Life’s Big Decisions.

Some decisions are easier to make than others.

Chocolate or vanilla?

Fall or spring?

Red or blue?

Go running or not?

But.  Then.  There are those pesky big decisions like college and internships and…well…my future.  I’m not so good with those.

Back when I was a freshman in college (paying $20,000 a year as an undecided student) I applied to UMass.  And when I received a note saying “you’ve been accepted into the nutrition program,” what did I do?  Did I dance up and down?  Let out a squeal of delight?  No.  Me and my mature self speed dialed dad on the cell phone.  Our conversation went something like this.


“Oh, hi Sarah.”

“I got accepted to UMass!?!”

“That’s great!”

“No, because I don’t know what to do!!  Because I want to stay here because I have housing plans for next year with one of my friends and it’s all planned out!!  But I also want to go to UMass…DAD!?!…I don’t know what to do!”

(Thank God for Dads who listen and love.) 😉

It’s always kind of bugged me when people state the simple.  “Follow your heart.”  How is that even possible when there are a million and one other voices clammering to be heard?  Media.  Friends.  Relatives.  Mentors and advisors.  What does a heart’s voice even sound like?

Well…if I were you…”

Somehow, despite all of that–because of all that?–I’ve managed to follow a road that fits me.  I went for my nutrition degree.  I went for the dietetic internship.  I took the Registered Dietitian exam.

Really.  In spite of myself, it’s all worked out.

This doesn’t, however, make me feel one speck better about today’s decision: I turned down a job.

This took a grand total of about 54 seconds on the phone, with me stating that I appreciated their time and support but that, in the end, I wasn’t ready to take the job.

I’ll be honest.  This decision is making me feel slightly sick (having nothing to do with that one last handful of granola.)  I really need a full time job.

But then, at the risk of sounding ridiculously cheesy, let’s just say that I finally heard my heart.  I didn’t want to live in the area where I would have had to move.  And I most definitely didn’t want a 2 hr. commute.  So, in the end, I ultimately didn’t want the job.

This might turn out to be the most foolish thing that I have ever done.  But I can’t help but feel slightly giddy over how easily I made my final decision.  It felt good.  Actually, it felt downright delicious.

I heard my heart’s decision and I went with it.  And then I whipped up a batch of granola to calm myself down.


For dinner?

I’m not making any decisions.  What are you in the mood for?

Olive Oil and Pistachio Granola—as seen in “In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite,” with some minor tweaking.

This is by far my favorite granola recipe.  Beware!  It’s ridiculously addicting.

  • 1-1/2 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 c. raw pistachios, hulled
  • 1/2 c. walnuts
  • 1/2 c. sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4-1/3 c. pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1/3 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 c. dried apricots
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats through ginger.  Spread mixture on a large rimmed baking sheet in an even layer and bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden brown and well toasted.
  3. Transfer granola to a large bowl and add the apricots, tossing to combine.  Let cool completely and place in airtight container to store.
QUESTION: What are some BIG decisions that you’ve made in life?  Were you ultimately happy with these decisions?

25 comments on “Life’s Big Decisions.

  1. plats001 says:

    “Everything happens for a reason,” is another ridiculously cheesy, overly used saying I used to hate. But in fact, in my experience, I have learned that it truly directs your life. It may not make sense now, but in the words of a dear friend, “you cannot have a choice-less life.” This is a principle of life that is never-wavering, and always present. The people who do have a choice-less life are the ones who are your deadbeats, your stagnant souls, your lazy nothings. Every choice is good or bad, but required, regardless. And everything works out! It always does, sometimes you might need to put in a little more effort, but it always does!

  2. Lisa Fine says:

    You definitely made the right decision.

    I’ve learned over time, and it becomes more and more true each day, that our gut reactions are usually the best ones to follow. Our instinct is there for a reason, and if the job didn’t fit, then it didn’t fit. Plus, it feels good to turn down a job – it’ll give you more confidence as you continue to apply, knowing that you were wanted.

  3. Caitlyn says:

    I do not blame you one bit for turning down the job, Sarah. If you knew, right then and there, that you weren’t going to be happy at that job, then you made the right choice. There’s nothing that says you have to take the first job offered…or the second. There will be plenty more job offers to come, so just hold out for the right one. Choose the one that makes you smile; that you know will make you happy everyday!

    And you’re granola sounds amazing! I’m debating whether to make this granola or your muffins. Tough decision 🙂

  4. Katie says:

    Beautifully written! The right door will open for you…it always does. Especially if you are persistently knocking at all the doors. 😉

    This granola looks good, as well.

  5. BroccoliHut says:

    That’s so great that you listened to your heart–I can SO relate to calling your dad for every major decision. I hop on GChat every time I face even a minor decision to consult with Daddy 🙂
    One big decision I made was to move to North Carolina to get my masters’ in nutriiton…now I’m facing the big decision of which internships to apply to!

  6. sofia says:

    Life decisions are hard. Being an adult is hard. But having choice is wonderful, and following your gut is all you can do. And hope that something even more wonderful will come your way. Good for you for choosing wisely for yourself! And in exchange for my words, do I get a handful of granola? 😉

  7. dottylizzy says:

    You have such a wonderful and comforting way of putting things! I do hope you continue to feel more and right about this decision.

    Oooh, without the biggest two decisions I’ve ever made are “will you go out with me?” and “will you marry me?” … to both of which I answered “yes!!!”, almost before he’d finished speaking!! 😉 And also without a doubt, I have definitely been ultimately happy with those choices!! 😉

  8. Matt LeBlanc says:

    you have to take risks sometimes too… Its ok to be picky- and if you weren’t able to take the job at this time than you weren’t able to take this job- but its kind of sad that you had to turn it down… It was that one you thought was “perfect”, right? Whats the job market like for nutritionists right now? One unfortunate part of our economy is that sometimes you have to make sacrifices in order to get the positions that will help you grow.

    where was the job?

    • Oh, I know..the economy. It’s not easy for anyone right now, unfortunately. ;(

      But then, after much deliberation (as in VERY much,) I didn’t feel like this was the place for me to grow with (hate to say exactly where this was, in case any future employees read this!! 😉 ). It was a tough call, but I didn’t feel like this specific location or this specific job would suit me or my future goals. So in the end of going back and forth with myself, I went with my gut feeling…I’m staying positive about this whole thing, although it definitely wasn’t (isn’t) easy!!

      Thanks for the advice! 😀

  9. I’m such a Dadda’s girl. Seriously, aren’t they the best?
    Life always finds a way to work out in the end. If your heart was telling you to turn down the job, it’s definitely the right path 🙂 Sometimes it might not make sense in your mind right away, but ultimately your heart has made the right decision for a reason! Life is exciting. Keep looking forward, and try not to dwell on past decisions. You have a lot of life ahead of you!

  10. This was such a beautiful post and one I can very much relate to. First of all, your photographs wow me in each and every post! And second, I believe that following your heart is the most important thing you can do. I am due for these rather major decisions soon too and it’s causing me a lot of angst. But I will do what I want to but also need to, and trust that everything will be fine. However, whatever it is, it will be near family… I don’t do unfamiliar very well and I am too close with my family to move away

  11. Dad’s always know what to do 🙂

  12. Sarah – newish reader here! Sounds like your daddy is a great man! Definitely wise to always listen to that inner “tug”.

  13. Crissy says:

    My heart goes for you Sarah. The best is to come.

  14. I know it sounds cheesy, but I think there’s truth in the statement “if it feels right, you’ll know.”
    Obviously this job didn’t feel like the right fit for you so it sounds like you made a good choice for yourself. Good for you! And you’re lucky to be able to have the option to turn down a job offer (these days, it seems like not many people have the choice)
    I hope that something comes along for you that is just what you want in a job.

    Also, I still have yet to make that granola (but I didn’t forget your comment about it when I bought that Melissa Clark book). I just never seem to remember to buy pistachios!

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