September 14, 2011 § 2 Comments
I have again found myself in the position of having no idea as to where I’ll be next year. While this is something I generally find thrilling, there is, of course, always this element of anxiety attached. While I can’t guarantee I can remember the exact details of what I was doing this day in 2009, I can tell you I had either just taken the GRE or was still lugging around the giant book to help me study for it, finalizing which schools I was willing to shell out the money to apply to (I settled on 3 because it is my favorite number & I am incredibly superstitious), & generally planning on a quiet academic career that would take a backseat to other things.
There’s no need to go into all the details because I think we all know how things turned out. In October of that year I suddenly found my vague plans being not plans at all. I changed a few details on my applications, sent them off with a wish for the best, & experienced a few months of “???????” that were actually really wonderful. After several of those questions were answered, I ended up doing what I’ve been doing for the past year here in Los Angeles, but once again, I find myself faced with the question of what to do from here.
Being afraid of the “???” wasn’t really an issue when I was applying to graduate schools. It had all the perks of an exciting, new adventure, with the additional safety of knowing it didn’t have to be permanent, & that there would be financial aid (thanks, government, I will be paying you back soon enough). My anxiety at that time was mostly about the fact that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to leave my hometown at all. It had been home for eleven years & I was very happy there.
Currently, my anxiety is more pressing as the safety net is minimal. I could always burden my parents again with my awesome grad school loans & need for shelter & food should my job searches prove unsuccessful, but I really don’t want to do that. I have more worries this time over will there be a job out there for me? Will it pay enough? Will it make me happy? & again, the question that eats me up is where do I want to live? Where should I be looking for my next home?
Part of me wants to stay in Los Angeles for another year or so post graduation to see what it’s like to be here as something besides a student. The other part is worried that the “let’s stay” part is also the part that enjoys the comfort of familiarity & the part that never wanted to move here to begin with. This part acknowledges that I don’t really need to stay in Los Angeles. I have few friends here, most of which are also grad students that are likely to be leaving soon. I have no family here & do not have enough ghosts in this city to feel tied down.
I have decided again to send out many applications & wish for the best. When the time comes, I will look for jobs in Los Angeles, but also anywhere else that sounds like a good place to spend the next few years. I’m ready again to let things work out as they will & I know that eventually, they will work out well.