My Five Year Plan

My Five Year Plan

  • Back to Wisconsin.

    Votes: 6 60.0%
  • A clean slate; North Dakota or Idaho.

    Votes: 3 30.0%
  • Stay where you are. Tough it out.

    Votes: 1 10.0%

  • Total voters
    10

Jay

the fool on the hill
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As most of you know, I will sometime in the future be divorced from my wife of seven years. I could go on another tangent regarding that, but I will refrain. The upside is that we are still getting along great, and there will be no tug of war for possessions. We moved to the Chicago area November of 2004 because she landed a job which paid significantly higher than what she was doing before; I lucked out and found a job at a dealership and am still holding that job. Dealerships are like frats, once you are "in", you will ALWAYS be able to get a dealership job.

The thing is, I hate Illinois, and I hate where I live specifically, which the Chicago metropolis. You must understand that I grew up in a very quiet area in Madison Wisconsin, so far from city life that a half mile from where I grew up was farms and fields. Living in or near a city stresses me out; just living in Aurora I have a low grade panic attack nearly daily. I am not a city person, give me ten acres to build a small house in the country and I will live the rest of my life happy.
The quality of life here is not to my liking; here it is to earn as much money as you possibly can, and no focus on quality of life. The pace of life is too urgent and the people strike me as superficial and stupid. I hate it immensely.

So what should I do? I would like to, in the next five years, either:

-pay off as much debt as I can, and move back Wisconsin.
-pay off as much debt as I can, wipe the slate clean and move to North Dakota or Idaho.

You read that right. I could live near larger cities and only be a couple days drive from half a dozen state and national parks. And I would be happy, as both states have less than a million residents.
I am sure some of you would advocate to just move as soon as possible, but here is the rub: I am a calculating, prudent person by nature. I do not do things sporadically. Also, a person could say "debt is debt, no matter where I live" and you are correct, it is just that my debt is proportional to my current earnings. If I move to another state in the Midwest, my earning will be on average 30% less as the Chicago area is very expensive to live in. There is also the ugly matter of my house being valued for far less than what we owe.

Or should I just tough it out and live here perpetually?
 
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Viper007Bond

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Move to somewhere that makes you happy. That's the most important thing. No brainer.

That said, you gotta live somewhere where you can make a decent living and in the middle of nowhere is not usually the place to do that. So I'd say find a rural area within driving distance of a big city and call it good. What city/sate? Well see previous paragraph. :)
 
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Dr_Grip

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You mentioned how much you miss Wisconsin more than once, so my vote is to go back there, at least for a few years to calm down and charge up the emotional batteries. If it does not feel right for settling down forever, you can still move then.
 

argatoga

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I would avoid the last option, you don't want to find yourself stuck in a rut out of inertia. Do you still have family and friends in Wisconsin you'd want to be around?
 

Jay

the fool on the hill
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My parents, though elderly, are in Wisconsin. I give them ten more years.

I don't have any friends anywhere. Since 1997 I have been afraid to make friends or to get too close.

Isn't that weird? How I am on the internet is exactly how I am in real life, yet I push everyone away from me. But that...is one big ugly can of worms.
 
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eizbaer

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you have go where you are happy, staying under those conditions is out of the question. however for where to go, i couldn't say. from what you've written alone, i cannot chose the preferable alternative, and since i have no knowledge about living in wisconsin, north dakota or idaho (or... the US at all), i can't really say any more. moving is a hard decision, especially in a country as huge as the US. I still live in the town where i was born, where my parents and most of my friends live. in some way, i want to get 'out there' and see what its like. a different city, different country - a fresh start. but on the other hand it scares me. i spent half a year in new zealand, which makes a lot of that fear go bye bye, but still, some part of it remains and always will.
since you already say you're a calculating, prudent kind of person... so i guess you're already started a list with pro's and con's and all of that? with big decision i tend to do things like that... and then throw it overboard and go the exact opposite way because it made me figure out what i actually want!

i feel this is just telling you what you want to hear and not really helping you make a decision - but i hope every nudge helps you along! best of luck :)

edit: DAMNIT! finalgear is too quick for me... seems this post took me ages o_O
 

MWF

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So you have a plan of up to five years. And you have a decent and by the sound of it as secure a job as anyone has these days.

Plan to move to where makes you happy but not at the expense of the risk of foreclosure or bankruptcy. Stick with your passions for cycling, photography and the arboretums etc while living as frugally as you can and getting as much out of your marriage (house rental etc?) as you can. The longer you can stick it out the stronger your position and the more options you will have had the chance to explore and evaluate before you commit to your long term plan.

As always, thinking of you and good luck. Maybe you and I and some other FGers should take our divorce settlements and find somewhere peaceful to start our own self supporting neurotic gearhead commune? We can grow our own meat, vegetables and petrol and be self sufficient. Maybe we can show the world it's possible to be green and gearheads at the same time?
 

katwalk

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edit: DAMNIT! finalgear is too quick for me... seems this post took me ages o_O
yes


I would say
go visit
your parents for a bit and decide if that is where you think you should be. If you feel like you have moved on from that part of your life but want similar environments, go with plan B.
 
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argatoga

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My parents, though elderly, are in Wisconsin. I give them ten more years.

I don't have any friends anywhere. Since 1997 I have been afraid to make friends or to get too close.

Isn't that weird? How I am on the internet is exactly how I am in real life, yet I push everyone away from me. But that...is one big ugly can of worms.
Given only this information I would not recommend you isolate yourself. What is the population size and density of the cities/towns you are considering to move to?
 

LP

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I voted Wisconsin if that's the place that will make you happiest of all.

But a clean slate is also not a bad idea, it might help to get your mind off your troubles and ease into a calmer and less hectic lifestyle.
 

Jay

the fool on the hill
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Given only this information I would not recommend you isolate yourself. What is the population size and density of the cities/towns you are considering to move to?
I suppose they would be under 100k, probably closer to 50k. That is my limit for a city, after that it gets too chaotic.
 

Davetouch

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I wasn't aware of the situation between you and your wife, so I'm very sorry to hear that.

As for moving; I'm not familiar with areas/states in America so I would only say what Viper said. Go where you are most happy; wherever that may be. Certainly as a calculating person get on the debt repayments asap, but once that's sorted then maybe visit all the places where you are thinking of going before deciding, just to get a feel for the area. I wouldn't go anywhere for any reason other than you like it there, which is clearly something important to you.
 

argatoga

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I suppose they would be under 100k, probably closer to 50k. That is my limit for a city, after that it gets too chaotic.
Ah OK. I was fearing you were planning on being a hermit. What sort of work do you want to do?
 

ChelsDS

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I would say instead of moving out there directly, go on a road trip in those states and scout them out :) there is a blog out there, I'll find it later, that a girl drove from one coast to the other (I'm thinking from the west to the east), fell in love with a state up in the middle and moved there shortly arriving at her destination.

Going on a road trip would give you peace (it gives me peace) and let you scope out any possible places of moving to. Even if you have an idea of where you would like to go, go on the trip anyways :) It'll do you a world of good.
 

MrChips

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I'm going to go against the grain a bit here.

First off, asking the internet for advice, while it seems like a good idea, rarely is.

Second, it sounds like you might have some sort of mental health issue based on what you've posted. As callous as that might sound, hear me out. You are living in a situation you admit you aren't fond of one bit, and you are/will be going through a divorce, which is about as stressful a situation as one can encounter in life. You claim to be unable to make/maintain friendships; that is another potential symptom of something much larger. I'm no expert, but it sounds like you could use some help dealing with your personal issues; moving away from them, while it might seem like a solution, will only sweep them under the rug. Who's to say they won't come up again in a couple of years?

At very least, you'll have someone who will listen to your issues in a safe, non-judgmental environment.
 

Matt2000

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As always, thinking of you and good luck. Maybe you and I and some other FGers should take our divorce settlements and find somewhere peaceful to start our own self supporting neurotic gearhead commune? We can grow our own meat, vegetables and petrol and be self sufficient. Maybe we can show the world it's possible to be green and gearheads at the same time?
Sitcoms just write themselves these days.

I'm in no position to give advice but I will say that as someone who lives in a rural area but is close to and works in the city I would always take the country option myself. Good luck with whatever makes you happy Jay. :)
 

Adunaphel

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Living somewhere where you don't feel at home is a surefire way to get into a depression, I've experienced that myself.

13 years ago, I moved to Eindhoven for my studies and to escape the traumas of my highschool years (teasing, hazing, social outcast, etc). I met my wife there, got a jerb there, was building my life. Yet there was this constant nagging feeling of not belonging. Every time I went back to my birthplace, that feeling went away. So, about 3 years ago I decided to start looking for houses there. 2.5 years ago I ran into the perfect one, bought it without second thought, moved in couple months later, never looked back. This decision will affect my career, because the kind of job I want to do is in short supply here, so I might have to settle for less than I would have been able to get were I still in Eindhoven. But, I don't care. I feel at home here, I belong here, and I never ever want to leave here.

tl;dr: Go where your heart leads you, you owe it to yourself.
 

Cobol74

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My parents, though elderly, are in Wisconsin. I give them ten more years.

I don't have any friends anywhere. Since 1997 I have been afraid to make friends or to get too close.

Isn't that weird? How I am on the internet is exactly how I am in real life, yet I push everyone away from me. But that...is one big ugly can of worms.
I consider you as a very friendly and approachable person actually Jay. Well I like you alot, and I am sure if you give people a chance IRL so will they.

Can you sub-let your dwelling to cover the cost of the mortgage, then wait until the housing market picks up perhaps, it is not good taking a big hit on house prices? I am not sure what your laws on that sort of thing are.

How about (When you life gets back a bit more on an even keel) doing some studying and progressing in the amounts you can earn, or start your own business in WI?

Anyway good luck mate.
 

racingfan1

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Jay, you've got to do what makes you happy. At this point, I can only repeat what the others have said. You've expressed many times how much you miss, and how important Wisconsin is to you. It's your home, if it's where you feel you belong, then there's really no argument against going back.
 
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