Virgin's Guide to Burning Man

A Virgin's Guide to Burning Man can be found here.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

In Limbo

This year is the year for forks in the road; for choosing between paths and praying they lead somewhere towards happiness. I have officially finished collecting data for my dissertation and now must start writing it. Which means this fall I will start looking for a job. With the job market being so tight, it will be a tough search and if I'm lucky enough to find a job, it almost certainly will entail moving who-knows-where. Meanwhile, I will start sending out my manuscript, in hopes a publisher will see promise in it. Unsure which road will lead to a career, I'm pursuing both simultaneously.

On top of all this, my husband and I have been talking about moving somewhere completely different--as in foreign country different. Berlin and Thailand are probably the best options, given our ease with the languages, family connections and job possibilities. We both would love to live in a foreign country for 6 months to a year, and we wonder whether we should do it now while we're young and relatively mobile and responsibility-free. We don't want to wake up 70, and regretting never having taken the chance.

But the housing market is prime right now for first-time buyers. We could probably afford a nice-sized three bedroom house where we could settle down and have a place of our own. Which means we could also have the dogs we've been jonesing for, for almost a year now. We could get a home with fairly little down and amazingly low interest rates. It would almost be stupid to wait too long. My parents are pushing for this option, saying it's such a great investment that can't be passed up. Part of me wonders whether they're also pushing us to settle down and stay close to family rather than wandering off some where far away.

I always wanted to study abroad when I was in college as an undergrad, but I never did because I was too close to my parents. Plus with a boyfriend, I usually had too many ties keeping me at home. I have a strong belief of never having regrets in life, and I can honestly say I've held to that belief. But never studying abroad is probably the closest thing I have to regret. Now, I don't want to make an irresponsible decision. I don't want to do something that will set us back financially or unduly jeopardize our careers. But I also don't want fear and worry to be what prevents us from doing something we've always wanted to do. I don't want choosing security and responsibility over the opportunity of a lifetime to become something to regret.

I don't know what we will choose. But we are fast approaching the proverbial fork in the road, and I wonder whether we will choose the road of home, career, family, responsibility and settling down, or whether we will choose the road less traveled.

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