That weird in-between

Having scanned Craig’s List for all of twenty minutes this week, I can say with some confidence that the job search has begun. Emotionally, at least. Kind of.

A number of well-intentioned friends and relatives have asked me questions about my future, and I’ve gotten the impression that few have been too impressed with my answers. “I’m thinking of finding a job somewhere in the U.S.” wouldn’t satisfy many, and understandably. At this point, it’s the big circle on my Venn Diagram. I have sort of scoped out a few cities, nothing for sure and changing all the time, but if someone asked me my criteria, I think I would be embarrassed to admit the influence of off-handed remarks from friends, movies, magazine articles, and proximity to major airports. I figure I can’t live anywhere known for a meteorological condition I don’t like, such as rain. As I told a friend, “Rain makes me want to curl up with a blanket, a book, a cup of tea and some Norah Jones.” Not too conducive to starting a new job. I even did some random Googling–and I refuse to share any of those keywords out of pure self-preservation.

So I haven’t really figured out where to begin, what I might want to do, where exactly I might want to do yet-to-be determined thing. I figure there’s lots of things I could enjoy. Plenty of other things I could semi-enjoy that would involve twice-monthly paychecks for a while. So it’s just a question of looking. Right?

I know everyone goes through this post-college transition period. Not really being an adult, not really being a kid. I just happened to postpone my time a year or so and wasn’t smart enough to move in/move on with college friends as some brighter friends have done. Then again, most of my college friends are in law school or married. Some of them have careers, which, I’ll be honest, don’t really appeal to me too much. Whether I plan to or not, I kind of follow the whole “I will go in this way/and I’ll find my own way out” bit anyway (thanks, Dave).

At this point, I’ve lived with 17 (!) different roommates over the past six years in eight different apartments/houses/dorm rooms in four cities, three countries. (And that’s not even counting the three summers I spent living in a cabin in northeastern Washington.) As a disclaimer to any future roommates I may have, most of them came into the relationship with a deadline already in mind–I only drove one away and that’s because I evicted him. Part of me is tired of going through the motions, the meet and greet and then getting accustomed to their strange cohabitation patterns, becoming close friends with some, only to do it all over again a few months later. Even as I am sick of it, just like I am getting pretty damn tired of moving this unbelievable amount of stuff I have accumulated, I know it’s a necessary evil. I like my stuff. And I’m not sure I can see moving to a new place where I know no one and living alone as the smartest option. Meeting people in the post-college world is awkward enough. You can’t knock on the door down the hall during the first week and ask if they want to hit the Food Zoo. There’s no orientation or small classes or student groups. I’ve been told I could join a gym–there’s just a couple problems with that idea. I hate gyms, and I’m not sure my red-faced sweaty self is the first impression I am looking to give to future friends. Book clubs, classes from cooking to car maintenance, knitting groups, all the other tenets of chick-lit friendship building I haven’t entirely ruled out. I don’t even know where I’m moving yet.

Despite all of the confusion and general angst, I’m excited. When the time comes, I am guessing I will feel ready to start something new. I am looking forward to getting to know a U.S. city outside of Montana, getting to know the U.S. in general. I’ve traveled so little here. It’s fun, though clearly overwhelming, to have some choice in where I’m headed–last year, I got a letter saying I was assigned to a city in southern Spain and off I headed, completely clueless. To some extent, I’ll be clueless whereever I go, but at least I have some say in the matter.

And hey, there’s always random Googling.

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7 responses to “That weird in-between”

  1. Mego

    If you’re looking for a break between Google searches and feel so inclined, check out It’s kinda neat. My top cities are usually places in Oregon and then Austin, Texas… Random.

  2. labuenapinta

    To where are you thinking of moving?

  3. Kristin

    I just did that quiz that Mego posted and they told me my number one spot was Las Vegas, NV. I think this quiz is a lot like Eharmony.

    Em – just remember you can always change your mind. Lots of times, in fact.

  4. lisasuze

    Hi, I just clicked on a link on my friend’s blog and came across yours. I’ve only read a few posts, and I’ve already had quite a few “That’s me!” moments. For example, I also spent the last year working as a language assistant in Spain (Granada) and came back to the States with the intention of looking for jobs based on cities that I thought would be cool places to live. And, most of my friends also have careers, husbands, or are in law school or something of the sort, haha. Anyway, I’ve ended up deciding to go back to Spain for another year…you know how that addiction goes…maybe I’ll see you there.

    I have a blog ( but I haven’t been updating much lately since my life has been pretty boring at home.
    Good luck with your job search and adjusting to home!


  5. miamired

    thanks, Lisa. Lots of people go through “that weird in-between” and living and teaching in Spain for a while helps quite a bit. It was a really great experience for me…enjoy your year there!

    …now back to writing cover letters

  6. Holland

    Let me know if you ever want to visit Nashville, good luck with the search. I feel your pain. Don’t settle for anything boring, trust me.

  7. Home coming « Mensajes

    […] Driving into my hometown, I noticed that my feelings have changed. I used to come home from college and feel some déjà vu, but pulling off the highway no longer made me feel like I was coming home. Home was where I lived full-time. Now, I feel much the same driving into both cities, as neither are really MY places. I am moving around boxes and sleeping on fold-out couches in one city, living out of suitcases and sleeping in a room that seems to be frozen in about 1999 in another. I guess it’s another aspect of that weird in-between. […]