Monday, July 25, 2011

In which I briefly depart from travel writing.

My future is a little uncertain right now.

For the past couple of years, I have planned on continuing on to M.A. in Publishing program at PSU after graduating. But after finishing up this school year, I'm not so sure I want to do that. There are two reasons.

First, the school. While I've had a couple of really great profs at PSU, the remaining have not been so outstanding. In fact, I've had better instruction at community colleges. I'm having a really hard time with the knowledge that I'm paying for a lot more but getting a lot less. And it's not like PSU is a bad school! According to this info sheet, the school is acclaimed for being one of the best when it comes to transfer students, service to the community and green practices. But the English department seems to be somewhat ordinary, at times mediocre, which breaks my heart. I want to learn. I want to be challenged to think outside of my comfort zone, something that has only happened once or twice last year. I don't know, maybe this next year will be better. I have a very challenging fall quarter coming up and fully plan on diving in with all that I have.

Second, Portland. My beautiful city. My gorgeous, temperate, friendly, walkable, green city. I don't want to leave. I've lived in this area all of my life. My family is here. My friends are here. Fantastic food and beer and snacks and food carts are here. Unfortunately, the jobs are not here. The creative types flock to Portland in search of fantastic jobs, jobs the city doesn't have, and they're stuck pulling espresso shots and dishing out drinks from behind the bar. And I'm afraid. I'm afraid that when I graduate, I'll have just as hard of a time landing a job as I am now (because I'm trying. Really, I'm trying). I'm afraid that my sweet husband will be stuck working in a place he hates just so he can have the health insurance he needs to take care of a damn expensive disease he can't get rid of. I'm afraid I'll be stuck delivering papers for who knows how long when all I really want to do is edit them.

I know I've mentioned before that I have big dreams of moving to Scotland (or to Europe in general) but I have to be somewhat realistic about it. That won't happen anytime soon, no matter how hard I hope and wish and pray (in my own special way).

I still want to edit like nobody's business, but I don't know if I can stay where I am to accomplish that. I suppose time will tell. I do know that I have been mopey, unresponsive and insecure about what exactly it is I want to do and where exactly I want to do it.


Robert McKay said...

Honestly it sounds like you are in a perfect situation to consider the impossible. Start poking around for job listings in Scotland that will allow you to use your degree. Maybe when you graduate you will find that it's Scotland that has just the job you want.

Just a thought. I hate to see people not living their dreams because of being practical. You never know unless you look.

You could also look into location independent careers. Dream big. The worlds only as small as you make it.

Karla said...

My friend Amanda is in the publishing program at PSU. If you're interested in messaging her with any questions you may have, I'm sure she'd answer them for you!

Faith McKay said...

I know you've seemed down in your facebook updates lately, but have been really confused about what was going on. I kept thinking I should message you, but some people find that pushy (the "if I wanted to tell you about it I would have" kind of thing)... Clearly, I missed this blog post. I know exactly how you feel, these are a lot of scary things.

Since you're going into editing, I bet there are jobs you could apply for that are based in other cities, but can be done online from Portland (like Robert was suggesting with his location independent job search suggestion). I'm sure it would be more fun to have a position where you go to a work place and interact with people, but it's an option that can open up your search a bit.

It seems, from what I understand, that a lot of publishing jobs are all about who you know, and it seems like you know a lot of people in Portland, so hopefully that will give you a leg up once you graduate.

Im sorry this is so hard and life is so rough. You're such a sweet, smart, and dedicated person, I really believe that eventually things will work out for you. If you'd ever like to talk, I'm a good email buddy!