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October 26, 2005


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Working for the nanny is exactly how we feel. Plus the apartment, $5 milk, etc. It's a NYC thing: if you were to cash and ship out to Little Rock, you would not feel the pinch. On the otherhand, you would not have NYC either. My suggestion is to enjoy what you have, now.


I've been going through much of the same internal discussion for a while myself. Having kids DOES change everything. My chosen career is BORING - to the point where I almost HATE it. But it pays well and is probably one of the most flexible jobs I could hope to find. I won't go back to work until the kids are in school, but I'm already dreading it.

I guess I'm willing to make the sacrifice because I think being there is what's most important. I grew up fairly priveleged, but I still believe that we would've been just as happy had we been dirt poor. The key to my childhood bliss was seeing how much my parents loved eachother - it was far more important even than how much they loved me. So my advice? Do what will make your WIFE happy (which, if she's as wonderful as she sounds, will be whatever makes YOU happy!).


Welcome to the club, MD! I've been working as a lawyer for the past 10 years and I absolutely can't stand it. But I'm entrenched. Where else am I going to make the same amount of money? Not that it's the main priority in my life but let's be realistic. Money may not buy you happiness but it can provide freedom. What you do with that freedom is up to you.

Personally, I've chosen to just accept it. I look at my job solely as something that provides for my family. I have almost no personal attachment to it all.

Good luck with whatever path you choose.


I think you'll get a lot of sympathy on this one. I'm in a nearly identical situation...my wife is taking care of Cheeky full-time, and although she'd like to get back to work my job affords us the luxury of having a parent around all the time. But I've come to despise what I do for a living, and long for an opportunity to do something else. It's not a great spot to be in, and I tend to get stuck over-thinking it in my head until I get upset.

I think the solution is nuanced. You have to be careful that you don't start resenting your career, or, even worse, resenting the family obligations which force you to stay with something you don't like. You don't sound like the type that this would happen to, but these things sneak up on a person.

Should you suck it up? Maybe for a little while, but at the same time I would network and explore other opportunities. The good stuff takes time to explore and nourish, and you shouldn't wait until you can't take it to begin testing the waters.

Should you cash out? Not to Arkansas. Hopefully you won't have to, but you should be open to the idea of living other places if you gain more on balance than you lose.

You've done some really cool things in your life, and for that you are rightly grateful. But I don't think the door should ever close on that. The sorts of things that are cool to you will change, and you may need to sacrifice things now and then for the greater good. But you'll regret it if you don't pursue opportunities that are good for you, too, especially because that usually translates into good for your wife and child in the long run.

Sorry this rambled on...maybe we'll split a bottle of Talisker sometime and dig deeper. But you're not alone, and you're asking all the right questions in the right way.


Was this week's New York magazine the inspiration for your post? Man, I was reading that this morning and it scared the hell out of me. As much as I love raising my kids in NYC, I don't know how I'm ever going to retire. Unfortunately, my job on Wall Street only exists in NY. So where else am I going to do? WHAT am I going to do?

Sorry. No advice. But this fellow father is sharing your pain.


My husband and I are in the same situation. We both earn good salaries but are not finding any satisfaction in our career. At least you're lucky that you have the flexibility where you'll be able to spend quality time with the Peanut. Oftentimes, my husband is stuck in the office late and doesn't get home until the kids are already asleep. It kills him!

I do have several friends who have changed careers midstream. One left being a lawyer to teach. Another pursued her dream of opening a retail store. But both took significant cuts in their income to change careers. The hard part is finding something at our age that you can begin and yet still maintain the same standard of living. Not a touch act to accomplish.


fuck it man, just look around you in the office: see the people who are way older than you and still sitting there either in positions of authority now or doing the same shit they've always done? those kind of people make it hard as hell for people in your position to find inspiration in comfortable jobs that don't really stimulate the creative side. why don't you see other people who were just like you are now ten years ago? Either (1) they turned into the older people you see around the office; or (2) they left for greener pastures. The trick is avoiding (1) and figuring out the right time for (2).

I have felt myself slipping into #1 for some time, so I am becoming a dreaded SAHD starting next August. I am already stocking up on righteous indignation and practicing an overly defensive posture.

Another Fucking Lawyer

I feel like mankind has been suffering through this dilemma since the dawn of time ("I'm sick of being a caveman. What I really want to do is DANCE!") But what can we do? To quote Smashing Pumpkins, "Despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage."

Good luck, brother! I'm rooting for you. Let us know if you find anything creative that keeps you ensconced in the good life. I'll be there right behind you!


Wow. You summed up what most of us feel or have felt at one time or another. Honestly, in today's world we are being pulled in too many directions. I know a lot of people, myself included, who have changed jobs to have more time at home, or quit entirely, giving up a lot of those "nice to have things." It is a hard decision to make - but, I am going to guess that the ones that opt for more time with family are the ones that look back with the least regrets.


Well you've started off on the right first step - self refelection. You have to be able to reflect upon your life, needs and priorities. Ask yourself what activities you truly enjoy doing, what minimum standard and type of lifestyle do you want, what skills do you have. Being dissatisfied by your job comes in varying degrees of course, varying from being nauseous on the way to work, to just not feeling that what you do really matters in the big picture. Only you can answer what is important to you. As a word of caution, if you truly hate your job, your hate will evolve and spread until it affects your family and friends. The peanut won't appreciate it if daddy provides all the right material stuff but is a frustrated bitter old man all of the time. Changing doesn't have to be dropping out of society to live in a commune, it can be fine tuning your career to focus on areas that give you the most positive feedback.
I've down this self reflection exercise at a number of stages in my life. I'm just starting my third major career and I still have the toys that most people want. Like Curly says in the movie City Slickers, you have to figure out what "it" is, what is the most important thing for you and then do it. Good Luck.


I've also noticed that most bloggers want to be full-time writers. I love writing and I fantasize about it from time to time but I am sensible enough to know it's never going to be my career.

I don't think your job necessarily has to be your passion. Unfortunately the most interesting, fun jobs just don't pay the bills. If your job is tolerable, why not just pursue your passions in your free time? If you're miserable and resentful, that's another story. Maybe you could simplify your life a little bit and find a job you like better.


I just requested advice on my own life's path from the ninernet friends. They didn't help.

I say get your blog popular enough (tell me how you do it when you figure it out) that you can run ads on the sidebar.


1. I am a full-time, employed writer -- both freelance and with a regular 9-5 gig.

2. I am an English/Political Science Grad.

3. I lived off opportunities my blog afforded me for six months before I began at my job now.

It is possible. And really, I don't write about anything as lovely as the peanut and I am not nearly so culturally astute as you are. But am I living the dream, then?


MD - I think there has to be a way to multi-task with your blog. I know you don't have a ton of spare time what the with Peanut and the BossLady and all but this blog is full of funny, insightful stuff. Could you just keep writing stuff for your blog, showing a few select pieces around and then see who's interested in paying and at what level? That way, you're not losing any time, you're still therapeutically blogging away every day and you've still got your cush job that brings in bank for the fam. Maybe just from showing stuff around and chatting with people you'll create an opportunity for yourself of some sort.

Look at how many people come here every day to read what you have to say. That's pretty cool, man. I, for one, don't feel I've accomplished everything in my day til I've read your blog. And I don't even have kids, for Christs sake! But I love reading about your happy family and your funny perspective on life. Obviously all these people do too.

I do have to ask though - what's so wrong with a pony? I think the Peanut deserves a pony!


Blogging allows those of us who fantasize about writing as a career to actually see ourselves "in print". It's a wonderful thing, but not quite as wonderful as the real thing.

Since I'm quite a youngin' and am just finishing undergrad (English!), I don't have much advice in regards to your dilemma, but I will say that I hope you are able to find happiness both at work and at home and that somehow you can balance those two things. I agree with lebonstemps that your job doesn't necessarily have to be your passion (though that is, of course, ideal), but you also don't want it to suck the living breath out of you.

Good luck though MD and, in the meantime, we're glad you've got the blog!


I agree with the others, MD. You are a fantastic writer and you SHOULD be doing this for a living. I'm not sure about the how/what/where part of the solution but I check your blog every day, hoping for a new post!


A Pony! A Pony! Peanut wants a Pony!! All jokes aside, I was drowning a few years ago working an HR job for one of the nation's largest sporting goods stores ( I am going to die if it is for the same one--or better yet, if I ever tried to recruit you when I recruited our private label team!) The problem was my husband was working on his PhD and I made REALLY good money to support us decently. Then Ella came along and my job got worse, the travel became stupid and my husband was feeling like a single father. But we were living in central NJ, just bought our first home and I didn't know what I wanted to do. I ended up walking away from my job and I took that summer off. The first couple of months were ROUGH. But, we managed and I started doing Part time consulting for a publishing company and I loved it. Then baby #2 came and it was going to cost $1800/month for two kids to go to daycare 3 days a week. Then we started thinking about how we were always going to have to scrape to live in this area. We decided to go back to the Midwest. I am not thrilled with it yet, but we're fine. I still haven't the foggiest idea what I want to do, but I DO know that I want to read your blog every day.


Not a dad, but I'm a mom who feels the EXACT same way.

I'm 40 and I've worked since I was 15. I would love to take a few years off (at least until the little ones are in school) but my income from my sooo-not-satisfying job is essential to our survival. Essential.


Oh, and pssst- my 9 year old was "peanut" for many years... being 5 pounds and change at birth, the nurse called her that right when she was born and it stuck.


Move to a more affordable area of the country, like the Midwest. It's not exactly toothless Joes and Deliverance. There's actually affordable housing and Fortune 500 companies headquartered out here (and some trappings of finer culture). There are a few Jesus freaks and Eminem redneck punk wannabes, but if you look away you'll barely notice them.

L.A. Daddy

Hey MD. Though I hardly know ye, I can't picture you living in the Midwest. If you do move, maybe they can start a sitcom based on your life there. I know you've written before how much you love the Midwest, I just can't see a city slicker like you living there. I don't think people there would "get" your sarcasm and wit. I went to college there for a few years and, in many ways, I felt like I was living among children.

William B.

Just wanted to say that this post has been in the back of my head all day. I'm struggling with many of the same issues. It's tough. I don't think previous generations of parents had to deal with this because I don't think they placed such a high value on being an involved parent. I think we'll see more and more people grappling with this issue in the future. Because while the work/home balance has always been important, I think that more people are starting to place a higher value on home.

Chocolate makes it better

Invent the best scotch distiler anyone could imagine and lease it to brewery's. Get paid lots and get a crate of single malt every month.

Ms. Mama

Are there people out there that actually love their jobs? Wow, that must be a nice feeling. I have never met anyone though that does. I say keep buying those lotto tickets, and hope for the jackpot. That is what we do!


Tennis pro!? Ok, when I stop by NYC the next time we have to do some single malt, play tennis, and talk diapers. In do recognize your feelings. I have similar things in mind myself. But since I really like what I do and it gives me plenty of time with my son I'm in no real hurry to change jobs. My last "job" was as a professional tennis player which I did for many years. You know, college scholarship in US, the tour, pro leauge in Germany, bla bla bla. Provided me with a nice way out of my little town in northern Sweden. My current job is much like yours, except different. It would be impossible IMHO to find a better job. I'm currently a senior currency trader and although the hours are pretty regular it provides me with lots of flexibility and short working hours so I can spend lots of time with my son. Also of course nice financial rewards and LOTS of vacation and huge amounts of paid parental leave. Plus all other benefits which are not necesary all financial. Like being able to spend 5 hours a day on the internet, have lunch with my son, or go ut and get drunk for lunch and not come back to work:-) It's basically like an adult kindergarten - lots of fun! It's a great job and I really like it but it's not why I was put on this earth. I'm fairly good at what I do but I'm sure I was meant to do something else, I just haven't been able to find it. My guts tells me I do this for a few more years and then start my own company with something that I feel more passionately about. Maybe something with kids, internet, or adventure travel. Not to make any money, just to have something to do.

I'm not gonna tell you what to do but perhaps we can exchange views at some point.

Have a nice weekend



you confound me, metro. tennis pro? sporting goods designer? i KNEW you were in a creative field. i used to write for a living, now i write for part of my living (which reminds me i have a teen fashion column 3 days past due). it's a good way to make a living if you don't mind your great ideas getting shat upon by those who have promised to pay you for your thoughts. if you love rejection, self-doubt, inconsistent paychecks and no money for extra fun stuff, you should write for a living. even if you get a book or 3 published, the money's not actually that great.

my suggestion is that since you have already proven yourself a capable business person, you should parlay what you have learned into some sort of consulting thing. you are inspiring, brilliant, creative, observant, and an amazing teacher of life lessons.

take your show on the road. i would imagine you could fill a room with folks who are dying to hear metrothoughts.

but before you do anything rash, you must first decide what you want to be when you grow up.

hell, you could be an importer of microbrewed single-malt scotch. why don't you post a list of your passions, and we'll be better able to tell you what to do with yourself after we've had a look.

i wonder how much of my wardrobe has been designed by metrodad. kar-ay-zee.


Passion is overrated when it comes to employment. Having a job that you like is an incredible situation to be in. Millions of people hate their jobs. I like mine for the same reasons you seem to like yours.
Find passion at home or with a hobby. I think that is more rewarding.

p.s. Comics and baseball cars huh? I did the same thing.


From what I hear, living in NY is truly like living in the rate race. But you clearly love it so much, I wouldn't move anywhere else if I were you. NY is part of what makes you happy.

I live in the suburbs. The quality of life here is great. Housing and living expenses are cheap but I share your situation. I'm not passionate about my job. But I agree with what some of your other commentor said, work doesn't have to be your passion. If you're happy enough with it, pursue your passions outside of work. You'll find it will give you a renewed energy about everything in your life.

(But whatever you do, you better keep blogging!)


Wow, you've had a really interesting life in very different professions. I, too, am an English major, although I am currently unemployed. And, yes, I'd love to be a full-time, published writer. I actually started my blog (a year ago tomorrow) in order to hone my writing skills and find my voice. Now I just need to get published. I'm planning on redesigning my blog so it's its own entity, and will probably get ads put on it so I can make a dollar or two here and there. Then I'd be a paid writer, at least.


"When I was at school, on certain afternoons we all had to do what was called Labour - weeding, sweeping, sawing logs for the boiler-room, that kind of thing; but if you had a chit from Matron you were let off to spend the afternoon messing about in the Art Room. Labour or Art. And you've got a chit for life? Where did you get it? What is an artist? For every thousand people there's nine hundred doing the work, ninety doing well, nine doing good, and one lucky bastard who's the artist. -- Tom Stoppard, Travesties (1975)


Oh, one more thing, "L.A. Daddy": that was some straight-up unbelievably ignorant bullshit about the midwest. For your sake, I will assume that you were simply parodying one of those elitist, ignorant, soulless coastal fools who feel it necessary to give their empty lives some meaning by decrying the taste and sophistication of huge geographic swaths of the population.

the weirdgirl

I wanted to give this some thought before I answered. I've had jobs I loved, but usually they were startups and sometimes don't make it. And I've had crummy jobs I've hated. If you like what you're doing but are getting bored and you also like to write... perhaps you could publish a magazine. Maybe a spin-off of your current industry or a trade pub or even just a project within your own company? It would give you a new project, allow you to be creative, and still keep the flexibility and paycheck you have now. And if writing is something you want to pursue in the future maybe this would open some opportunities for you. Sometimes, especially with careers, it's better to do small, planned changes (rather than packing up and moving to the midwest). You might want to develop a five year plan that gives you the most options for pursuing things you love down the line (forgive me if I'm stating the obvious). I am lucky to be in a position where, even if I'm not where I want to be right now, I can move to where I want to be more easily than I could have five years ago. Just some thoughts.


Well, I was "lucky" enough to be fired from the job which I had assumed would offer me the opportunity to "have it all." You know what it gave me? Plenty of money and an anxiety disorder, to boot.

Now I'm freelancing, working harder than I ever did when I worked for someone else, and LOVING IT. Yep, I miss having extra money. I miss being able to just veg out at night instead of (usually) needing to work into the wee hours. But I'm much happier. And--I'm sure you knew this was coming--so are my kids.


Okay. First, I notice you mention that your current work is not your passion, but yet you don’t mention what your passion is. It sounds, however, that your passion may be in finding “new challenges” – especially since you have such an eclectic career history.

The second thing I notice is that you keep mentioning how you can’t do your current work for the next 20-30 years – and, I would guess that you won’t. Again, given your eclectic work history and your need for new challenges – which is normal for extremely intelligent people – I would bet that you WON’T be doing this for the next 20-30 years. In fact, I would bet money that you will find something else interesting to do – just keep in mind that it might take 5 years, which is a lot easier to swallow than 20 or 30.

In the interim, I have a few suggestions. First, I highly recommend reading “Working Identity” by Herminia Ibarra. This is NOT your typical career book full of wish-washy psychofucking babble crap. It is extremely pragmatic and approaches the career transition in a scientific way. If you have no idea what you kind of work you want to do, then this book can help you map out a way to figuring it out without filling out a bunch of stupid fucking what-color-is-my-parachute questionnaires.

Second, stop thinking in terms of 20-30 years and only think maybe as far as the next five – maybe even less. Third, don’t think you have to know exactly what your destination is. Change is a process that can lead to an originally unknown destination – you don’t have to have it all figured out right now. Fourth, work on maintaining a positive perspective about your current work. It sounds like you’re already doing this to an extent. However, since it’s your company, you may want to consider ways you can reorganize or restructure things to give yourself more flexibility so you can travel less, and perhaps spend some time experimenting (Ibarra talks about this in her book).

Keep in mind that the worst part about the career change process is the unknown. Rather than becoming frustrated with the unknown, I suggest perceiving it as opportunity and possibility. This perspective can keep you looking forward and help you avoid getting discouraged or worse, depressed.

Finally, take two shots and call me in the morning.

That’ll be $75.


I hate following MIM, it isn't fair. What I was going to say seems trite and childish.

[thinking of profound words of wisdom so as not to seem like shallow piece of shit...]

Yeah, I got nothing. I would say to find some really wealthy senile person and set up a good old fashioned patronage scheme, but really wealthy senile persons generally have very watchful extended families.


oh, i forgot to tell you how i found my passion: http://www.jocrf.org/

i was getting c+'s in college and my mom finally forced me to take this aptitude test. it helped me find writing and advertising, (among) my passions. it helps you pair what you love with the professions that will make you happiest. and it's FASCINATING to see which things you do well in vs. what you thought you were good at doing.

i highly rec it. highly. now my whole fam (respectively) takes the test every 10 years or so, just to see if anything has changed. never does.


Thank you Dutch for defending the honor of Midwesterners. I am sure it will surprise L.A. Daddy that I "Get" MD's sarcasm and wit.


MD...let me just say that, from reading your blog, you seem like a very bright guy who also happens to be uniquely self-aware and reflective. You've got a great perspective and you seem to be asking yourself all the right questions. I'm confident you'll figure it all out. It won't happen overnight. Just be patient. The most important thing you can do right now is to be open to all opportunities.


My best advice regarding your career is to find something you love to do...your "passion" if you will. Once you decide what your passion is all about then try to find a job or career that matches your interest. I feel extremely lucky in this respect because I made a few odd turns through life and have landed smack dab into a career that I thoroughly enjoy.

"I'm pretty fairly convinced that a large part of being a good parent is simply being there." My thoughts exactly! I may not be doing everything right according to Dr. Sears, but by gawd I'll be there for thNut!


MD - Without fail, you write the most relevant, humorous daddy blogging anywhere. If anyone can make a living at this, it is you. Go offline (to our detriment) and write a book. Not a book about your swashbuckling adventures as a daddyblogger, but a timely, relevant book about parenting and the issues of the day. You owe it to yourself and to your Peanut to at least give it a shot. Who knows, you might cash in big, find a new career, and find yourself overlooking a lake in Arkansas as you write for a living.


I did forget to mention a very important point. You need to cash out of your apartment now. NOW. There is not better time to do this. Yes, it might go up a little more but does that make up for the 50 % drop that's coming?
Sell your place and rent something for a few years and save a million or so. Or move to Arkansas. Iäve been there lots of times and think you will be very bored there but it would be great peanut.

Sorry to bring you such negative news on a Friday.

Nice weekend



Okay, so here's my trite and cliched advice...do what you love and the money will follow.

Case in point...about a year ago, my normally sane working self decided not to get out of bed and go to work with my physical self. My brain stayed asleep as I went through the motions of my job. It took a year and a half but my malaise finally got me uncerimoniously dumped by the curb holding my working life in a legal file folder box with three months pay coming my way as PFO money.

I took stock. I reviewed what I liked and didn't like about past jobs and about my performance in them. I reviewed what made me passionate and what made me get lost for hours on end in a task. I decided that marketing was still the right career path for me, I just needed to take a different fork in the marketing road.

Now, four months after being politely told what physically impossible act to do to myself by my old company (and me to them), I am now contently working for a small company that values me as a person as well as my work. I may not like having to leave my daughter to go to work in the morning, but at least finding something I like to do has made it easier. And her having a less-stressed out mum has made life happier for her as well because I'm more in the moment and engaged when we're together instead of worrying about having to go to work the next day.


Dude, I just want to make sure this point gets across -- it is not necessary for everyone to have A passion. In fact, I think it's rare. Unfortunately, the feeling that one must have A passion often puts horrible pressure on people. The reality is that people have many different careers in their lifetime because many people have a variety of interests. So, as I said earlier, your passion may simply be in finding new challenges. So, don't go and feel that you need to find THE thing you're going to do for the next 30 years.

Okay, I'm done.


My income supports our family. I have been working nearly full-time since I graduated from college (er--18 years ago). I hate it. But, I have found a happy medium...I do one job that I tolerate because it pays fairly well, and I do another job that I love that doesn't pay as much. That totals one full-time job. I tend to get bored easily, so having 2 jobs at once keeps things interesting.

Career? Forget it. I have jobs, and I have a family. And I like it like that.

Of course, I am sure my husband had NO IDEA when he married me that my ambition and drive would go right out the window once we had kids...I am currently making the same salary I was making 14 years ago...but now I am supporting 5 of us instead of 2!
My point....it's easy to adapt, if you find the right balance!
Good luck


Do what you love. That is my advice.

I have no desire to be a full-time writer, but I have about 10,000 ideas for a book floating around in my head.

My goal is and has always been trying to do the least amount of work for the most money possible.

alice, uptown

Do not move to Arkansas. Do not venture below the Mason-Dixon line. 'Cause you can take the New Yorker out of town...

They call it WORK, not PLAY, hence the exchance of currency for time. PLAY needs no such exchange or explanation.

I'm with those who say, don't try for a 30 year plan (and I do retirement projections as part of my paying gig, which I regard as such and no more), just focus on where you want to be, say, when the Peanut goes off to kindergarden. That's about as far out as I think anyone can reasonably estimate. Other than that, it's pure conjecture, and not fun conjecture at that.

I'm in my mid-40s (old enough not to reveal the exact age), and the more life reveals itself, the more it seems to be a balancing act.

I think it's great that you can be there and want to be for the Peanut. Participatory daddy didn't exist in my day; 1950s-type provider daddy did. And stay-at-home mom started the cocktail hour promptly at 5, had us in bed by 7:30, and we saw my father as a drive-by on weekends, at least until we were old enough to hold our own at the dinner table.

Good luck to you and the BossLady in working out a balance you are both comfortable with -- and can manage to maintain your standard to living.

(P.S. Real estate values may go down in NYC, but that doesn't exactly enhance the allure of Arkansas.)

Girl in the Locker Room

you think you've got on the golden handcuffs right now....wait til Peanut (and Peanut II) are ready for college..
i'd love to go off right now, take my laptop to a beach house and never look back but my peanuts are 18 and 16 and I'd rather have them headed for college than for Iraq at the moment. The Army and Navy call every couple weeks asking for my 18-year-old. they say they can give her a great future. Contemplate that one..

Phat Daddy

Take this from the guy who was fired last week, if you HATE your job then you should move. That is to say not having passion for your work may be normal, but if you find that you look at work the same way that getting a root canal makes you feel, then it's time for change.

I've been working in jobs that allow my wife to stay at home and take care of our little monkeyboy, but it has only been recently that I realized that I disliked my job so much that it was actually detracting from my home-life. I would come home surly and just not in a mood to interact with the family.

Being fired was actually a good thing for me. It's forcing me to reevaluate what I want to do for a career. Do I tighten the belt and work for less money , doing something I would enjoy more, or do I keep killing myself for money?


Move to philly yo. Cheaper than nyc, still has urban feel, you could get to nyc a few times a week if you needed to for business.


Philly's supposed to be the next Williamsburg, so they've said.

MD, whatever you decide, you'll do what's best for you, BossLady, and most importantly, Peanut.

My reasoning is whatever you decide will lead you to a path that can only be reached by a finite number of decisions made by you.

I really believe it all works out in the end.

Maybe not Hollywood or the ultimate happy ending, but you already have more than you could have ever asked for...Peanut.

So don't stress so much about it. Do what feels right, and I'm sure you have more than a wide enough net of support to get you through any rough patches you may have to endure.

Adversity and the survival of it will only make you a stronger person.

Good luck w/ whatever you decide...for the record, I'd stick it out in NYC...

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