Should I stay or should I go? Now?
July 9, 2012 12:34 PM Subscribe
How should I resolve this dilemma between family and personal / career fulfillment?
posted by ditto75 to human relations (49 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Fellow 'Fites, I feel stuck in a very hard place and I desperately want to get out of it.
My parents are in their late 60s / early 70s, and they are starting to show their age. My mother in particular needs a lot of help as she is paralyzed from the waist down and hence wheelchair-ridden. Currently she is hospitalized with a serious, potentially life-threatening condition, but at least she is in stable condition now.
As they are getting older and less independent, I feel obligated to stay home, or at least in my hometown, and help them. Problem is, I'm in my early 30s and have no job and not even a career path to speak of. When I think about a potential direction I want to take, I see that I need to get out of this city because it doesn't have much at all to offer in this area of interest. Besides, my resume is very weak and needs filling -- yet there is nothing in the general vicinity to fill it with.
You could say that this problem is easily remedied just by finding a job and moving to a neighboring city or commuting to and from home. But I hate driving long distances or on highways. I repeat, I hate driving long distances or on highways. It's the stress of always running about, of always racing against time. It's also the fear of getting into accidents and becoming paralyzed like my mom is.
Finding an Internet job / online job / work from home is not optimal, as I spent too much time at home as it is.
Hiring someone to take care of them, ie an au pair or some such is also not optimal, as their English is not great and they are generally uncomfortable with people outside the family anyway.
There's also personal fulfillment. There seem to be very few people my age in this city, and certainly very few my age who are just as lost, just as unemployed and feeling just as hopeless as I am. And there are not very many potential life partners here. Who would be interested in a 30-something who doesn't even have any direction in life?
So my question is: should I stay in my hometown or not?
If I do, I can more easily help my family, but personal fulfillment suffers and I'll worry every day (as I already do now) about my career. If I don't, I'll hopefully grow wings to let me and my career fly, but there will always be a nagging guilt that I should have stayed home to take care of the 'rents. I feel that perhaps I should wait longer, at least until my mother's condition improves, but I also feel that I should leave now and that I am wasting my time away.