On reacting, deciding, and trying to sort out my future

5 Mar

From April 2013 to September 2014, just about every choice I made was a reaction. I wasn’t getting interviews for the 50-some jobs I applied to, then I was offered a summer internship in a field I wasn’t particularly interested in located in an oil boomtown. I took it, sight-unseen. By the end of the summer, I still hadn’t gotten any of the writing jobs I was applying for, so they offered me employment and I took it. Housing was really expensive there, so when a family with a 3-year-old offered to let me rent a room in their house, I took it and moved in. Four days later, my friend decided to come join me, so I found an apartment and signed a month-to-month lease within 36 hours. Then, within four days we found a cheaper two bedroom and signed a lease on that starting the next month.

Fast-forward a few months and I managed to finagle the chance to move to Minneapolis. My roomie and I did visit for a weekend, looked at one apartment, and decided to jump. So I packed everything up again and moved, this time with a few weeks’ warning. Six months down the road, within a week she decided she couldn’t afford our apartment anymore and I didn’t have a job. I hadn’t gotten any bites on my applications, so I decided to head back to Spokane, where I’d have a better shot at good employment.

I got back here in August, found an apartment within a week, interviewed for three jobs and got one that was and is a major improvement and more on track with what I want to be doing.

And now I’ve been here for six months.

For the first time since graduation, I feel like I’m able to pause, take a deep breath and think about my choices. I finally feel like there are more options than “do this one thing or you’ll be stuck moving back home.” I didn’t even realize that I’ve been sprinting like a crazy person for almost two years now, just trying to keep my head above water, until I stopped needing to.

It’s really comforting, this sense that maybe I can finally take control of things, that I don’t have to just accept whatever the universe chucks at me. I’m finally a little bit qualified for real jobs. I can decide where I want to live next and trust that I will be able to find both friends and employment there. I can start to figure out what I want my life to look like and take steps to get it there, instead of just taking steps to stay out of my parents’ basement.

I have no idea what comes next (or, more honestly, I have at least a dozen ideas), but the fact that I get to decide is enough.

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