Sunday, July 13, 2008

Screw You, Horace Greeley

"Go west, young man" my ass!

Okay, okay. Maybe old Horace was onto something there. I sure hope so, because here I am: gone west to Texas in search of fortune and fame. Well, fortune, anyway. I suspect the most I can ever hope to achieve in the fame department is notoriety. Which, on the whole, I think I'd rather not.

It's funny how lightly you can take a decision like this. When I realized that, my best efforts notwithstanding, college was not in fact going to last forever, I started searching for a job. Being single and unattached, I figured that I had the freedom to go anywhere, do anything. Lots of places came to mind - I went through a Wyoming phase, a New Mexico phase, a return-to-DC phase, and probably a few others. And there was the Texas phase. I'd spent some time in Texas and liked it - no snow, friendly people, no snow, low taxes, no snow, low cost of living, no snow, growing economy, no snow (did I mention no snow?) - so why not look for a job out there?

Well, lo and behold, my Uncle Pete decided that I was just the ticket and hired me for a job out here in the Coastal Bend of Texas. So off I went - leaving behind the friends and family who I belatedly realized really were my attachment, no matter how single I might be.

Call that a colossal "d'oh!" moment. Not to mention a realization that I'd been pretty (okay, entirely) self-centered during this process. Got to get a job, got to do what I want, go to go go go go go. All me, all the time.


I've had the wanderlust on and off for a while. It's not that it wasn't time to leave Norfolk - it was - but I didn't have to go west. Could I have found a job on the East Coast, one that would have left me closer to friends and family? I'm sure I could have. That I didn't...there are a lot of things that went into that. A rejection here, a poor interview there, and pretty soon you're watching the movers load up your stuff for Texas.

Don't get me wrong: it's not that I'm not excited about the job. I am. I think I'm going to enjoy the work, I think it's a good company to work for, and I think I'm going to enjoy living in Texas. But not as much as I would have enjoyed being closer to the people I love.

If I were more Calvinist, I'd accept that this is my Manifest Destiny and move on. But I'm not. My life has had too many twists and turns for me ever to believe in predestination. Sometimes it seems like I can't even go to the grocery store without getting lost along the way. God may have a plan for our lives, but I believe that we're free to screw it up. Fortunately, He also has a Plan B. And a Plan C. And a Plan D. And a...well, you get the idea.

Today I fly to Omaha to start my training, during the course of which the company will transform me from a completely useless college graduate into a marginally useful management type. It's going to be a good experience. It's going to be a tremendous adventure. It's going to work out.

But if I ever meet Horace Greeley, I'm going to kick his ass.


Blogger Anon e Mouse Jr. said...

"My life has had too many twists and turns for me ever to believe in predestination."


As a very good movie once said, "The future has not been written. There is no fate but what we make for ourselves." Even when a future is laid out for you, if you're told about it, you can change it. It'll still exist, but it won't be the same when you finally get there.

Until next time...

Anon e Mouse Jr.

2:47 PM  

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