Saturday, March 29, 2008

Rough day today

I'm having one of those days where you're not sure how you're doing. I've been wrestling with existential crises. Like am I ever going to be able to be a grown up? And where is the money going to come from?

For example, we want to get a house. It will be nice to own our own place. But then I realize houses have taxes that come due. And when something breaks you have to fix it. And yard work. I hate yard work. I have no desire to "putter around the yard." Sounds like hell to me. My personal theory is part of the reason my parents had so many kids was to have more cheap labor to pitch in around the yard.

And we have been discussing a second dog. But we can't agree on what kind of dog. And we can't do it yet anyway because our current lease only allows for one dog. I don't like her small dog choices and her big dog choices are totally impractical for the amount of space we have. For a little while there she was okay with a dachshund. Now she's not. So if we get another dog, we have to move.

And if we move I'll need a larger scooter for the longer commute. But the bike I really want is, simply put, more money than I should spend. I can get a used car for less. So I'm torn between desire and guilt.

Don't get me started on the issues surrounding the possible move.

I think I'm going to go play some video games and hide till this blows over.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Being a grownup

Recently I received an email from one of my advisees. She is graduating soon and she wanted to talk. She wanted advice about what to do with her life. She has a job lined up after graduation but she admitted she wasn't sure about her career choice and she was sure she didn't want to stay in Florida any longer. Since I just moved from Chicago she wanted to know if I could help her find work there.

I told her it is easier to find a job while you already have a job and in the current market it is better to take that first one and then figure out how to go from there. And I realized as I was talking to her a number of things, some of them unsettling. See, when I was her age I would have just gone for it. Move. It's an adventure and it is better to take the chance while you still can rather than let it get away. I lived my life that way for a long time. I moved to Philly for two years cause I had no where else to go. I worked in bars and moved to other states with little to no plan. Sure, while I did a lot of things that were foolish, and in some cases emotionally or financially damaging, it wasn't boring.

And here I am telling her to take the safe path. To do as I say, not as I did. I feel so old being responsible and giving responsible advice. And I know part of the reason I did it was because I didn't want the other members of my department hearing that I'm telling one of our best and brightest students to chuck it all for a risky adventure. And I also feel like such a hypocrite.

On the other hand, am I wanting to change my advice because I want her to see me as the cool professor (and of course spread the word that I'm cool)?

If I did the right thing, why do I want so badly to tell her to forget what I said and head for Chicago? Being in charge ages you so quickly. It might be time for a new tattoo just to calm me down.