Here is where I am.
I’ll be 25 in three months.
I’ve been at home for two and I gotsta go.
I have friends on every end of the spectrum. Stable and adult-like…married…traveling the world…or simply bussing tables barely able to maintain an unpaid internship. I currently fall in between..stable (enough) financially because of wonderful parents and lucky circumstances, masters degree, valuable career experience but no full-time “big kid” job on the resume. YET
I’ve been presented with two equally wonderful job opportunities…one of which I am already committed to. I had applied for a position during my panicked salary negotiations that would have been mind numbingly exciting for except now…I’ve booked myself in a house and a position starting July 1st. However, although I would feel terrible it is not impossible to back out.
Job 1: HIGH RISK HIGH REWARD
Adventure. Moving across the country to work in San Francisco. However…I have no idea who I will be working with (which could be wonderful or terrible) and the job description is verrry vague. The office has no windows and I will get 10days vacation a year “slave labor” according to K. Hartley. Also, the pay is abysmal. I have had a lot of anxiety in accepting the position on such terms. There was an in-depth financial package review which caused stress and tears. Ultimately, I decided to look at this a career opportunity over a financial one. I have a masters degree and will be making less than a server. They value high – long-term commitment towards the “cause”. Its a cool job-cool people in a place I have always DREAMED of living. However, what if I can’t really afford to be there. There is also a lot of potential upward mobility because it is a small/expanding company and a lot of unique experience I can gain with initiative. However, the salary and vacation time will always be stressfully terrible. Eventually I will get to travel domestically and after about two years go on a quick trip to SA. I love SA more than anywhere I have ever been. I would love to work to help the wildlife there but I’m also not convinced this is the most ethical way of doing it. Also, being in SA everyone would be able to come visit me and I potentially could visit Kate in the UK (as this is where the company is based). Although this is giant speculation.
Job 2: HIGH SECURITY
Overall, a move to Durham would be easier. Of all cities in the State at this moment this is also where I’m drawn. Close enough to family/friends yet still unexplored. Up and coming and inspiring. However, it is still north carolina. It is still the bible belt and maintains a large reason of why I so desperately want to travel and be surrounded by inspiring people. This job is from a well-known non-profit and my job description is clear. REPUTABLE. My resume would automatically be reputable. I would get to connect with other reputable Universities…Harvard…Yale…they are already on board. The people have been kind and genuine thus far. I would travel intensively (which would make community involvement in Durham difficult). However, (this is yet to be confirmed) I imagine the pay is MUCH better as well as the vacation time. My family and friends would love for me to stay close by. I would be able to attend birthdays/weddings and maybe have time to explore. This is definitely the safer of the two choices and likely the most rational.
I read an article which talked about how our generations dream is to move to the city… I thought I would go back to Cape Town. That was my plan and that felt right. I always talked about San Francisco as a back-up. Before I left I wanted to stay in NC (ideally Carborro/Durham) and be close to my cousins. Clearly I just have no idea what the dream is because it keeps changing as opportunities change. Which…I imagine is a flexible and ideal way to be but I just can’t keep floundering. I so so badly need a “place”. Its only been a year without one but I need a space of my own…I want to have friends to call and a community to be involved in. This doesn’t need to be a permanent place but it needs to work on becoming familiar. I just don’t want to go through this whole job search process again this time next year. This doesn’t need to be forever…but two years at least would be nice. Maybe at 26 I’ll have a better idea of where I want to be and how to achieve this nomadically stable lifestyle.
Ultimately I am confidant that at this point there is no “wrong decision”. However, this only makes it worse. There is no clear cut DO THIS. I don’t want to regret not taking the opportunity to move out west and learn from the adventure of a new place but I also don’t want to totally fuck up financially in my first big kid job.
But the underlying question behind these positions is who do I want to be? What are my dreams verses what is my reality?
I know who I am currently. I live minimally..I don’t need much. (I still can’t figure out people are living waiting tables in SF)…are they ALL trust find babies? I have been lucky to travel/meet people and really analyze where I see myself. I know my people are in the SF Bay but I know there are some of my people in Durham (maybe just less of them). There are incredible opportunities personally and professionally in the Bay area but is this worth the financial stress. Ideally, I want to balance life between extremes…The Vicco who travels the world in search of adventure jobs literally being the coolest kid on the block but one day ending up like Scott/Duarte having my place and my people and finding adventure in stable everyday life. I want to be open-minded and well-traveled and have adventure and new exciting things in my backyard…would I regret not going out to SF? I can’t necessarily guarantee that the house would provide people I love…although on initial review the house seemed AWESOME. I’m certainly not afraid to meet new people…However, I desperately do not want to turn into Victoria. 30 years old with all these incredible stories but totally totally unstable and floundering. At this point I want to know where my place is and build it…I don’t want to wait too long though living life as a nomad trying to just be the coolest kid in school. Im confidant there are cool people and opportunities everywhere…I would be “happy” anywhere. I think….
My nightmare is that I would have a 9-5 and come home to watch netflix every night.
I know that I can no longer live with my parents. This has been tense and I am thrilled with my upcoming adventures. However, I do want to live close to them when I settle down. I want them to be an intimate part of my life and my children’s lives…even if we disagree on lifestyle choices and political values we agree on many more basic attributes of life. This connection is important for me to maintain. Alternatively…unlike my peers I am no where near able to mentally process being married and I cannot fathom how everyone else around me seems responsible enough for this decision. Although currently all of my fantasies revolve around meeting this person and what our beautiful life would look like. I know this person needs to be adventurous, yet fiscally responsible…where would I potentially meet this person? Yes, I would love to be in a relationship now…but I certainly have a lot of my own shit to work out (like being financially/personally responsible and adult-like). However, I need to be realistic that this is a goal I have for myself and I need to understand how important these relationships are to me. My people are spread out…there is no one really “keeping” me in North Carolina. It terms of friendships…there may be a couple weddings in the next years but my closer people I hope will wait alt east two years (although at this stage those things may start happening quickly).
I have always trusted my gut. My intuition has been strong in the past and things have “felt right”. Maybe this interview will feel right. But what if it doesn’t. What if I’m left crying with the thought of missing out on an incredible life opportunity. I don’t want to settle down to early and Lord knows I never ever ever want to settle.
Anna told me I’m not allowed to say “no” until I turn 30