Monday, June 04, 2007

About Being Stubborn

Yep, the reason I don't have a job is almost entirely my fault - and that's a bitter pill to swallow, believe me.

I simply don't see myself moving to another part of the country, and there is no way I am moving away from the coast. I know that's a tough concept for most people, as most people love to travel, and most people are far more adventurous than I. But the fact of the matter is that I am a New Englander, and I can't imagine living anyplace else (except Hawaii - seriously). And while I HATE the idea of leaving my home, I have started to expand the search a bit (I am looking a bit more to the south than I was before) - but the one thing I cannot compromise on is the ocean; I MUST be near (and by near, I mean withing walking distance) the ocean at all times.

I know how this makes me sound - like a spoiled brat who quite frankly doesn't deserve a full-time job. And this may be absolutely true. But I was raised on the ocean. I could swim before I could walk, and my mom tells me that when we went to the beach when I was little, I would stay in the water until forcibly removed. If you look at my Flickr pics, what you'll see most is water. Being on a shoreline or in the ocean is, without exaggeration, the only time I am truly, completely, happy. No matter how bad I feel, no matter what kind of crappy day I've had, a walk on the beach changes my entire mood.

Put it this way: if offered the choice between a huge, well-appointed home and a high-paying job in Arizona, or a two room Cape Cod beach shack with an outdoor shower and a job that simply allowed me to pay the bills and get the occasional treat, I would choose door number 2 every single time.

I admit that I have made MANY tactical errors in my life that have resulted in my current situation. I should have moved away right after college and started a career elsewhere, while I still had some adventure in me. I shouldn't have decided that I hated the corporate culture - my dedication to non-profit work has definitely put me in the poor house. I should have gotten a computer programming degree and not a library degree. Shoulda, shoulda, shoulda.... I don't want to add, "I should have stayed near the ocean" to my list, as I truly think it would break my heart (and spirit) to be land-locked.

I do so admire anyone who can pick up and move. I envy your courage, your spirit of adventure. I marvel at anyone who can go someplace completely alone (I do not have a mate or children) and just make a whole new set of friends, a whole new life. But, sadly, I am just not that person.

But if you have a job for me on the east COAST, do let me know.


Laura said...

Be stubborn on location, but as you've found, it will take you longer to find a job. There are places I've lived that I wish I hadn't. There was a search I withdrew from because of the location - something I didn't get before I went for the interview - and the people were, for the most part, fantastic and I would have loved working with them. I really felt like my personality would have let me do well there. But because of the location, I would have been looking again within a year, something that would have been completely unfair to them and to me. Sure, I wish I'd figured it out before the interview, but I didn't do the research I should have.

If you know you'd be miserable somewhere without the ocean close by, then you're being realistic about you, something that's better for both employers and for yourself.

furiousBall said...

You're not being selfish at all. Do what makes you happy. I firmly believe that. Living near an ocean, hardly anything to feel guilty about. The ocean is beautiful and powerful, who wouldn't want to be near it?

Aaron said...

I tried to post a comment, but it mysteriously disappeared into the ether of the Interweb tubes. Apologies in advance if it now appears twice.

Anyway, I was saying that you might try the Pacific Northwest. Lots of us native New Englanders have ended up out here. You've got ocean and mountains and lots of green scenery, just like home...with the added bonus of much better salaries and no snow in the winter.

(And it doesn't rain nearly as much as the locals would have people believe. Seattle gets less precipitation in a year than Boston or any other New England city. In Maine, we told tourists whoppers about the snowfall to keep them from moving there, and the same theory holds true about Northwesterners and the rainfall.)

Kaijsa said...

From my experience, the Pacific Northwest is a very hard place to get a job, so I disagree with Aaron. Also, it's not New England.

As one of the people who suggested moving as an option, I hope I didn't give the impression that it's an easy decision. I wanted to be an academic librarian with a particular set of duties, so moving was pretty much required. And Jessica, you're totally right; being here in the middle of nowhere on my own is the hardest thing I've ever done, and I'm planning to move back to Seattle as soon as I can.

It's good that you know what your requirements are. As long as you're willing to consider a wider variety of work, I think it's reasonable to hold out for location. Plus, you're really smart, and a library would be lucky to have you.