I've been home for one month, and I'm already engaged in the activity of avoiding relatives and old friends. Anyone to who I might risk having to explain my life. The fact of the matter is, I've failed. At what is not really clear––only the fact that I have. I graduated college, and am now back right where I started with no serious plans to do anything else.
It's actually a lot more complicated then that. My Dad is relaunching a business with some other people and asked me to spend some time developing marketing content for it. I have been doing that––a lot of that––so it's not as if I'm not doing anything. The fact of the matter is, if it was exactly the same work only somewhere else for someone else, I would probably be really happy about it. But it's not, and I'm not.
About five months ago, at the beginning of my last semester, I was fairly determined to continue doing what I had been for the last three odd years: Getting as far away from here as possible and doing the craziest things I could think of. I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted the next thing be, only that I did want it. I enquired about internships with documentary film production houses, I took the LSAT, I spent weekends at elite-financed Austrian economics conferences and stood in dark reception bars late at night swapping business cards with political journalists. So what happened?
Something actually did. In the very first week of that last semester, one of my few friends from back home killed himself. In addition to a month or two of depression, that event also caused me to reevaluate some things that are important to me. Maybe running from place to place for three months at a time, developing close relationships with people in extreme circumstances and then saying goodbye forever isn't the best way to live life? It also caused me to reconnect with a number of people who had been close to my friend.
So about half-way through last semester, I decided I wanted to come home (home meaning the area) get a job, and stay––possibly for a couple years. Anything to develop some relationships with people who would really mean something.
And things looked pretty positive back up north too. Thanks to the gas industry, there was, for the first time in my memory (and possibly the first time since the Great Depression) a significant amount of money in the area. There were also things and issues to talk about––which is usually good if you want to do something in media. Even my parents, who had been struggling for years, had some of their financial pressures eased to the extent that my Dad and a new partner were resuming a business that––despite its apparently huge potential––had been shelved for several years because of financial problems and legal disputes.
So I came home.
I was actually quite sick when I got back, but I still went to work, rewriting my resume for the fortieth time, talking with people I hoped knew people. By the end of that week, I had already learned that both of the companies at the top of my list in Corning and Mansfield were either laying off employees or considering bankruptcy.
I haven't completely given up idea of doing something somewhere else. Only a few days after I got back, I spent a day applying to a couple low level production assistant jobs in New York City. Unfortunately, in this economy, I don't think I have much chance of getting something like that without doing an unpaid internship or knowing people in the area first. And that takes money. And I don't really have that right now, and thanks to the second economic slump in the area, neither do my parents or many other people I know.
It hasn't actually been all bad so far. I think I've finally almost completely recovered from whatever disease I had for the last couple weeks of school. And it's also––barring a couple bad experiences the first week––been good to reconnect with people here and make new friends.
Also, the stuff with the 'family business' or whatever you want to call it, has actually been going pretty well, and while it will be a few weeks before I can really talk about it publicly, some exciting things have been happening. So I'd be lying is I said I was completely upset about the way things are turning out.
I'm still avoiding my relatives though.