That weird in-between July 23, 2008Posted by Emily in jobs schmobs, moving, Travel, working.
Having scanned Craig’s List for all of twenty minutes this week, I can say with some confidence that the job search has begun. Emotionally, at least. Kind of.
A number of well-intentioned friends and relatives have asked me questions about my future, and I’ve gotten the impression that few have been too impressed with my answers. “I’m thinking of finding a job somewhere in the U.S.” wouldn’t satisfy many, and understandably. At this point, it’s the big circle on my Venn Diagram. I have sort of scoped out a few cities, nothing for sure and changing all the time, but if someone asked me my criteria, I think I would be embarrassed to admit the influence of off-handed remarks from friends, movies, magazine articles, and proximity to major airports. I figure I can’t live anywhere known for a meteorological condition I don’t like, such as rain. As I told a friend, “Rain makes me want to curl up with a blanket, a book, a cup of tea and some Norah Jones.” Not too conducive to starting a new job. I even did some random Googling–and I refuse to share any of those keywords out of pure self-preservation.
So I haven’t really figured out where to begin, what I might want to do, where exactly I might want to do yet-to-be determined thing. I figure there’s lots of things I could enjoy. Plenty of other things I could semi-enjoy that would involve twice-monthly paychecks for a while. So it’s just a question of looking. Right?
I know everyone goes through this post-college transition period. Not really being an adult, not really being a kid. I just happened to postpone my time a year or so and wasn’t smart enough to move in/move on with college friends as some brighter friends have done. Then again, most of my college friends are in law school or married. Some of them have careers, which, I’ll be honest, don’t really appeal to me too much. Whether I plan to or not, I kind of follow the whole “I will go in this way/and I’ll find my own way out” bit anyway (thanks, Dave).
At this point, I’ve lived with 17 (!) different roommates over the past six years in eight different apartments/houses/dorm rooms in four cities, three countries. (And that’s not even counting the three summers I spent living in a cabin in northeastern Washington.) As a disclaimer to any future roommates I may have, most of them came into the relationship with a deadline already in mind–I only drove one away and that’s because I evicted him. Part of me is tired of going through the motions, the meet and greet and then getting accustomed to their strange cohabitation patterns, becoming close friends with some, only to do it all over again a few months later. Even as I am sick of it, just like I am getting pretty damn tired of moving this unbelievable amount of stuff I have accumulated, I know it’s a necessary evil. I like my stuff. And I’m not sure I can see moving to a new place where I know no one and living alone as the smartest option. Meeting people in the post-college world is awkward enough. You can’t knock on the door down the hall during the first week and ask if they want to hit the Food Zoo. There’s no orientation or small classes or student groups. I’ve been told I could join a gym–there’s just a couple problems with that idea. I hate gyms, and I’m not sure my red-faced sweaty self is the first impression I am looking to give to future friends. Book clubs, classes from cooking to car maintenance, knitting groups, all the other tenets of chick-lit friendship building I haven’t entirely ruled out. I don’t even know where I’m moving yet.
Despite all of the confusion and general angst, I’m excited. When the time comes, I am guessing I will feel ready to start something new. I am looking forward to getting to know a U.S. city outside of Montana, getting to know the U.S. in general. I’ve traveled so little here. It’s fun, though clearly overwhelming, to have some choice in where I’m headed–last year, I got a letter saying I was assigned to a city in southern Spain and off I headed, completely clueless. To some extent, I’ll be clueless whereever I go, but at least I have some say in the matter.
And hey, there’s always random Googling.