Landing My Dream Job Ruined My Life

Everything in life has an opportunity cost. This is the only thing I retained from my econ class back in college.

You make a choice in life and lose out on some other route you could’ve taken.

Here’s the full investopedia definition:

Opportunity cost refers to a benefit that a person could have received, but gave up, to take another course of action. Stated differently, an opportunity cost represents an alternative given up when a decision is made. This cost is, therefore, most relevant for two mutually exclusive events. In investing, it is the difference in return between a chosen investment and one that is necessarily passed up. 

Though it may not have seemed like two mutually exclusive events at the time, I now reflect and regret the road I took. Three years ago, I fell into a slump for a lack of a better term:

  1. I plateaued in my career falling back on a family business after I no longer felt I could grow in my previous role.
  2. I had a great boyfriend I was totally ungrateful for. He catered to my every need and I took him for granted. The silly thing about stupid young love is you never appreciate “the one” that’s always there- it doesn’t register as fun, but rather boring and safe. 
  3. Nothing thrilled me. I felt I had no passion and no specialized talent which resulted to no direction.

These factors played into a formula where I jumped at the opportunity when a buzz came through my phone pinging me for a position at a dream role. Okay, so it wasn’t a DREAM ROLE, but it was fucking brilliant. Work on the westside where the air is crisp and people are gorgeous, market for a licensed product that the whole damn world knows (hint: they now own marvel AND star wars), and of course eventually move out to westLA where people not only wear yoga for class but as a way to show off their glorified yoga bodies at brunch.

Three years have passed as swift as winter in California, and I find myself sitting at the room where it all started. But it feels different in this chair now. The chair collecting dust at my parents house. Though, I’ve grown up, I reevaluate and realize I’ve lost close contact with all my friends. The oh so perfect boyfriend fell out of the picture after I broke up with him. I’ve literally created a rift between my closest family, and I’ve made choices that have only alienated me from the ones I love more and more.

I’ve jumped ship and gone to an even better company. I have a not so terrible condo I now own 2 miles from the closest beach. I somehow make enough to drive a BMW,

but

I, I, I… 

The opportunity cost of having all those I’s. Was it worth it in the end? I’m sitting here wondering, if I feel this lonely and sad now, what was the point of landing my dream job?

What If It’s Not For Me?

Two years ago, I went to this magical made into reality wedding in Upstate New York. It was as though the entire place was plucked out of a Pinterest board.

The setting: acres and acres of hidden beauty somewhere in the estates with cottages and housing for all the guests. The reception was held inside a barn with a live band and lights strung from high ceilings. Though it was a rainy day, the barn was lit up as if fireflies were dancing alongside each of us celebrating the newlyweds.

This was happily ever after.

This was a fairy tale coming true right before my very eyes.

The atmosphere flooded with love as every patron and family member smiled, danced and drank in the festivities.

I remember glancing past my scenery hoping one day, I would wake up and slip into a gown on my special day, almost as unimaginably wonderful as that weekend I had spent.

Today, a friend sent me a wedding video that collected every memorable moment from a newlywed’s wedding day.

As the music chimed and the carefully stitched scenes flowed from the bride getting ready to the groom awaiting her in the church, I felt disgust filling up from my toes to my stomach as it churned, churned, churned.

The frames sailed by on the computer screen as my stomach felt waves of uncomfort. I wanted to vomit at my desk. Heaving with dizziness, instantly I stopped the video and turned away.

Anxiety pricked my head with thoughts.

“What if this isn’t for me?? How could watching this couple get married make me want to regurgitate everything I had that day? Where’s the nausea rising from?”

In that moment, I felt terrified of marriage. Not for the lack of commitment but fear of being so utterly happy that it could be stripped away any second.

Truth is, I’m afraid of being happy. The opportunity cost of it is pain, and sure enough, it’ll come full circle.  Because after all to have something ignites the beginning of its loss.