Monday, November 26, 2007

Stop Me If You've Heard This One...

I can't remember if I've discussed this one before, but I have a serious case of wanderlust. I'm not sure if I was born with it, but my grandfather was about one approving opinion away from moving to Australia to homestead with a cattle ranch in the outback (the wilderness of that continent/island, not the restaurant), so I'm not really sure this is just something peculiar to me. One of my major regrets of my post college years is not having moved to Alaska. I had a chance to be the sole reporter for The Tundra Drums, the newspaper for Bethel, Alaska. I would have spent a lot of times on fishing boats and covering Native Alaskan issues and lived in the newspaper office as it's actually set up for living quarters given that the newspaper employee is rarely a local. This would have been cool because I would have spent the summer working in a town that could not be driven to (unless you have an awesome off-road vehicle with a very large gas tank) and covering things that would have been entirely new to me.

Instead, I copped out and took the guaranteed internship with a fairly good weekly paper in south Georgia instead of holding out for the likely chance that Alaska Newspapers, Inc., couldn't fill that position with a full-time reporter in the month they'd have to wait on me to make it to summer break. It's not like that internship earned me anything. I ended up working copy desk for a daily paper I'd already spent a season or two freelancing high school football games for, and, from my experience with some of my co-copy editors, wasn't all that picky. After that job, I never worked in newspapers again, and don't plan on going back. I wish I'd waited for the Alaska job instead. The worst that could have happened is that internship would have fallen through, I would have spent another summer working on campus, and ended up with the same copy editing job.

Instead I've lived no farther from home than can be driven in four hours when ignoring speed limits and missing heavy traffic, although Atlanta could be considered another country to my rural upbringing. I've also been unable to go two years now without getting anxious and feeling the need for another move. My second year after college, I satisfied that urge by moving to an adjacent town and buying a house. The purchase of my first home with K was a big enough deal to sate my desire for wandering for another two years when I changed careers. Teaching was traumatic enough to make me forget wandering for another two years when I moved back to my hometown. This was just dumb. That's not even wandering, although it did numb the need for one year. Right now, I'm really jonesing for a major move. I think that's a major catalyst for my current educational crisis (also known as sudden inescapable desire to get my doctorate) because I know that getting it would lead to another career change that would require a major move. I might could even pull a cross-country haul out of that one. The only collegiate option within a reasonable commute of my house is a lousy private college and a junior college. I'd not take a position at either unless I were desperate.

But, really, I'd take a decently compensated position with a brewery in the Midwest (or even Atlanta for that matter) or a PR job for a non profit in the Pacific Northwest and be satisfied not to continue my education for at least four more years.

The one hitch in those half-assed plans is that K does not share my wanderlust. Not even a little. She puts up with long road trips because she loves me and is open minded, but doesn't actually get anything out of it like I do. I actually get a small recharge of my soul allowing me to avoid a deep depression for a couple of months with my biannual road trips. She hates moving and even though she misses being close enough to her parents for regular visits, doesn't even want to move to get closer to them (and I even threw that out as an option to make it easier for me to attend grad school and she shot it down.)

How am I ever going to solve this quandary? I have no clue. The most likely solution is that I get old and bitter. And fat. I'll probably get fat. Or actually fatter. I already am fat. And senile. I already am quickly drifting off topic and this isn't even that long of a post.

Quick, someone find me a job and movers in the Otago region of New Zealand, before I end up old, fat, and retarded.


Mickey said...

You probably already know that I feel your pain. I actually have indulged my wanderlust for the past several years, albeit I kept going back to the same place. Somehow I didn't lose Courtney in the process (I can't figure that out either). I think I'm just allergic to being in one spot for very long, and long for me is six months. I've been in Knoxville for almost 14 months straight now, and I'm surprised every day that I keep it together (relatively speaking.) Shoot, now that I think about it, this is only the first (or possibly second) year since 1996 that I haven't spent a significant amount of time at least two time zones away from home. I'm way over-due.

Meaghan said...

I've always wondered how to describe you to people, but after your little rant about getting old and fat (which you are not fat), I have decided to compare you to an old man!

But I, too, share your need for travel. I like having a home to come back to, but I would love to step foot in every state in the U.S., see Spain, France, Ireland, Scotland, England, Australia and Brazil and then settle down in Italy when I'm old...

Chris said...

I don't know if the photo link for "old, fat and retarded" was really necessary or related, but thank you for it nonetheless. It made me laugh.

I'm afraid I share the type of wanderlust my dad has: occupational -- although so far I've done a better job of suppressing it than he has. Every month or so I find myself dreaming up some other job that I think I'd rather be doing (usually it's one that doesn't even exist, or at least doesn't pay actual money).