This week has been the most unproductive week. Ever.
I got home to Corvallis late on Sunday after flying back from the wedding weekend of a lifetime (yes, it was so good, I doubt even my own hypothetical wedding could top it). Monday, I woke up feeling like I had been run over by a bus. I was weak and tired and certainly felt under the weather, so I had to call in sick to my internship. Tuesday, I only felt like I had been mildly run over, so I was able to go about my daily activities and get through class.
Wednesday was my “me” day. I stayed in sweats all day, worked on some job applications, dabbled in homework, blogged for a bit, and watched all of the available episodes of Pan Am. It was a great lazy day–until I started feeling sick again. I had felt off all day, but then the sniffles set in, and yesterday was useless by all accounts. Luckily, ballet was canceled due to my instructor’s own illness, and I ended up sleeping all day, save for a doctor’s appointment and the class I had to facilitate at 5PM.
Today? Well, I slept most of today until I got up to meet with my counselor. I’m not sure it was the most productive talking session I’ve ever had because I felt pretty floaty and out of it the entire time. I rambled on and on about the wedding weekend, stating that the reception was so interesting because we didn’t dance and that I spent about three hours talking and reconnecting with all sorts of different people and friends.
My counselor stopped me there and said, “What does that tell you?”
And I realized that I’ve been feeling pretty down in Corvallis because my social network is so tiny. While I love my Corvallis friends a lot, the truth is, there are only a few of us, we’re all transplants to the area, and there is a lack of variety in things to do.
As the conversation continued, I mentioned something about how a job had closed at University of Hawai’i. My counselor asked me if I thought Hawai’i would be a good location for me to move to.
Ideally, yes. Realistically, no.
I don’t do well at starting over from complete scratch. I do my best when I have a good and varied network of people in a city. I would do fine moving back to Seattle, moving to Portland, or pursuing an opportunity in Los Angeles. The Bay Area is iffy, although I do have some friends in San Francisco.
This is the exact type of reasoning I need to remember during my job search. As much as I love traveling and being adventurous, I also love having a home base, a place where I can get a hold of someone that I know and go out and play. And I like being in places where those “someones” aren’t always the same. I like being in places where my “someones” can cross paths with each other and make new friendships, too.
It’s hard saying I can’t do it all. I’m not Wonder Woman, and I’m not the type of person who can just plunk down in a strange city and be okay. I can do that for a little while, a month or two or three, but longer than that, I need something more substantial. I’ve wrestled with this before, feeling isolated when I took my first job. My boyfriend at the time kept telling me to get out and meet people and make new friends, and I would cry and cry and try to explain that I couldn’t just do that. I was trying, but it was very difficult for me.
I like having a foundation, and I like branching out from there. That’s how I made it through my undergraduate career. That approach has worked to an extent here, but my networks in Corvallis are much smaller. I need to remind myself that this isn’t a weakness. This is how I operate, and I know myself. To be happy, I have to listen to myself and have faith that everything will work out in the end.
So, that said, watch out, West Coast cities and friends–I’m coming for you.