It's been all graduation talk around here lately, but 'what's next?' you may ask. A 4 year degree, a range of experiences spanning from pulling weeds to interning in the downtown skyscrapers with the trend-setters of the city, 120 credits, countless articles written, and you'd think I'd have a full-time job with benefits all lined up. Given the grisly economy, to say that college students are faced with a challenge is a gross understatement. The work force can't sustain its current members, let alone the influx of students entering it in May.
Before the economy and I decide to settle down, I've decided to play the game of risk. And the secret's out. Well, come closer. I'm moving - across the country. Can't believe I waited this long to tell you, huh? I've been given unimaginable opportunities and, as with the remainder of my beans and grains below, I'm faced with the decision to throw them out and sulk at home until a cushy corporate job opens, or stick my neck out using what I've got and boil the heck out of 'em. And the trek to Seattle is me turning on the stove and turning up the heat.
Seattle didn't grow on me until day 3 of my journey. The multi-colored plastic luggage display hovering above the SeaTac airport's luggage claim area was a bit strange, and I had no idea what was in store for me. The gray skies, ever-present moss, and not-so-Minnesota-nice people took be aback at first. But seeing what happens to the city when the sunlight comes out (a near town celebration), the funky architecture, diverse neighborhoods, and learning that people keep to themselves because they are already living content, small lives, made me quickly reexamine my initial reaction.
Overall, it was the food that got my attention. And most importantly, how Seattleites are crazy about their markets, farmers, restaurants, and home cooking. These West Coasties are serious about food. I wanted in on the action. It's one thing to love a city, yes - it's another thing to move there. Don't think I haven't thought this one through.
I've taken a journey like this before as I moved to a college I had never visited when I was 17 years old. (It was the best worst decision I've ever made.) Granted, I turned 18 before the first day of class, but it still felt a bit strange. Even more strange was how old I felt compared to my peers. Black coffee and Tchaikovsky aren’t the typical college freshman thing, I guess. (I still haven’t got the hang of Bud Light and Britney Spears. I’ve never been good at being a typical college student.) My college experience has been worth it for one reason. Not for teaching me the Associated Press style guide, the Cyrillic alphabet, or Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations, rather it has made me elastic and adaptable. One has to constantly reinvent themselves to respond to new challenges. This adaptability makes me comfortable being sent out into an economy in a recession, where flexibility is paramount.
I imagine you looking at me like the all-too-concerned grandparent of a free-spirited 70s hippie, peering over the top rim of your glasses with elevated eyebrows thinking, 'This girl's crazy.' So to sum up the logistics and give you some assurance, know that I have housing lined up and have recently fallen into a paid copywriting and web design project that I plan to take with me and expand upon. There are also countless catering companies, restaurants, and farms that I want to pursue once I get out there. And in my spare-time, I'll always be looking for publications to write articles for.
So there it is. A diploma, no fancy corporate job, a cross-country journey in my parents' old Buick (listening to this and this), experience under my belt, a few paid gigs, and a deep curiosity that gets me up every morning.
An unlikely end, that's for sure.