Growing up and bucking up

The last time I wrote, I’d sort of settled on the idea that I wanted to keep screwing around in my beloved, hip St. Petersburg and apply to grad school only to prolong my ability to screw around.

I said I didn’t want to apply to the small-town jobs I knew I’d be a shoe-in for because I didn’t want to spend my days covering agriculture and the kinds of city council meetings you see on Parks and Rec, and I didn’t want to spend my weekends at country bars. Or more likely — alone in my sad, small-town apartment.

Almost immediately after writing that post, I applied for a job. It’s not a particularly small town — it sits in one of the state’s largest counties — but it’s a good 45-minute drive to a decent concert venue or brewery, and another half hour or so from my friends and family. Still, I would have been stupid not to apply.

As presumptuous as it may sound, I sort of knew I’d get it. Especially after I was called in for an interview so quickly. It took a few weeks to get an offer, but I’d already started freaking out over my living situation and having visions of a miserable and lonely “small-town” life.

I was also set back a bit when I found out my dad’s cancer is not responding so well to this new drug trial and that he has to have brain surgery (which he’s having tomorrow). For a minute, I let myself think that maybe I shouldn’t be stressing myself out with this job and I should just stay close to home and spend as much time with my family as possible. The realist in me however, began seeing my dad’s condition as a reason to take the job and work toward being independently financially stable, morbid as that is. But that sort of thing should be motivation to grow up, not slack off.

After having some time to think and thoroughly stalking most of future young coworkers on social media — and seeing that they aren’t, in fact, horribly depressed and lonely — I’m doing alright. I’m even excited.

This job will be a stepping stone to other opportunities that will hopefully, eventually, land me back in the place I want to be. By putting my time into this job now, I’m setting myself up to get my dream job in my dream city in a few years. That sounds a lot better than screwing around and struggling for employment through my 20s.

Hey, I was offered a full-time reporting job just two months out of college, at a newspaper that’s only about an hour away from my friends and family. Holy shit! This is the best possible scenario! I get to start my career at 21. Who knows where I’ll be by the time most people my age figure their stuff out.