My best friend here in town is still job searching. She really wants out of Tallahassee, and when she talks about it, she says “this town has passed its expiration date.”
What a great way of saying that it is time to move on!
I know exactly what she means; I stayed in Orlando about four years past its expiration date. Now, Orlando is a great city; it just wasn’t a good place for me to stay. I needed to get out, and instead of leaving when I had the chance, I played it like a coward. Staying, though, was not the safe choice or the wise choice. Things continued to go downhill for me and in the end I built up a huge level of resentment towards Orlando that it probably did not deserve.
My friend graduated before me (out of our master’s program) by a full semester, so that means over a year ago now. Her job search is not unusual in going on this long, because in our profession and our specialties, jobs are not stacked up in every town. In the meantime, though, she’s had other things happen in her life that just mean she’s over Tallahassee in a big way. It has passed its expiration date.
If you had asked me six months ago, I would have said the same thing. Six months ago I was deep in the job hunt, worrying about my dwindling (now non-existent) savings and wondering what I was doing with my life.
Over the winter holidays, the university I work for basically shut down for two weeks and that meant I had time to reflect and ponder and make decisions. So I did.
I stopped job hunting.
I started writing.
And in the transition over the last six months, as I finally remembered how to commit to being a professional author, this town managed to back away from its expiration date. I’m not dying to get out of here, to wash my hands of this safe haven. It’s proving to be a good place to hang out and re-launch my writing career.
I think I’ll stay. For a little while, anyway.
*Photo by geishaboy500 via Flickr Creative Commons, used with permission.