Right before I finished graduate school, I was in Seattle for AWP and had dinner with my friends James and Justin. (You know, it’s hard sometimes for me to believe that I’ve known James for more than 10 years now, and that we met through blogging. In spite of being in different cities, there we were typing words on screens and making these connections. Which is to say that as much as I’m occasionally a curmudgeonly luddite, I love some of the things that technology has done for me. Glass half full, glass half full!)
Anyway, where was I? Oh, right. So, back in March we were talking about my impending graduation and the excitement and trepidation that revolved around all of that (the excitement is gone; the trepidation? Not so much) and he said, “I hope you’re writing everything down because that is going to be one rough transition. It’s bound to make for an interesting essay.”
Boy oh boy, he was not wrong.
I know I’m not the only person who’s gone through this, and that my situation is probably not even that novel. People put their lives on hold and go to grad school, then emerge on the other side and find that they’ve changed, and so has their world, and that the pieces don’t quite line up the way they did before. In my case, returning to the non-academic world meant I was also leaving behind the land of low crime, universal health care, and poutine, not to mention an extensive network of writers and a national culture that placed more value on literature than ours does. (Yes, that’s a generalization, but when the Giller Prize longlist announcement is broadcast live on national media, I think that says something.)
One thing that I did realize recently, though, was that I haven’t completely left the Great White North behind.
If I’ve called or sent you a text in the last five months, you’ll have noticed that I’m calling from a 604 area code, not 314. I still have a Canadian cell phone. I don’t know what you’d call that decision. Part of it’s economic; even with paying extra for U.S. roaming and unlimited data, I’m only paying $54 a month for my cell phone. A bargain! And since I’m freelancing/still (F)unemployed!®, that’s a consideration.
Also, I’m still open to the possibility of working in Canada—I have a postgraduate work permit, after all, and Canada has poutine! So, win-win. It just has to be someplace my partner would want to visit, so the tar sands region of Alberta is out, as are most of the territories, although I did apply for a temporary position in Nunavut, so you never know.
My point (and I do have one!): The phone I got with my Canadian plan is old and is probably on its last legs. So now I’m torn: Try and find a new phone that will be compatible with a Wind Mobile sim card, or finally get a U.S. phone again?
And I still need to work on that essay James was talking about. So many things to do.