Today I am also guest blogging for Amber at Girl With The Red Hair. I’m sharing all the details of my long-distance relationship that somehow lasted SIX YEARS! I know! You don’t want to miss that!

Since I’ve decide to alter my career plans a bit, I’ve been met with some mixed reactions from people. My family and most friends are completely supportive and excited for me. However, one friend is telling me that I shouldn’t go into teaching. “It’s not your first choice” (Really? When did I say what my first choice was?) and “Don’t settle!” (Since when is deciding to be a teacher settling? Is there something “better” I should be doing with my time because I can’t think of a single thing.) You mean I’m not getting a job as a counselor right out of school? That I’m pursuing another career path that I’ve always wanted to try? That I’m really excited about this new path and can’t wait to get started? Is that settling?

I don’t think so.

It’s frustrating, though, all these people giving me their opinions and wanting me to feel the same way. I’m trying to figure out what I want and what will make me happy. But everything becomes so confused when I have multiple opinions thrown at me from all directions.

I’m trying to remember that this is my life and I need to focus on just that. It doesn’t matter if one particular friend doesn’t agree with my decision. She isn’t the one who has to live with it. And she won’t be the one waking up each morning either excited for the new day or dreading the next 8 hours. I am.

I’m not settling. I’m taking a detour, one that I am extremely excited about.

So, I’m curious. Have you ever dealt with a situation like this? Have you been met with conflicting ideas about what people think will make you happy? How did you deal with it?

19 responses to “Settling

  1. My degree is in psych and my job is counseling, but honestly- there are days when I wish I were doing something else. At this point, I want to do sign-language interpreting and skip the psych stuff. But I’m afraid of everyone (my family mainly) saying I wasted the time and money for my psych degree. Eventually I will do something different though.

  2. As a blogger, I’d think you should be not only accustomed to, but also accepting of public opinion. It sounds like you’ve made a decision you’re happy with, but even your closest friends and family will have an opinion about it. I think this friend you mentioned may just have the best intentions in mind – I’m sure he/she never meant to offend you.

    When I make major life decisions – yes, I’m the one who’ll live with it, good or bad. But I know others will have an opinion about it too. You can block it out – but most have the best intentions and your best interests at heart…
    Just my thoughts,

  3. I’ve been getting this alot lately too, from family members mostly though. It’s like their way of trying to be “helpful” by sharing their opinions

    But you know what’s best for you and if you’re excited about going into teaching, then GO FOR IT!

  4. Oh, people always have opinions on your life choices, and if anything, people disagreeing with choices that I’ve made has only served to show me that it really was the right choice for me. Devil’s advocate might just prove how wrong the devil is, you know? If someone tells you you shouldn’t do X or Y because of whatever reason, and even after hearing all of this you still know you want to do it, then that’s further proof that it’s right. It sounds like you’ve made a great decision for yourself.

  5. I get this reaction when I tell people I’m going to library school. A lot of them don’t get it, they think I’ll be bored out of my head. What they don’t understand is that I’m excited and all I want is support. Sometimes people should just keep their opinions to themselves, you know?

  6. It’s totally not Settling. It’s a possibly alternate path to your intended goal. Sometimes paths to goals aren’t straight. Besides, I think this will give you some awesome experience and insight to what you ultimately want to do.

    Be excited about this! If you don’t like it? Re-evaluate it later.

    I always consider the naysayers’ points. They might have a perspective that I hadn’t considered…but ultimately, it’s your life, do what you want.

  7. I deal with it by mostly ignoring their “advice.” Yes, it is nice that they care enough to not want you to “settle,” but in the end, it is YOUR life, completely. If you’re going to be happy, your not settling.

  8. chasingparadise

    I, for one, commend you for what you’re doing. Teaching is an often thankless job, yet it is a cornerstone of our society. It’s a highly selfless thing to go into – serving others. Really, that’s what you’ll be doing! Also, instead of sulking about and lamenting the fact that there is a recession and you can’t find a job doing what you had set out to do, you were proactive and decided to take a detour. How dare you! lol. People are ridiculous. You show great flexibility and maturity to do what you’re doing. I don’t think you’ll regret it for one second. Sure, there may be bad days but there will be many, many good days to balance them out.

  9. I found your site through Amber’s πŸ˜€ I can’t believe your LDR lasted that long – mine was on and off for about 3 years and that was torture enough! I ended up doing an entire 4 year degree in a subject I wasn’t remotely interested in to keep my friends/family happy – they thought it was the “safe” choice and I figured it was easier to go along with that than to risk upsetting them and do what I was really passionate about. Now that I’m paying back the student loan – and doing what I wanted to do in the first place! – I kind of regret it. Mostly the student loan part … I’m a huge advocate of doing what you’re passionate about, even if other people may not think it’s the best choice. You’re the one who’s living your life, after all!

  10. Uh, I’m 29 and STILL have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. I’ve definitely considered teaching as well, but haven’t mustered up the courage (or $$$) to go back to school. Who says you have to know exactly what you want to do right now? Try out a few things! I think what you’re going through right now is totally natural and the way you’re handling it is great.

  11. 1. Thanks for guest blogging for me!

    2. It sounds like your friend might be a little jealous that you CAN take this detour. You’re DEFINITELY not settling – just by reading this post I can tell you’re passionate and excited about this new career turn!

    Did you tell your friend all the things that you wrote here; that you are trying something you’ve always wanted to do, that this will lead to you being a school counselor, which is what you want to do one day etc. Maybe if she understood all that she wouldn’t be such a downer! And if you did tell her all that and she’s still telling you that you’re settling it’s probably because she’s jealous.

    I have a friend who can be like that sometimes; I think she means well but she can be really overbearing with her opinions and it drives me crazy!!

  12. I guess if you go by the traditional definition of “settling,” then I’m doing it. I’m in a job I don’t really like because it pays the bills and I haven’t got the guts to go after anything I think I might like.


    I don’t think so. Even if I don’t love what I’m doing now, I am DOING something and getting experience and learning things. And that’s what you will be doing. If you sit at home and mope, you’re settling for nothing. If you’re working and living your life, you’re ON.

    And that friend, notsomuch.

  13. Everyone is always going to have an opinion on your life. But you ALWAYS have to follow your own dreams and the own voice in your head. It will, more times than not, lead to happiness. πŸ˜‰

  14. I feel like everyone’s been there at some point in their lives. And if they haven’t yet, then they will.

    Like you said, YOUR life! Your choices, your decisions. And you know you the best, don’t you? So then whatever choice you make it the best one for YOU.

    My best friend was in grad school for acting, wasn’t feelin’ it and dropped out (dropped out sounds so bad, but it isn’t). His mom wasn’t a fan of it, but his dad was. I’m sure he was torn, but knew he made the best decision for him.

    Case in point, you know? You’ve gotta make your decisions based on you and not turn back, hard though it may be. And in the meantime, we’re here if/when you need to bitch it out!

  15. Some people feel the need to always put their 2 cents in. You have to look out for number one. If you are extremely happy about your path right now, then do it! If it ends up being wrong? Who cares, at least you tried and you learned something from it. Good luck!

  16. I am a teacher, and people frequently say things like that about my profession. I’ve been told that I’m too smart to teach, that I’m settling, and that teachers have it easy. Then, there’s my personal favorite — those who can,do; those who can’t, teach.

    You have to do what makes you happy. If you want to teach, I think that’s awesome! Go for it! Just be prepared that you’ll probably always get those comments.

  17. Been there. I wanted to be a teacher, but didn’t get in to teacher’s college, so I went to school to be a child and youth worker and realized I loved that, but other people thought I would be happier if I tried again to become a teacher. It was hard to explain to them that no, I actually love what I’m doing right now.

  18. Oh Ashley, I went in to interview with a recruiter two weeks ago who interrupted me every 5 mins. for two hours telling me how I am going to suck and fail at HR, and how I should stick to marketing because she had a great marketing position I could try. She badgered me to the point that I cried when I left the meeting. It was totally demoralizing for me (or it was for a hormonal version of me).

    I think that people get invested in what they think will make you happy. They hear you talk about one thing for a while, they think “That’s her way to happiness! That’s her path!” while you’re a few steps a head of everyone, in it, living it, and figuring it out on the fly.

    I would tell your friend that you’ve really appreciated her support for the path you were on before, but that you have to examine your options and since this is also something you would love to do, you’re exploring it. You’re not closing any doors on everything you’ve looked into before, you’re just broadening your focus and going on an adventure. Bottom line: it’s no one’s place to tell you what you like and what you don’t. She’ll have to shake that attitude eventually. Or, you know, immediately lol =)

  19. Well I don’t care what anyone else says, I’m happy for you! Making a new path in life, rediscovering an old one, or meandering a bit is acceptable. Case in point: My BA is in International Studies, you know politics, government, lobbyist work. What am I? Marketing & Client Relations Manager. Not the same. What do I want my next step to be?A teacher, so as long as you are happy, enjoy.

    It’s okay to have a few “Reasons Why I’m taking a detour,” to tell your friend but bottom line: you don’t have to justify yourself to ANYONE.

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