Things felt slow at first upon my stateside return. After a couple days of schlepping off a pretty bad case of jet lag, I developed a groove. I’d wake up, turn on my dual monitors, queue up an episode of ”Freaks and Geeks” on one for ambiance and open up my re-workable and infinitely customizable versions of my cover letter and resume on the other. For a few weeks, LinkedIn replaced Facebook as a permanent fixture on my Google Chrome tabs.
After living and breathing my work in TZ, I was desperate to find something to occupy me and get me on my feet. ”Getting jobbed” became a phrase I tossed around probably too frequently. And when phone screen after phone screen felt like speed dating—I began to think salaried job offers to be the company figuratively “putting a ring on it.” ”It” being myself—and while a few places wanted to flirt with me for a couple of weeks, it didn’t seem like many wanted to commit. Life running with the bit again, I’m sure.
Any who—[f]unemployment seemed endless. But when I finally started getting called in for face to face interviews everything got moving really fast. I was flying out to places for the interview and coming home to my parents’ place only to leave again a few days later. Going through the process I decided a few things definitively.
1) I needed to stay in CA this year to be close to my family.
wanted needed to get experience in the private sector.
3) I wanted a set schedule that allowed me to be creative on my off time, you know that work/life balance kind of thing that I felt I lacked while I was working abroad.
4) I also wanted to do something that sort of scared me. Something that took me a bit out of my comfort zone and that I wasn’t a “natural” at.
I received one offer that fit all my criteria—a recruiter [for now, in training] at a firm in SF. I flew home to southern California one last time, took the night to pack and flew back the following morning. Three weeks in and I’ve already learned a lot.
I have been in transit for so long. Right after I graduated, I was off to Poland to visit my sister and do a little Euro-travel. Then in Tanzania, I was on a timeline and knew I was going to be leaving eventually. And as soon as I came back home at the beginning of October, my flights were already booked for NY and SF. And if I’m really being honest, after graduation, I put my room in a million bags and boxes and loaded them into my car—and I don’t think I ever really unpacked.
But I’m jobbed now, and I signed a year long lease on a humble little apartment in the center of the city. My closet is a closet, not a duffle bag. I see familiar faces on my bus to work, and I’m finding my own “favorite spots.” It’s a big city that I’m going to let myself grow into. Uprooted, yes, but not unrooted. I’m making it home because I’m going to be here a while.