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Big decisions can sometime cause us to feel anxious or indecisive because we’re uncertain of their eventual outcomes. It could be deciding on whether to accept a new job offer, purchase a home, or propose to the love of your life. We could approach these situations with all the research, facts, and expert guidance to back up our choices, but it just takes is a sliver of doubt to make us second guess ourselves.

Over the last several months, I’ve been mulling the idea of leaving New York City, my residence for the last four years, and returning back to my homegrown roots in California. I’ve commented on the personal drivers behind this big decision in a previous post, and as time progressed, (especially after my 31st birthday in April) those relational reasons became more valid. Add the aspects of NYC’s tireless rat race and high living costs, and the incentive of making the move is looking extremely reasonable.

However, I’m not totally 100% sure. It’s more like 85% at the moment and it fluctuates every day, mainly because of the uncertainty that lays out West. What would be my next career move? Do I need to lock down a job before I go? Will the friends I left behind four years ago still be around? Will I regret leaving NYC? I usually could put up with ambiguity (and if you know me well, you know I don’t like making plans in advance), but it’s different this time around.

Decisision

It’s not too much on what’s might happen back in Los Angeles, it’s more about the potential I’m leaving behind in NYC. I’m always striving to be bigger and better, so each of my past big decisions has been calculated to put me in the position to do so. However, going back to LA isn’t really a “strategic” move because it’s not motivated by professional or personal gain. If I wanted that, I would continue busting my ass and living it up in the Big Apple, as there’s more opportunity here than anywhere in the world.  So the “what ifs” of the New York are the fuel for hesitation.

But for the first time ever, I don’t feel like I have a chip on my shoulder. Throughout life, I was never the smartest, wittiest, or strongest, but I knew that I was capable of. Playing the underdog role, I’ve always had to work harder for the things I want and usually it paid off in the end. After years of feeling the need to consistently prove myself, I think that maturity has kicked in and has me now saying “who cares?” My accomplishments and experiences speak for themselves, as I don’t really have to prove sh*t to anyone. Do I really need to keep striving to be bigger and better?

The realness of it all didn’t hit me until I notified Time Warner Cable and Con Edison to cancel their service at the end of May when my apartment lease expires. Thankfully, a good buddy is allowing me to sublease his apartment in the East Village for June and July, but a decision needs to be made soon. So how to go about doing so:

  • Vent to people who you trust who can give you solid, unbiased perspective
  • Evaluate all scenarios and options, so you have a full understanding of what each offers or lacks
  • Weigh the pros and cons of each choice
  • Ask yourself if you’ll be happy 1-3 months after you made your choice
  • Make a decision and live with it

P.S. Here’s a song that just sounds good and has no relation to the post

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Rex Pham

Originally from the Bay Area, who then moved to Los Angeles, then out to New York City. NYU Stern MBA c/o 2014. Inspired by the grind of NYC to create something that has value. Lover of all things digital, culture, and brand strategy.

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