Why I Chose My Career Over A Relationship

I had two options: move back to London and pursue a career in the arts, or stay with my boyfriend of nearly five years and survive off his success.

Career versus love, or the battle between head over heart. It’s a tale as old as time and occasionally, the choice to follow your ambitions does come at the cost of a relationship. Something which I know all too well.

My ex-boyfriend and I, we were the “childhood sweethearts”, who remained true throughout University and whom many predicted would end up getting married etc – even my mom. Naively, we assumed the same. However, when University was up and big decisions needed to be made, I had a mini-crisis over … well, pretty much everything.

Graduation. Crunch time. Instead of excitement, the prospect of putting on that cap and gown filled me with so much dread and anxiety. For me, education always provided a clear trajectory of the next step, but once my degree was over, I became the stereotypical graduate that had absolutely no clue of what they wanted to do.

Having limitless options in your early twenties is truly an amazing thing, but also terrifying (take it from me). Of course, it would have been easier to coast off my ex’s success, to chase his dreams side-by-side. He knew exactly his desired career path and had already secured a great job working for Microsoft, while I remained sinking under the weight of all my uncertainties.

My heart would have let me follow him, yet my head was saying something different. Always present at the back of my mind was a niggling feeling. Despite our age and our commitment to each other, I knew my dependence on him and fear of change would hold me back. Back from what? I am still slightly gray on that area. During my meltdown, my ex continued to be selflessly empathetic and that just made the decision a whole lot trickier. Until one day, over cups of coffee and with lots of tears, we made the mutual decision to part ways.

A year on from graduation, I’ve begun the journey of narrowing down my possibilities, working in marketing/PR for a major London gallery and loving it! Choosing a career meant for me taking away the safety blanket, entering the unknown world of employment alone and discovering my ambitions. Along the way, I’ve learnt tons about myself, my passions, and come to actually like change (only a little).


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