Let's just say I were to get a fellowship that would enable me to work on a project in the field of immigration over the two years following graduation... What would my life look like?
For starters, I would be staying in the Big City. T would keep his job (God willing) and we would have a dual income. Our families would secretly cry collective tears, while publicly putting on brave faces and expressing their vicarious satisfaction that our lives have flourished here up North. It would mean two more years of long, difficult commutes to T's family on the coast. Two more years of being displaced Virginians. Two more years of expensive housing, small living spaces at relatively exhorbitant prices. Two more years without yards or porches. Two more years away from communities we grew close to and left behind.
On the other hand, it would mean two more years of foot commutes. Two more years of being able to walk to our coffee shops, bars, restaurants, grocery stores, hair salons, doctors appointments, Macy's and our offices. Two more years of blissful ignorance of the fluxuation in gas prices. Two more years near friends that have moved closer. Two more years of living in an incredibly diverse setting and being part of a Sesame Street-style neighborhood. Two more years to develop deeper ties to friends we've met and allow the roots to grow where they have been replanted.
Um, more specifically, there are big questions: do we want to own a house here in the Big City? Do we want to have kids here in the Big City? Does T want to continue in his line of work if we move somewhere else? How important is his being vested at his current place? Will my law school's alumni network get my foot in the door out of this state?
If I get the fellowship, I imagine that the question of whether to stay or go almost takes care of itself. It would be just a matter of adjusting our mindsets to the new development. On the other hand, if I have to take a more, um, proactive approach to my career path, the options abound. Big City vs. Virginia is just one of the issues. Do I look for a firm job? Try to get hired at a legal services corp? Seek employment in rural areas where there is a greater need? Strike out on my own? Have I decided on immigration law after all? What kind? Blah, blah, blah.
I may sound like I'm freaking out, but I'm not. I'm excited and I'm just thinking outloud on my blog. T has been having some (unrelated) anxiety lately, so these aren't questions we're in a position to seriously tackle at the moment. In the meantime, I'm hoping that one day I'll look back fondly at this moment and cluck my tongue and smile.