I have a few friends coming up against big life decisions soon and while I can’t offer specific advice, I can offer this –
Don’t listen to your head. Don’t listen to your heart. Listen to your gut.
Your head is going to try to steer you toward what looks best on paper, or looks best to your ego, but isn’t necessarily the best for you.
Your heart is going to operate from whatever prevailing emotion has taken root at the time. No matter how resilient and brave your heart is, it has a tendency to make judgments based on whatever it’s feeling in the moment.
Your gut has been observing everything that you stopped consciously paying attention to eons ago. It knows how your heart tends to sway you, how far you need to be pushed, and how much you need to be protected. It knows the facts and weighs them, but doesn’t let you put more stock in them than necessary. It’s wise and old, neither brash nor unfeeling.
So go sit with it and listen. Get really quiet, wherever you can best do it. For me, it’s next to the ocean. For you, it might be in the mountains, or walking your dog. Watching your kids play or sitting next to your grandmother as she reads. Painting or practicing yoga. But give yourself that space to really listen, and when you get your answer, don’t second guess.
When fear kicks in, that’s your brain and neural pathways trying to protect you from what you’ve never experienced. A new path is an unknown, so your brain thinks you’re going to get hurt and uses fear as a way to protect you.
Keep listening to your gut, it won’t lead you wrong.