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Can someone else make my decisions for me?


Spring fever. It’s for real.

The days are long, the weather is nice again, everything should be fine and dandy, and yet I feel all out of sorts. You know that nonsense where you are happy and sad and energized and exhausted and completely ambivalent all at the same time? TOO MANY FEELINGS.  GOD, life is so dramatic when you are 25 with zero responsibilities.

Here I am again with no tangible ambitions or concrete ideas about what I’ll be doing or where I’ll be living in three or four months.

Everybody assures me this is the most exciting decade of my life, but most of those everybodys seem to have entered the job market several years before it disintegrated, so my default response to these assurances is the weak nod and grimace-smile.

Yes, life is exciting because of the possibilities. It’s also a little dread-inducing, because not all the possibilities are… well, exciting.

The problem with my generation.

Heck, in a few months I might be living with my parents, since I find myself fantastically unqualified for really any job that presents complications beyond answering phones, licking envelopes, replying to emails, filing things, and performing basic spreadsheet wizardry. (And yes,  it’s a charmed life I lead if the worst that happens is I end up unemployed and scamming off my folks for a little while.)

I want to know what’s next, but I also don’t. My life here is so easy, so effortless and uncomplicated, and I don’t anticipate that it will ever be like this again. I’ve been living the past few years in some kind of mystical, rainy dreamland where the most stressful thing that ever happens is I accidentally leave my rainpants at home and get punked by a downpour.

I have loved it here but there are things I’m looking forward to. (Driving out of town. Bags of tortilla chips that don’t cost $7. Seeing  family and college and high school friends more often than once in a never. Thunderstorms. Proper autumns. Cheap flights.)

I’ll miss the mountains, the ravens, my coworkers, the runners, the running. I’ll miss the never giving a damn how I look or how anyone else looks. I’ll miss how rainboots are appropriate attire for everything, even weddings. I’ll miss never, ever being too hot. I’ll miss the sick, dreadful thrill in the pit of my stomach every time I’m alone on Perseverance and turn a corner on the trail to lock eyes with a bear and two cubs. I’ll miss running over the bridge on the days when it’s dark and howling and raining not even sideways but up, because later on there will be nothing better in all the world than the hot shower and tea.  I’ll miss running over the bridge on clear days as the sun is rising and eagles are gliding overhead and the mountains and the whales and OH MY GOSH I GET TO LIVE HERE!

I love Juneau and I am so very far from unhappy or miserable, but I’m lonely here and I have the itch to get out. That’s why I’m leaving.

I realize it seems utterly asinine to leave a town that you love and two workplaces you enjoy, but I, certified nincompoop, insist upon forging ahead with the notion.

The scary thing about it is, you can be lonely anywhere, so there’s no guarantee this is a good move. But I figure I can at least go be lonely somewhere that offers me cheaper tortilla chips and perhaps the option to nip home for Thanksgiving.


I drafted this post up in the morning and got home from work to discover I’ve been accepted into graduate school, like a lamb to the slaughter. I feel happy about this because it’s always nice to be told you are good enough, but I’m also unsure if it’s the best thing for me right now. I suppose I will hem and haw over this for a few days and ultimately do something rash, which has uncharacteristically been my M.O. when it comes to life decisions post-college. (Too bad rash decisions weren’t my M.O. back in high school or I could have been famous on Teen Mom or something.)


Hm. I was going to write about a pair of uninspired 5Ks I raced, but I ended up writing about this instead. Perhaps you will hear the tales of my lackluster 5Ks at some other point, but I doubt it. One was a second off my PR and the other was neither very good nor extraordinarily bad. I just don’t care about the 5K right now.

Running has been decent lately, but there’s nothing compelling to report. I’m keeping my miles high because I genuinely enjoy it and want to see if the mileage experiment pays off in the marathon a year or so down the road, but I don’t have anything to train for right now so there is a degree of monotony to it.

I’ve been shaking things up by introducing some doubles and getting back up into the hills and trails now that the snow is melting. I’ll be running all the races on the local calendar that I can get to, but there will be no opportunity to take down any PRs, so I’ll just be coasting along and enjoying every remaining second of Alaska I’ve got. It’s the beginning of the end for me here, and I already feel this acutely.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Pat D. permalink
    04/24/2012 22:05

    Grad school?!? Details please.

  2. 04/25/2012 02:03

    Well, wherever you go, if you stop by the EC first, goddammit but send me an email. I’d love to meet your sweaty face.

  3. 04/25/2012 02:48

    I would have a hard time turning down grad school but at the sane time if you are itching to leave, that’s a hard feeling to change. When I was ready to leave Seattle I was ready to leave NOW. You know when it’s time to move on.

  4. runningfarce permalink
    04/25/2012 03:39

    I. Feel. You. When I graduated college I all of a sudden turned ADD because, like you, I get itches to just try something and see where it goes – that doesn’t always work well with my “grown up” job. It’s funny, because I’ve also given serious consideration to going back to school for a PhD, but I just can’t convince myself one way or another that its the right or wrong decision for me right now. Best of luck – set some goals for your running or the monotony will run you over!

  5. 04/25/2012 04:52

    I’m sure it would be hard to leave Alaska, even if you feel it’s the right choice. What would you go to grad school for? Wishing you the best as you sort things out! And happy running.

  6. 04/25/2012 05:45

    You know what this means, right? You can give the keynote speech at #ULS12! Get busy.

  7. 04/25/2012 11:01

    It’s interesting to read this. Reading your experiences over the past year, I’ve sensed two things very clearly: a) you love it in Alaska, b) it’s never felt like your “real” life. I can relate to that. I think that, based on my experiences having been in a similar situation, you’ll find that there are things you miss passionately and ardently and almost painfully, but – I don’t know how to put this well – nostalgia is a funny thing. When I think back on almost two years spent in Egypt, I miss it, badly, and I daydream about moving back, but it was time to move on when I left so I don’t have any regrets. I suspect you’ll feel the same way.

  8. 04/25/2012 18:10

    I’m also curious about the grad school. What would you study? Where are you thinking of going? Best of luck with that big decision!

    I would say that going to grad school was a turning point for me. I too needed to move and grad school was the prefect excuse. The story didn’t start out quite that way though. I ended up in grad school because I got mad at my job one day and decided to spend the rest of the day applying for and completing essays for grad school. I had taken my GMATs a year earlier on a whim, so after one afternoon of cranking out three applications and about 10 essays, the ball was in motion and the rest is history.

  9. 04/25/2012 21:15

    Grad school is awesome! You’d totally enjoy it and the best part will be that you can keep up that running mileage of yours easily unlike anywhere else! (at least thats what I tell my students who laugh at me because they are not runners).

  10. Heidi Nicole permalink
    04/26/2012 19:25

    I feel your pain. Sort of. We’ve been faced with a few choices that would/will completely uproot the life we have right now. So far we are really glad we’ve made the decisions we’ve made but I’m not going to lie – it would be really nice to have someone else make the hard ones for me so I could blame them when it went all wrong!

    Good luck with whatever you decide. There is no shame in chilling at the parents house while you figure things out…if it weren’t for The Husband I would have done that a few times in my life!

  11. 04/27/2012 03:52

    Sounds like the move is the right thing to do at this stage of your life. I’m excited for you and looking forward to following via the blog — no pressure though 😉 Take lots of photos before you go!
    Ah yes, I’d be ecstatic to run one second off my 50+ PB – it’d be my longest post ever.

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