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life...talk to me about life - 1370°C

Jul. 16th, 2005

02:38 pm - life...talk to me about life

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long and rambling and self-pitying cry for help deciding what i'm going to do with my life follows


here's the thing. i've officially taken another year off from my PhD program in the States to preserve my sanity and catch up on long-overdue work. that makes me feel quite happy actually, and is a bit of a weight lifted off of my Standing Wave. however, what i don't know is what to do in the interim. so, i'm going to give you all the info necessary to help me out, and (not that i will abide by your decisions, mind you) assist in deciding my fate for me.

-thing the first: i could stay in Dublin. on the positive side, there are people here i really like and am going to miss like mad if i leave. good people that i'd like to think i properly appreciate (for the first time in maybe my entire life) and people i'd like to get to know better. i like Dublin a lot, i feel nearly happy here (climate and surroundings-wise), and am just generally enjoying living outside of the police-state that has become my own country. on the negative side, i'd likely be here illegally. my student visa runs out in October, which nixes my eligibility to work. however, i have a job now and it's possible that i can be under the radar for at least a while and no one will really notice. then again, it's possible that eventually the bureaucracy will catch up with me and deport me when they figure it out. also, once my visa expires, i won't be able to leave the country and get back in, so i'll be effetively stuck here. my only two options are to hope that no one notices, or to come right out to my boss and tell her what's up and see if she can get me a proper work visa (according to official regulations nearly impossible in my situation). however, if i do the later and she won't or can't, i've blown it entirely. also, i'd have to store not only everything i own, but the car as well. so it just might not be feasable.

-thing the second: i could move back to Minnesota. on the positive side, i really like it there because there's tons of culture and stuff to do and generally the climate agrees with me, my best friend in the world is there and i already miss him like crazy. all of my stuff is there as are the kitties (which will stay with _goodmanbrown_, but i will have visiting rights). i have to go back there for Fall of 2006 if i'm to finish my degree anyway, and it would be the best option as far as "convenience" goes (not that that matters too much), because being anywhere else will involve me moving a lot of stuff into storage in MN. on the negative side, other than my best friend (who's recently indicated that i'm not really welcome there anyway), there isn't anyone i really care about (no offence to gothaminserenia, ladygaia, and skywayman, i like you guys a lot, but the lack of a real bond is my own fault for being a vitutal hermit. MN is expensive, and i'm not sure of the ability to get a viable job there.

-thing the third: i could move to Albuquerque. on the positive side, there are quite a lot of people i care about who would be willing not only to let me sleep on their sofas if need be, but also help me to find a place to live/a job, etc. it's incredibly cheap to live there, and i've worked enough jobs on the UNM campus that i'm nearly certain i could segue into one of them as a non-student. failing that, it's easy to get at least a crappy job out there. UNM is cheap enough that i could take a class or two in Photography or Film or something creative that would be just...enjoyable. on the negative side, i really *hate* the desert with a passion that is hard to even begin to describe other than to say the first moment i set foot in it, i simply wanted to leave again and never go back. i find the heat and sunlight oppressive, and am not impressed by brown, baren landscape even if it does have mountains (the night sky/stars nearly make up for it--they're weep-worthy, but still...). there's nothing useful to do other than Euphoria and related events--no decent art museums, no culture (the zoo and aquarium are nice though). and i'm not *exactly* sure if i'm welcome there.

-thing the fourth: i could move back to Maryland. on the positive side, i could live with my parents for free. and, as much as i wanted to escape Maryland when i lived there (mostly because i'm a gypsy by nature but lived in the same house in the same town for 18 years), i really like that particular bit of the east coast--it's beautiful and pleasant and i understand the mindset. on the negative side, living with my parents?!? argh. no. and living elsewhere = expensive and would still require seeing my parents on a fairly frequent basis. there's just generally nothing there for me.

-thing the fifth: i think i could move to Seattle. on the positive side, my friend D., who's practically like another sister to me in some ways, has been trying for years to get me to come out and live with her in Seattle in her big fancy house. i think i would *really* like the Pacific Northwest even though i've never been there. zevhonith wouldn't be terribly far away. on the negative side, i haven't actually *asked* her if this is a real option, i hear jobs are very scarce (people with degrees guard their Starbucks jobs with their lives, so i'm told), and i'm sure if i expressed interest to D., she could make it happen, but i'd feel a bit like i was imposing, and i hate to feel like that.

-thing the sixth: i could go somewhere random. on the positive side, back when i graduated St. John's, i had this very romantic notion (when i didn't get into any of the grad schools to which i'd applied) of taking out a map, hurling a dart, and moving to the nearest "real" place the dart indicated. i truly and completely wanted to do this. i wasn't afraid of going it alone (though with _goodmanbrown_ would have been much better), and the whole idea of finding a new frontier appealed to me. i don't feel like i've really seen enough of the States. thrill of something genuinely new, somewhere distinctly different, alien. something appeals about the oft-sung lyric "leave without a trace." on the negative side, now, i seem terrified of that prospect. not knowing where would be a possibility. fear of finding a job, a flat, a life. this, i think, is the least viable option to me.

so, i suppose i'm asking you to put aside your personal feelings about whether you want me around or not (i can get those from you in person if need be, and for most of you, i know already) and let me know which of these things sounds like the objectively better idea. and please provide comments if you can. i'm lost.

Poll #533656 life/things

where should i live for the next year?

Dublin
5(29.4%)
Minnesota
0(0.0%)
Abq
2(11.8%)
Maryland
0(0.0%)
Seattle
6(35.3%)
Somewhere Random
4(23.5%)


Current Music: The Postal Service - Recycled Air

Comments:

[User Picture]
From:pixink
Date:July 16th, 2005 07:55 am (UTC)
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Of course you are welcome here. Though, I say this on very little authority, especially since I'm not sure if I'm welcome myself. You have other options, though...go somewhere cool. :)
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From:ferrousoxide
Date:July 16th, 2005 08:19 am (UTC)
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you have plenty enough authority, as you're one of the people in Abq that i desperately wish i had the chance to know better.
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[User Picture]
From:pixink
Date:July 16th, 2005 08:32 am (UTC)
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Well, you can, you know. Email is an effective communication tool. And you can always come visit. :)

...and thank you.
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From:gorey_ballerina
Date:July 16th, 2005 08:33 am (UTC)
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I feel like I made a similar tough decision (when my advisor got a job offer at Washington University). There were pros and cons for each side, and it was really tough to figure out what the "best" decision was. I think the choice I made was the right one, but any decision is tough, right?

I didn't do the poll because I was thinking more of this:
"i've officially taken another year off from my PhD program in the States to preserve my sanity and catch up on long-overdue work. that makes me feel quite happy actually, and is a bit of a weight lifted off of my Standing Wave."

Being in a Ph.D. program myself (and often wondering if I'll be a Ph.D. in the mental ward when I'm done), I'm inclined to ask:

Where would you feel the most sane/happy?

That's the toughest question to answer, I suppose, but I really think that the place that you feel would support you the most (friendwise, environment-wise, etc) is probably the place to be.

If you're taking a year off from your program, you might as well use it to relax, right? Go where you can relax.

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[User Picture]
From:ilcylic
Date:July 16th, 2005 09:03 am (UTC)
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Obviously, personally, I want you here.

But I think, given your distaste for tan and barren, the Pac Nor West might be your best bet after Ireland.

Just, y'know, stop in on the way through, yah?

-Ogre
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From:killbox
Date:July 16th, 2005 12:36 pm (UTC)
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I wanted to vote for ABQ, But I think you should exhaust your legal options in Ireland. I'm not going to encourage you to try and duck immigration, I would be a hypocrite I were to say such things (not to mention kind of dangerous what with whatever form of backlash may come from the london terror whatever). but I can't see any reason not to try and get an extension, (are you still doing research?) and then when when/if that fails, then You come to Albuquerque, and improve both the beauty and intelligence averages of this state! ;-D

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From:djsparkydog
Date:July 16th, 2005 05:23 pm (UTC)
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Course you're welcome, and course I'm thinki
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From:luvcraft
Date:July 16th, 2005 06:24 pm (UTC)
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Ya know, I always wondered if you were thinki. You've got the eyebrows for it...
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From:_goodmanbrown_
Date:July 17th, 2005 08:57 am (UTC)
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Ireland is the first place you've lived about which I've ever heard you utter a positive word while you live there. If your environment has half as much power over your general well being as you say it does, it seems like it would be a big mistake to leave.
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From:ferrousoxide
Date:July 17th, 2005 10:47 am (UTC)
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not exactly true. as i like MN a whole heck of a lot and never had a bad thing to say about it other than the traditional "brrrr"
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From:gothaminserenia
Date:July 19th, 2005 06:56 pm (UTC)
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No offense taken!

Well, as an advocate of personal choice over democratic consensus, I (politely) declined to participate in your poll. The best choice will be whatever you decide. That said, I don't mind giving a few observations/suggestions.

You may be asking yourself the wrong question. Perhaps you should ask, not where do you want to live, but what do you want to do? Are you looking to take a break from school so you can earn some money working? Do you want just take time off to relax & unwind for a year? Is there something you've really wanted to do, but never had the time due to school? Would you rather resume your course as a gypsy, to travel & see the world ... or are you feeling like it's time to set down roots somewhere, to feel like you have a home? Reconsidering things from that perspective may help you decide. You're young, unmarried, & don't have a house or employment holding you down, so your options are more open than for most people. Take advantage of that. Even if you can't decide, then choose one thing. If you find out you don't like it, you can always change your mind.

As far as where to move, I don't think you'd want to live with your parents. That'd feel like a step backward for you. In Abq, I'm sure you'd enjoy spending time with your many friends there ... but it sounds like you didn't really enjoy it there, which was why you moved away in the first place. (I can speak from experience on this, and it's one reason I like Mpls ... I can still drive for a few hours to see my family or hang with my old high school friends in Sconnie once in a while ... but I'm not particularly inclined to live there again.) I've never been to Seattle except for passing through ... but I know a few people who've to or from there, and they've all said they love it there.

Naturally I'd enjoy seeing you again if you moved back to Mpls. And there's a lot to do here which I suspect you never tried or even knew about. There are quite a few cool people here whom you've never really met. Yes, you were a hermit when you were here! I tried to drag you out once in a while, but it was tough when you were busy with school ... I feel like I've come to know you considerably better over LJ than I ever did in person. But from the other perspective, you don't really have roots here, so you wouldn't need to feel too bad about moving elsewhere.

Really though, it seems like you're very happy in Dublin. You've come a long way from the homesickness I sensed just after you moved. If I were you, I'd probably choose an extra year there. Why not, you're already there! The visa thing sounds troubling though. Does your visa expire at a certain date, or does it expire once you're out of school? If it's the latter, perhaps you could take just one class to get you by for the time being.

Here are a couple ideas. Could you temporarily move back to Mpls or Abq until your visa renewal is accepted? But admittedly, having your life in limbo like that would be very unsettling. Or you could do exactly the opposite: stay in Dublin till your visa expires, then move back to Mpls, Abq, or explore America & enjoy your time off, until classes resume in Fall '06.

Well, hope my comments might be helpful ... but I'm afraid I've probably muddied the water even further. :-(

PS - BTW, I'm tempted to read into your subconsious a bit. Your priorities for living might be in exactly the order in which you've listed them.
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