(If you don't understand The Hobbit reference in the title of this entry, just know I am very disappointed with you. Also, yes, it occurred to me this entry should probably have a Pocahontas pun for the title [You'll see what I mean in a minute], but this one was too good to pass up.)
I'm getting on a plane this Saturday and going back to Arkansas. I've talked about this in podcast episodes, I guess, but I don't remember if I've blogged about why I'm leaving San Francisco and my job here.
I moved here to be an associate producer at a digital network. I also moved here under the condition that the job would be contracted for three months to see how I fit in. Well, they really liked me, I fit in, and it was assumed I'd be staying. I was the one who decided to end this journey. And it was possibly one of the most difficult decisions I've made in a long time.
You guys know I love comparing myself to cartoon characters or characters from kids' movies, so I've been looking at this situation as though I'm Pocahontas. (Please imagine me in the dress and with her gorgeous, flowing hair, possibly crouching under that waterfall. You know, the one where she first meets John Smith.) And it's like I'm standing in a canoe looking at my reflection in the water and picturing my future with Kocoum (in San Francisco), and singing something about taking the smoothest course or maybe taking the other path and holding out for something else that turns out to be John Smith (who is from Arkansas in this metaphor, I guess). Except, honestly, in this case both paths have good and sucky aspects, but neither is particularly smooth, and both have piranhas leaping out of the water and there are some sharks swimming around (river sharks, of course) and even a few corpses just floating around near the shore, too. So right now I'm really just picking the path where I don't end up living with twenty people and having zero dollars in my savings account. Anyway, this whole paragraph has been a really flimsy metaphor, so I've typed out my reasons below for taking the path back to Arkansas (and it's not just because John Smith is more attractive than Kocoum, because I'm not totally sure he is. Kocoum was pretty hot, too). Also, this isn't being written because I feel the need to explain it to anyone. Writing it down is more so a type of therapy for myself.
First, this city is simply too damn expensive. Just google "San Francisco rental market" to see what a mess it currently is here. With student loans and other bills, I'd never be able to even afford a cramped studio, even in the East Bay or far outside the city (and even if I could, the travel time to work wouldn't make it worth it). I've done the whole living-in-a-house-with-five-people thing before, and I've outgrown it. I want to make music and videos and spread out and be comfortable in my own space. I don't want to struggle month-to-month and not be putting any money towards savings.
Second, I want to be closer to my family and BFF. My parents are getting older and, while they very much want me to go where I want and do my own thing, I've discovered that my place right now is closer to home, nearer to them and my sister and BFF. Also, life is just a lot more fun when you're closer to your BFF. Me and my BFF spent way too many years living in different states. I'm still not sure I want to stay in Arkansas forever, but I don't want to be quite as far away as I am now. I'm an East Coast kinda gal, and I'd really like to live in Philly again someday.
Third, a couple different job opportunities popped up back home and, though neither of them is a sure thing, I want to pursue them. While I feel like I'm a damn good associate producer here, I think I've learned it may not be the thing for me. Of course, I've had more than enough jobs to realize almost every single one has sucky aspects, and I'm not afraid of hard work or of doing something I don't 100% enjoy. That's just life. So this wasn't really a big factor in my decision. There's definitely more good than bad in the job. Most of the good stems from the people and the environment being so great. I just wish it were closer to home and this city weren't so damn expensive.
I am glad I came, though. This has been one of the best summers I've had in a while, and I've been ready for another adventure for a long time. A lot of good came from this. But I don't think I'm ready to share that part, yet.
I originally had another list at the bottom of this entry where I typed out things I'd miss about this city and things I wouldn't, but the post was getting too long so I'll save it for another.
So, yes, to summarize: I'm not marrying Kocoum. Or choosing John Smith, either. But, until I figure things out, I plan on doing a lot more jumping off waterfalls and singing with raccoons and hanging out with old, sassy trees. And, of course, I'll still be looking just around the riverbend (and probably end up canoeing my way off a goddamn cliff eventually).