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Potentially Leaving My Comfort Zone...Sort of Like Bilbo Baggins

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So I'm having to try and make quite a big decision in my life. I've always been told it's good to get outside opinions, so I thought I would post here just to see what other people might think.

 

So next month I'll be 30 years old. I'm married, no kids yet, but we do own a house and land. Things are set up for a family when, well, a family happens. For the last 6 years, I've been fortunate enough to work a very stable and comfortable office job. 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, weekends off, holidays off and paid, good insurance and retirement, and moderately good pay. There is room for advancement. It's a simple job and rarely challenging. I work during the day, come home to my wife and our home, play video games as my hobby, and lead a simple and comfortable life. My wife also works, and between our two checks, we get by. Not a lot of extra money, but just enough to live within our means. Unfortunately, I don't think  that would be the case if a child were to come along. Despite how much we want one, I'm not sure how we'd make the money work. 

 

So, recently I've been talking to a few friends. The area I live is along one of the major rivers in the US. A job and career that's available is to work as a deckhand on boats that ferry barges up and down the river. It's hard work, dirty work, labor intensive, and working on the boat has you gone for 28 days at a time, if not longer, but you then get 28 days off. The big draw to me the pay is upwards to triple, if not quadruple, what I make currently at my comfy job. My friends tell me the training is a grueling 9 day ordeal, but if you're selected for employment, the actual work on the boat isn't nearly as bad, and can be quite fun at times. The schedule is 6-hour shifts, so you work 6 hours, then have 6 off to rest/sleep/eat/whatever, then it's back to work for another 6. 

 

I'm really considering trying to work on the boat. The potential money is just a humongous draw, amongst other things. It feels like it could almost be an adventure. I've lived near my folks all my life and still do. I never joined the military, and even when I moved out at 18, I still never went farther than a town over. I've traveled for work before, but even that was with my father. I've never had the true "out on your own in the world" experience before. I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself, but it was always with the knowledge too that should I need them, my parents were only a phone call away. 

 

As long as I can remember, I've always struggled with depression and anxiety. I'm also overweight for my height. So doing hard, manual labor on a boat away from home for 28 days straight would be just about as far out of my comfort zone as I can get....but I'm not sure that's a bad thing. I don't hate manual labor at all. I almost think this sort of experience would be very beneficial to me personally I've discussed it with my wife as well. She's told me she'd support whatever decision I were to make. I'd miss her of course, but again, I may be gone for 28 days, but I'd be home for 28 straight day afterward...and with lots of money to show for it. 

 

So that's it. As I said I feel very close to Bilbo Baggins currently. I'm living my quite, Shire-like, life with little danger or worries...but ultimately not going very far. Now I have the opportunity for adventure and potential...well, maybe not wealth per-say, but more money for sure. And so I have to make a decision. 

 

 

But that's about it. I'd welcome any advice or comments you all could offer. It's a major life decision for me of course and I don't expect you internet friends to make it for me, but as I said, outside opinions can always help!

 

 

Thanks so much for those of you that took the time to read this. Just typing it out helped too!  

 

 

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i think u should take the opportunity. that kind of hard manual labor will definitely help u get back into shape as well if that's a concern of yours. in my opinion, you wont get any further in life by just doing the same things over and over again. there's something to be said about patient dedication, but even when people work out they gradually minutely change their routines to their body's growth so they continue to develop. point being: try something new. even if you dont like it in the end you can always find new work. 

for me the biggest issue is your relationship with your wife becoming strained (plus since this is about making money to raise a kid, it seems like you'll be missing out on part of their life). if that doesnt seem like an issue to you id definitely take the new opportunity. you'll never know what doors open if you take that risk, u know? good luck in life my guy

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14 hours ago, Motomiya said:

i think u should take the opportunity. that kind of hard manual labor will definitely help u get back into shape as well if that's a concern of yours. in my opinion, you wont get any further in life by just doing the same things over and over again. there's something to be said about patient dedication, but even when people work out they gradually minutely change their routines to their body's growth so they continue to develop. point being: try something new. even if you dont like it in the end you can always find new work. 

for me the biggest issue is your relationship with your wife becoming strained (plus since this is about making money to raise a kid, it seems like you'll be missing out on part of their life). if that doesnt seem like an issue to you id definitely take the new opportunity. you'll never know what doors open if you take that risk, u know? good luck in life my guy

I appreciate the response @Motomiya. Luckily my wife and I have talked a lot about this and we think it would do us some good. Currently we actually both work in the same office building, so we are together 100% of the time nowadays. We both agree that the time apart would probably make us both appreciate our time together more and actually strengthen our relationship. I do worry about missing out on time with my future kid, but I keep telling myself that while I'd be gone for 28 days, I'd then be around 100% of the time for the following 28. It's not the ideal situation of course, but I'd like to believe it could work. And my wife seems comfortable with it all. Plus with the amount of money I'd be making, she would be able to be a stay-at-home mom to help compensate for my absence. 

 

But this definitely is both an odd and good opportunity. It's one of those things that I can't help but think this would open all sorts of doors, like you say, if I'd only take the leap. 

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