So…I’ve been dealing with a pretty difficult and stressful decision over the last few weeks: whether or not to leave Los Angeles and move back to small-midwestern-college-town at the end of the summer. And I think I’m about 90% decided on moving. Why would you leave sunshine and brown people, you ask? I need to finish up this pinche dissertation and finally get my Ph.D. on.
I need to make a final decision very soon, if only to stop stressing about it and make some plans. And also, so I can stop bugging my lovely amigas about it. Sigh.
Here they are, some of the messy and sometimes contradictory pros and cons of it all, in no particular order.
- two super close friends who are also trying to finish up, who will likely stick it out with me for many hours at the coffeeshops when we write and then celebrate the little victories with me over tequila gimlets
- academic community who I will inevitably run into daily on the street, in the hallways and in the cafes
- regular access to my committee profes
- library privileges at one of the best university libraries in the country (sorry UCLA and Spiffyton, you don’t compare)
- workshops and resources for the impending job market in the fall
- less time may pass before my unconscious body would be found, should I accidentally slip in the shower and knock myself out on the edge of the tub (that may sound ridiculous and morbid, but hey, since I don’t get to see LA friends very often, it’s something I think about from time to time)
- the 3 dark months, which will be horrifyingly cold and wet (and which will inevitably turn my skin back to that weird putrid gray color from lack of sunlight)
- lots and lots of white liberals (hey, you gotta love them sometimes, but they can be exhausting) and very few brown people (and by brown I mean not white), which also has the unfortunate side-effect of vastly limiting my dating pool (not that I date a lot in LA, but I’m just saying)
- fewer options to enjoy the nourishing food of my peoples and much less fresh produce at the mercado
- little access to my archivos
- very far familia in nuevo méxico (although, closer to my mama)
- another expensive and time-consuming relocation (I would not even break even on the lower rental costs in small-town, and it would take away about a month of writing time. But on the flip-side, I might be able to write more productively from over there.)
- the possibility that I could get stuck in small-midwestern-college-town for more than a year, should I not finish and/or not get a gig for Fall 2010 (this is the BIGGEST CON and is possibly the one that is holding onto that last 10%)
The hard part about this decision is that there are no guarantees. I could write from LA and fly back to small-town for a handful of 2-week trips. Or I could write from small-town and fly back to LA for a quick archival visit if I need to. What it comes down to, it seems, is lifestyle…and which place will provide a situation that will be good for me in the long run. As one of my amigas says, “you will be fine no matter where you decide to be.” And I know she is right.