Saturday, April 08, 2006

Saturday night blogging fever

What -- you thought I was kidding when I said I'd post more often? O, ye of little faith!

My job search continues. This afternoon I got a rejection postcard in the mail from a library to which I had sent my cover letter and resume, but truth be told I was somewhat pleased by this turn of events, as the college in question is over an hour and a half away from our Cape Ann digs and would have presented a logistical nightmare just to get out there for an interview.

Of course, I've already travelled a lot farther for a job prospect. This Jersey Exile was actually briefly contemplating invalidating his exile status and pursuing a library position down in the Garden State, going so far as to interview with the institution in question before deciding that there must be a pretty darned good reason why there is a whole genre of literature and film which has grown up around the simple truth that you can never really go home.

(That and the prospect of leaving Widener Library and its millions upon millions of books left me chilled to the marrow!)

But the interview process was good nonetheless, as it forced me to answer what had only been a theoretical question up until this point: am I willing to leave New England, if the price/job/opportunity were right? The answer is no, at least for the time being. I love New England. I love working for Harvard, living on the North Shore, and driving up to Maine for lobster sandwiches at Bob's Clam Hut or hot dogs at Flo's when the spirit moves me. And as much as they try one's patience, I even still love the Red Sox. The Boston area has a certain energy about it that I've never encountered anywhere else, an intellectual dynamism that turns grown men and women into perpetual grad students and keeps people like myself and my lovely wife working in higher education when we could be making hand-over-fist more money in the private sector.

Like it or not, this place got under my skin when I came up here some seventeen-odd years ago, and I don't think I'd ever feel quite as home anywhere else. I had always suspected as much, but it wasn't until I was faced with the actual prospect of leaving that I realized how deep-seated my affinity for my adopted home was. Maybe in another 17 years I'll want to run screaming from here, but for now I'm more than content to wait for the right job to come along that won't force me to uproot myself from this life that I've built for myself. My current gig as Reading Room Supervisor may not be a professional one, but it's a great place to be while I contemplate the next move. There's nothing worse than being Necessity's chew-toy, and for the first time in my adult life I feel that I actually do have the luxury of biding my time until I find a librarian position worth jumping ship for.

And that's a pretty damned good feeling.


emichan said...

So if I agree with your premise that Boston gets under your skin, and I agree with your premise that you can never go home, what do I do if I consider Boston home?

Tom said...

That's quite the conundrum. My suggestion to you then would be never to leave...


(and if you've left already, may I recommend Southern New Jersey?)