I think that most people who know me would say that my lifestyle, mostly because of my job, is pretty unpredictable. Many of my friends from both college and high school have lives that look much different than mine, and on the surface appear to have things much more together than I do. Since graduating from college I have worked for four different schools in five years (all as a college basketball coach), and have lived in New Mexico (two years), New Hampshire (one year) and Florida (one year) before taking a job in Chicago last August. Most people I know, while they may not still be at the same “place” they were right after college, are at least in the same city and appear to be on a stable and progressive career path. I, on the other hand, work in an extremely fluid profession with a turnover that appears to be accelerating with each passing season, meaning there are no guarantees year to year that I will be in the same city or even have a job, period.
I believe that there is a general list of assumed characteristics that people are looking for when assessing who they are potentially interested in dating, which includes honesty, intelligence and passion (amongst others), and while I believe that I possess those and other desirable traits there is one important one on most people’s list that there’s no guarantee I will ever be able to fulfill; stability. I believe that as the number of years since we’ve graduated from college grows most people begin to put more of a premium on finding someone stable with whom they can rely on and begin a life with. However while I believe that I am a very loyal and dependable person my job ultimately comes first, which means that in many situations it seems as though I am not making my personal relationships the type of priority they should be.
Certainly I can’t argue this point, and perhaps the right person for me is someone who feels similarly passionate about their job; however, I can’t get past the idea that the choices I make concerning my job on a daily basis, and career from a long-term perspective, puts such parameters on my personal life and ability to maintain and grow relationships. Ultimately this is one of the sacrifices that I’ve decided to make in pursuit of my career aspirations, and I have never had second thoughts that this was the right decision for me. However, this doesn’t mean it always feels good or that it doesn’t bother me that the instability and uncertainty in my professional life makes it difficult for people to rely on and get close to me. In the end life comes down to a series of choices, and so much of the choices we make are affected most by their timing, so really all we can do it let things play out, do what we think is best for ourselves at the time and hope everything works out in the end.