If you’d asked me five years ago where I’d be today, I wouldn’t have had the slightest clue that I’d be where I am. Around this time five years ago, I was preparing to take the GRE and working on my application to graduate school. I had combed through dozens of postings for museum jobs around the midwest that I would’ve been well-qualified for, except that I didn’t have my master’s degree yet. (And go figure, by the time I got my MA two years later, those jobs had all dried up.) I wouldn’t meet Dallas for nearly a year and a half. A lot has changed.
In some ways, it’s been a little frustrating. I have two jobs I enjoy for the most part, with coworkers I get along with very well, but obviously I still want to work in one of my fields–I didn’t spend six and a half years earning two degrees to not use them. Dallas and I are still living in his childhood bedroom at his parents’ house for now because we don’t really know where we’ll be in the coming months. I’m trying to constantly keep in mind what a good friend told me back in college: “bloom where you are planted”. He followed that up with “even if it sucks, give it your best shot”.
Maybe I’d like to be in a job that directly relates to my degree, or even just a position where I can use my research, writing, and critical thinking skills more. I’d love for us to be in our own place, even if it’s a dingy little apartment. At the same time, we’re both earning an income (I have my jobs, Dallas is essentially getting paid to research and write his dissertation), we have a roof over our heads, we’re both relatively healthy and have the ability to see doctors if we need to.
I’m still actively hunting for new job opportunities, and trying to be the best I can be at the jobs I currently have. Dallas has put his CV and applications out there for the local college adjunct pools as well as some positions in other states. He expects to still have his dissertation fellowship next year, and to defend his dissertation in January so he can formally graduate in May 2016. He will turn 25 two days before we get married, and he’s got an excellent driving record, so his car insurance should go down. With our combined incomes, we will probably be able to get more affordable health insurance after we’re married–Dallas is currently on his parents’ insurance, and his parents have been helping me pay for mine (my income is so low I don’t qualify for any kind of insurance subsidy through the Affordable Care Act–the healthcare exchange told me to look into my state’s Medicaid program, but I wouldn’t qualify for that either because Georgia didn’t expand the program).
I finally feel like I’m following my friend’s advice–maybe this isn’t the best-case scenario for this point in our lives, but we’re making it, and making the best of it that we can. It’s another situation in which having finally sought treatment for my anxiety and depression has made all the difference. Instead of being hung up on where I’d like for us to be in life right now, I feel like I have the confidence to make the best of where life has dropped us, and the faith that our hard work will propel us both towards the life we want. In the meantime, I’m branching out and blooming exactly where I’ve been planted, and looking forward to the prospect of us being replanted someplace else (better opportunities, a different city, etc.) in the near future.
In other news, Dallas will be back from DC tomorrow afternoon, our wedding invitations have already arrived, and we’re roadtripping to the east side of the state a week from tomorrow to take part in preparations for Dallas’ cousin’s wedding. Lots of things going on, but couldn’t be happier.