Why I’m Excited to Leave

Lately, I’ve been freaking out about leaving. This from a girl who has been dreaming about leaving and beginning a new chapter since going to Ireland in 2007.

oh Ireland, how I miss thee...

Yes, 2007…why am I still here, you ask?

I do like Bozeman, and it was practical to finish my degree where I started it, while living with my parents to save me some cash.

It’s a good financial decision in these times, especially considering my loans already seem endless.

So, that factor weighed in, and several trips abroad (which, while completely worth it, tend to severely deplete any capital I may have had), plus an undeniable connection to this town–and the inability to find any jobs that I wanted–have contributed to my decisions.

And despite my crazy nervousness and fear, I’m excited. I was born in Colorado, after all, so it must be a good state! 🙂

I’m excited to start a new chapter, to move IN with my man (eeek!), move into my own apartment (thanks, Mom and Dad, but it’s time…oh yeah it’s time) and start a new, fabulous, challenging job that will lead me down untold paths.

Sure, I’m also sad–but today, I need to focus on what I”m heading towards rather than what I’m leaving behind.

Otherwise, I will never finish packing.

How Not To Do What You Want To Do

When I think about what I want to do…the list is long. When I look at my life and wonder what I’m actually doing and where the time is going…it’s a lot different from what I want to be doing.

How does this happen? Where does the time go? Today is my brother’s 27th birthday (happy birthday, big bro!) and it was an old friend from high school’s bridal shower…a friend I have now known for ten years. That’s a decade. When did I become old enough to have friends for that long?

Well, since I’m almost 24, I guess awhile now.

When I met this friend, during our freshman gym class (we bonded over swimming–we were the good swimmers in a class where the majority of our peers were afraid of the pool) I had visions of where I would be in a decade–sort of.

Who thinks of decades when they’re fourteen? I thought of traveling, having a boyfriend (it was not my most ambitious year), making friends, being pretty, going to college. Maybe making a difference in some vague way.

(On a side note, whenever I think the term “making a difference” an image of Jane Goodall with African kids and chimpanzees comes to mind. Maybe she’s my idol, a little…I bet she thought in decades at fourteen).

Anyway, alone in my room at night–this was the first year I actually had my own room, as it took my father about a decade to finish the basement– I would sit at our old crappy computer and write.

I don’t know that I had much ambition to be a writer, per se, but I just wrote. I carried around a diary and wrote it in during most of my classes, sometimes at lunch, filling the pages with my day.

I found a bunch of these journals in the basement (which, now after several floods, is back to half-finished…thank you, Montana) the other day as I was “packing” for my impending move.

Which leads me to yet another question: when did I stop writing so much? When did I let life get in the way of my writing? I never seemed to let class get in the way of my writing, as evidenced by the number of journals I wrote, and certainly my social life never impeded on my writing time, as evident in the number of stories on my old hard drive. (Proof of this can also be seen in the volume of books I own and in the leftover journals–how could I talk to anyone when all I did was write in those things?)

I suppose I stopped writing so much when I started college, actually got a viable social life–and spent my years of college making up for lost time in the social realm–and started to see some of the world.

Even with these changes, being a real writer has always been a little seed of a dream at the back of my head. I’ve accepted and also forgotten that I’ve always wanted to write–and always figured I would, someday. I’ve given it up at rejection, gotten distracted by other pursuits, been convinced it wasn’t sensible, convinced myself it was too competitive and maybe I wasn’t good enough. But it’s never gone away. I’ve also accepted that I have a million other things I want to do, too. (Like Jane Goodall-ing around the world, perhaps).

However, pursuits and travels aside, an English Lit degree in my hand, and I find myself back where I started–alone, in my room, at night, writing.

Have I come full circle? Is writing a dream I’ll ever make come true, or is it a dream I have just to dream?

I’m confident I’ll find a new dream, another dream–maybe my new job will lead me in new, unknown directions, and open the door to a new dream that never entered my mind. I know I’ll keep my writing dream–maybe even realize it–or maybe I’ll never make money from writing.

But it’s comforting to know I’ll always have writing, even if I only ever write for myself (or this blog, although thanks to my relative silence I’m not sure if anyone reads it). It might be an unrealized dream, it might be a line I never cross, but the true dream, really, is dreaming.

Blame the Economy

courtesy of FSU

You might be wondering how I found myself, broke, living in my parent’s basement, with a college degree freshly arrived in the mail and five different loan companies sending me love notes/hate mail.

Well, I suppose when you add that “Bachelor of Arts” then “English” are the words on that degree, I become somewhat of a cliche. Oh, and the words “Montana State University” don’t exactly make the prestigious folk of the world come a-knocking.

But I am really okay with all of this, because upon the completion of said degree in August, I hit the skies and spent almost three months in Southeast Asia, specifically Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and even several layovers in Seoul, South Korea. Hence the now-I’m-broke conundrum.

It seems a small price to pay to now be jobless and back at the ‘rents to have been given all those sights and stories to add to my life-experience arsenal.

Of course, prior to embarking on this trip, I figured I would come back, find a job, and begin my career, or at least my starter career. I didn’t bank on the terrible economy awaiting me upon my return, that was, ironically, terrible before I left too. (I hear that all over the country, many bright young things like myself are facing this same issue, and my mother assures me that I’m overqualified for all of these positions…who knew I would sometimes wish to be merely qualified?).

Instead of my grand post-travel plan working out nicely (I still have never learned that my plans have a way of falling apart and laughing at me), I’ve spent months on countless interviews, filling out application after application only to be denied an interview or, as often the case in online applications, I don’t even pass their endless, annoying surveys filled with questions like: “When growing up, you never lied to your parents. Answers as follows: Strongly Disagree, Slightly Disagree, Neutral/Not Sure, Slightly Agree, Strongly Agree.”

Well, I answered “Neutral/Not Sure” and that’s probably why I failed the job questionnaire. (I was a good kidI didn’t drink, I barely dated, and I didn’t smoke in the backyard with the dog like my brother–but even I, model Girl Scout and competitive swimmer, snuck out at least once. Although compared to my sister I’m quite the rebel).

It gets me wondering about the future of America. If I, a fairly well-educated, well-traveled and intelligent young woman fail the questionnaire at the Hilton Family Jobs website (desperate), a bright girl without any felonies or any other kind of criminal record rather than several parking tickets, who exactly are they hiring?

Although, they also included some math questions on the thing, so that could have been my downfall as well.

(As I write this, this-one-guy who is a friend-of-a-friend wanders by and informs me all of the jobs are going to the minorities. While this may be true in the “big cities,” and I refuse to discuss this with said fellow, I’m a woman in Bozeman, Montana, where the population is about 95% white farmers and professors and “diversity” means hiring ranch kids from tiny rural towns. Hence, I prefer to blame it on the math/economy. Also, this is one of the reasons I’m desperately attempting to bid adieu to my lovely albeit slightly unexciting hometown).