Hitting Ctrl-Z on Life Decisions

It’s finally the end of 2018, a year of crazy ups and downs and new beginnings. As the year comes to a close, I’m reflecting quietly from my parents’ living room back in North Carolina about the year and all the decisions I’ve made. The overarching theme is that I’ve hit Life Ctrl-Z (or Cmd-Z on the Mac) a lot this year.  This has had some major financial and emotional implications.

First of all, I’ve moved a LOT. Since the beginning of 2017, I’ve lived in 6 different apartments. One of them for just under 48 hours, after discovering the situation was not at all what I was expecting and encountering a near burned-down-apartment after a roommate left food cooking for hours. I bounced around Santander, down to León, and back to Cantabria.

And a few months ago I quit a stable, good paying job (remote!) to enroll in a master’s degree program with UOC. Problem is… it’s turned out to be heavily programming-based. For one of my entry-level courses I had to design weird video games and animations in a program called Processing. Heard of it? I sure hadn’t. It felt like a huge waste of time, and I just wasn’t getting it. So I’ve decided after failing multiple assignments that this might be the wrong path, and I’m now considering a Ctrl-Z to reflect on next steps.

Honestly though? I’m not confident in the majority of the material I’ve learned so far this year, with the exception of HTML/CSS, which I’m really proud of.  I’ve learned how to solve problems a bit differently, which is good, but only gets you so far when you need certain math skills to solve even the simplest programming problems. And hello, my goal was never to actually become a programmer. I’m looking to work in UX/UI or front-end development.

These decisions are double-edged swords – not only do they affect my mental and emotional state, but they are all pretty significant blows to my financial goals, which I thought I was keeping up with pretty well.  On a positive note, I’m not in any form of debt. Last time I had a decision crisis (2015) I ended up accumulating debt, and having to pay it down was a nice monthly punch in the face to remind me to make better decisions. However, I guess we could call these #firstworldproblems, being able to make impulsive decisions and not jeopardize the roof over my head or food in anyone’s mouth.

Realization of the week: The main issue is that I’ve been desperately grabbing onto short-term solutions by making decisions that aren’t necessarily lined up with my goals. Or if I thought they were, they no longer are. I’ve got some big goal revisions to make and new goals to set for 2019. This post from The Three Year Experiment has given me some helpful insight as I think through goal-setting. I’d like 2019 to be a year of living with more intention and integrity, being true to myself and making more solid decisions.