhere? sure, it's possible, but i love it here. so why wonder if there's an EVEN MORE PERFECTER!!!11! city somewhere, when i'm happy with this one?

    and while a bit more serious / permanent, i kind of feel the same way with marriage: if i am in a happy relationship that i think will last, can see a future, blah blah blah... i don't need to be convinced that it's THE BEST RELATIONSHIP EVAARRRR, just that is a GOOD one, and one that will make me happy.

  6. I know exactly what you mean and I am oh so grateful for the decisions that have led me to where I am now.

  7. I had a big scholarship to a tiny Midwestern school and at the last-ish minute I decided I wanted to live in a city, not a small town. And if I hadn't decided that, I wouldn't have met Phillip and if I dwell on that for too long I FREAK OUT.

  8. Great Post!!

    My decisions :

    *Deciding at age 8 that I didn't want kids. And post-hysterectomy finding out I had a condition unbeknownst to me that would have killed me if I would have had kids.

    *Recognizing when my marriage was broken so deeply & even tho he said he wanted to fix it, he really didn't want to fix it. So I moved out.

    *Letting a client talk me into moving to Denver and putting my house up for sale (and selling it in 3 days) without setting foot in Denver. Or Colorado.

    *Taking a $20K pay cut to have my dream job.

    *Starting a blog almost 7 years ago :-)

  9. I moved to WA before my senior year of high school began, mostly to get away from my guardian/grandmother. It was hard, but it was right. I floundered a little on my own, but then found my footing. And the not living together/years apart has been very positive for our overall relationship.