Find a puppy*.
Place all your hopes and dreams on the puppy.
Note how the burning smell brings tears to your eyes.
This is how I feel about withdrawing my application to LLNL today. I was treated like crap before I even got a chance to be hired. I will be a lower tier employee in their eyes forever. All I had to do was jump through a hoop like I was still their technician employee and accept an at-will appointment for a maximum of six years. All I had to do was give up a professional position with a pensioned career appointment in this economy. The cost is a delta of $15k and not returning to the land of Secret Squirrel for the foreseeable future.
I do not feel that I made the wrong choice, but it makes IAEA and non-proliferation work seem very far away right now. I'm not sure what the path to that goal looks like outside of a national lab.
I wish this was a Friday so I could get properly drunk about this.
*: I say "puppy" because "kitten" would be extra depressing. I mean, I'm not at wrist slitting levels here. I've seen a kitten foolish enough to keep warm by crawling up into an engine.