Recently I found myself facing a dilemma. Life had thrown up a big decision and it was one of those moments that would shape everything after it. An opportunity had arisen to move to Sri Lanka for a work opportunity with my girlfriend. We had grown weary of London’s sirens, tourists, and expenses and were ready for a change.
The move to Sri Lanka had clear upsides. It would open us up to an entirely different world—access to Asia, its foods, culture, weather, people—all steeply contrasted with the London life we had become used to. The problem was that we had already decided to move to Bristol, a relatively affordable alternative to London with a hugely creative and exciting culture.
Bristol or Sri Lanka?
A sofa or wild new experiences? Jungles or waterfronts? Monkeys or squirrels?
The problem with making decisions is that before you can decide what to do at any given moment, you must clearly know your priorities. The closer you are to this source, the more accurate, straight, and true your actions will be thereafter.
In order to come to a conclusion, we began the process of examining our values. We found that we had strong desires to cultivate space for ourselves, our things, and our hobbies (for me; cooking, for her; yoga) in a less highly strung city with a slower pace of life. We dreamed of a lounge to entertain others, our own bathroom and a fridge of a decent size—all things rendered difficult in London’s restrictive housing market and our recent full-time studies.
After much deliberation, the answer was clear. Bristol was the better fit for now. The Sri Lanka opportunity dried up but this did not matter—we had challenged our trajectory and values and in the process of doing so, we had learned more securely what we wanted out of life. Of course, our priorities will change, but in the present moment, I truly believe that there is nothing more important than knowing where you want to be—and making the move.