Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Decisions, Decisions.

It's already the middle of March (Happy "Ides of March!" Or maybe, it isn't so "happy" today...), and I still don't know what the hell I'm going to do when I officially finish school in May. The more I talk to people my age, the more I realize that I'm not the only one going through this slight dilemma. But, unlike a lot of these people, I'm confident that I will be fine no matter where I go. But this is the question; WHERE am I going to go? Last semester, I was dead-set on moving out to San Francisco and living the West Coast pipe dream of living the glam life on the beach, chillin', and occasionally going to work. Of course, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I really knew nothing about the place. I've never even gone to Cali before. The truth is, I've based my image of life in San Fran based on all the contrived images that one can find throughout pop culture. I have no idea what the culture of the place is like, or the what the vibe is on the street. I would've just been landing out there, and just winging it.

Would this be my life in San Fran?

On the flip side, the thought of being in a situation like that is actually an attractive thought to me. I wouldn't mind being dropped into such a new environment and learning on the fly. Still, I wouldn't move out there until I have a guaranteed job opportunity.

After I came back from Houston over the break, I really began considering moving out to H-Town for a year. With the majority of my family out there, I got the feeling that maybe it might be a good idea to chill out there for a little while, see the fam, make some money, and then get out of there before I get stuck in that place. I mean, I love my family and their dysfunctional lifestyle, but I can't stand where they live. Houston is such a boring, lifeless, racist, dirty, and unimaginative place. It represents everything that's wrong with America. I really don't know how people can live there for a long period of time. I guess, however, if it's all you've ever known, as is the case with much of my family, you really don't know that things can be much better than that.

I can't be in this dump for long

Still, family is a strong pull. Specifically, over the winter break, I realized just how important it is for me to be present in the lives of my little cousins. Right now, during their formative years, it's crucial that they live a well-rounded lifestyle so that way, when they grow up, they won't turn into spineless, dreamless grunts that expect to have everything handed to them. With the way they live now, in the big houses, and the sheltered suburban communities that they call home, I see that they are missing that critical seed they will need in the future to be strong-minded, independent adults. At 11 and 9 years old, they are overweight (much like the rest of their Houston-born brethren), and have little willingness to actively play outside. When I was out there, I was playing basketball with them, and they were completely winded after about 5 minutes of play. When I was growing up, I wasn't exactly the most athletic of kids, but I didn't have a problem running around all day. Sure, I'll admit that there were many times where I would rather stay home and play on my Sega Genesis or something, but when I did go outside, I had no problem staying outside and making friends, and playing whatever games we played when my generation was younger. No matter how much I ran, I never got winded, I never grew tired, and most importantly, I never wanted to go home. I just wanted to play, and be active.

But my cousins aren't like that. Instead, they lounge around in their central air-conditioned homes, play games, and claim that it's too hot at 70 degrees. And that's how it is with almost every kid that I met in Houston. When I was their age, I was the only asshole running around outside when it was 105 degrees out there. You would think that if you were born in a place that has a climate like Houston's, that you would be used to the heat. Instead, kids couldn't handle anything above what their average temperature was at home. I guess that's what happens when you live in a central air-conditioned society.

So, in a way, I feel that they NEED me. I don't want them to be like a lot of the ignorant slobs that live in their city. I want them to be active, to be well-rounded, to ask important questions, to read books, get them interested in politics, introduce them to new kinds of music, instill some pride in their heritage, learn some humility for those that are not as lucky as they are, and keep them from falling into the trap of ignorant bias that so many of their peers and family members have learned as a result of the polarized environment that they live in. I'm not trying to say that their own parents can't do this for them, but the thing is, my uncle and aunt are so caught up trying to live the American Dream, that they just don't have the capability to take a couple of steps back and understand just what that Dream is doing to their kids. There's nothing wrong with wanting to provide for your family and giving them the best opportunities that you can buy, but, at the same time, it must be done in moderation. I'm not saying that my cousins are spoiled, either. I'm saying that they are soft. I don't want them to become another "me too" in the crowd. But, by going down the path that they are, there's little hope that they won't become that way. And I feel that I can stop that and turn it all around for them.

Of course, I can't forget about my very own hometown, NYC, in all this. Most of my friends are here, my mother's here, and I already have a place to call "home." The problem? I feel a need to be somewhere else. I have a desire to just get away and start another life. I love NYC, but, as silly as it sounds, I've outgrown it. When you live in NYC, you live in a self-important bubble. There's an entire world out there, but most New Yorkers are so caught up in their own, self-righteous lives, that they just don't look for it. I want to get out there and see something else, learn in another environment, and chill out. Which brings me to my latest idea...

...Moving to London. For seven months, I lived in heart of the England, and I loved every minute of it. I was happy. I felt home. And because I lived there long enough to know how things work out there, I feel extremely confident that I could hit the ground running the second I get off the plane. My plan? I work this summer, save about $7,000, and just fly out there, get a flat, find a job, and just live. I'll only be going out there with a suitcase filled with clothes, my laptop, and a couple of suits, but that will be pretty much all I'll need until I get settled. I know I'll be struggling when I first get there, but hey, as many people know from my previous adventures in the UK, starving in London ain't nothing new to me. I'll make due. My plan is that I leave in August, and that I take advantage of SU's Career Services hookups in London to land something decent out there. I don't exactly know how it'll all pan out, but then again, that's the beauty of it. I'll be winging it.

And I like the sound of that. :-)


Blogger Robert said...

For California, I think San Diego is the place to be. San Francisco is nice to visit but I wouldn't want to live there: very expensive, about double San Diego. Plus the people up there are nuts. I like the country up there north of the city, but it does tend to stay cool year round (I think the Guiness Book has it listed as the most consistant climate). I forget how nice San Diego is until I leave for somewhere else. Even Hawaii sucked compared to here.

BTW, what's your degree in?

1:30 AM  
Blogger djkibblesnbits said...

I majored in Communications, and Film. Right now, it looks like marketing departments and editorial staffs are the ones that are biting thus far.

The only reason I was considering San Fran was because there was a very real possibility that I was going to work in nearby Cupertino for everyone's favorite fruit company. Now, I'm not so sure if I want to relocate to that region.

San Diego sure does sound nice. I've never been to Cali, as I said in the entry, but if I ever go, I'll make sure that San Diego winds up on my itinerary.

LOL, despite your endorsement, I REFUSE to believe that Hawaii, "sucked", in any sense of the word. I've never been there, but c'mon, it can't be that bad, lol.

Regardless of where I go, we'll see what happens, and I'll be sure to blog about my decision.

2:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard San Diego is really nice too. I've been to LA and Hollywood and thought the people were nuts!! If you do decide to go to London, I'll miss you like crazy, but you've got my vote 100%!! Besides, can we say EUROPEAN ROAD TRIP!!


10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard San Diego is really nice too. I've been to LA and Hollywood and thought the people were nuts!! If you do decide to go to London, I'll miss you like crazy, but you've got my vote 100%!! Besides, can we say EUROPEAN ROAD TRIP!!


10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really don't think you'd be happy in Houston. I know part of that stems from your need to be around a lot of family. I know I'm not enough (sniff!!), but you'd go crazy quick. As far as Alex goes, you're not telling me anything I don't know already. They have all that free space and green grass and don't use it - go figure . . .


3:18 PM  

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