When I walk home from work, I pass a building I looked at when I was apartment-hunting last December. The other day, I saw it and thought, “Thank God I didn’t end up living there.” Not that I ever seriously considered it – it’s a total dump, with no laundry in the building and a yappy dog on the first floor.
But that got me thinking about some other places I checked out. I almost moved out to Bethlehem because five of my closest friends lived on Main Street. I found a passable apartment a few blocks from them, but I wasn’t sold, especially on the longer commute to work. Despite my fears that I wouldn’t find a place before I had to move, I kept searching.
I found an apartment on the second story of a house in Emmaus that was nice and convenient to work…but it was an in-law suite, which meant it had no door on the top of the stairs I could lock to keep the owner out. I almost took that, but I decided it was too creepy and continued to look.
Eventually, I found my current apartment. It’s secure, it’s close to work, and I have my own washer and dryer. Plus, since I’ve moved, gas prices have skyrocketed, and as of this coming weekend, none of the friends who lived on Main Street last December will be living there anymore.
I cannot overstress how happy I am that I didn’t move to Bethlehem (or to any of the other not-awesome places I saw, really). And that makes me think about other bad choices I haven’t made in my life.
Fun fact: I almost went to Colgate. I visited the summer before my senior year of high school and fell in love with the campus. They offered me the same amount of scholarship dollaz Syracuse did, and they included a personalized acceptance letter. (They mentioned the nod to Calvin and Hobbes I put in my essay, and signed it, “Hope you’ll join us when you’ve finished packing your last bag at the Giant!”)
Still, I chose Syracuse, and when I decided to add a journalism major my sophomore year, I was adding one from one of the highest-ranked journalism schools in the country. During my senior year, I road-tripped to Colgate with some friends for a concert, and I realized how not in love with the campus I would have been if the students had been there during my visit. Frat dudes and sorority girls only. So not my scene.
Post-grad, I almost took a job in Dallas, Texas. (Talk about not my scene!) I had an interview with Spirit Magazine, the in-flight publication of Southwest. They wanted to hire me, but one of the higher-ups rubbed me the wrong way, and honestly, it was so freakin’ hot there. I turned down the job, despite my post-grad desperation, and a few weeks later, I got the job here that led to my current (dream job!) at Runner’s World. (Oh, and I hear the girl who took the position at Spirit was laid off six months later.)
Choosing “no” has also been helpful thus far in my personal life. I recently learned that my last once-serious ex is moving to Portland for work. I am relieved that things between us ended long before I’d have to worry about living time-zones apart. And because my romantic life since then is best represented by this Venn diagram, I am happy to continue dismissing potential suitors.
If I’ve learned anything in my “adult” life, it’s this: Choosing to pass something up can be just as beneficial, if not more beneficial, than choosing to go for it. If you’re not crazy about something, don’t go there. You’ll know when something’s right, and you can’t choose something right if you’ve already chosen something wrong in its place.