Saturday, September 20, 2008

City allergy

Recently a friend here quietly said to me that she wondered if the ridiculous chain of bad things that have happened over the last year was trying to tell me something. About the wrongness of this place for me. I admitted to having thought the same thing myself...idly, mostly scoffing at myself. Because I don't believe in that kind of fateful energy. But it's true, I do wonder sometimes. If I should be fleeing because this place and me, we just don't mix.

I thought it as I cycled home from the farmers' market this morning. Two things happened. First, I encountered a ragtag band of NDPers holding signs for the local candidate. (Americans, we are having a federal election here right now, too, though it is much less exciting - even to many of us - than yours.) I dinged my bell in support several times as I passed them, and they let up a pathetic cheer. Somehow it made me tear up to see this sad, because ultimately pointless, spectacle in this place that is so tightly sewn up by the Conservatives, one can't breathe. Then I continued my ride, and was cut off by someone making a left turn...I, who had the right of way, was forced to brake quickly to avoid being hit. The person in the passenger seat laughed at me as they drove by. These two events were linked in my symbols of an unsustainable, misanthropic place.

I know it doesn't help to think in these terms, and I try my best to avoid getting sucked into negativity about this place. I'm always going on about how beautiful it is, and I do take advantage of the area, I do. I try and try. But damn, do I ever wonder if we're just allergic to each other, me and Scary City.

This would be less disheartening if I could actually see a single job to apply for. There's not one. Last year there were, I think, a mere two that I could conceivably have applied for, had I been on the market. This year, I have the job letter all ready to go (with help from a lovely blogger!) and it's quite possible that it's just going to sit there, unprinted, forever.

It does all make me feel a little trapped, sometimes.

But this week I was given promise of a reprieve from entrapment. My favourite aunt was here for a whirlwind 36 hours, and she and I had a delightful time. She also, while she was here, booked me a ticket to Home City with her air miles, for over Thanksgiving weekend. (She is like some kind of miracle-worker! I love you, F!! For so many reasons!) A mere three weeks from now, an unexpected visit there! For five and a half days. I shall walk and walk and drink it in.

(BTW, the update on the "harassment" situation is that my Chair intervened on my behalf, going to the person's manager (who I had also cc'd on my original, "harassing" email). Neither Chair nor I have heard back, after three full work days. What a place I work at. No wonder I want out.)


Sarah Williams said...

Surprise Thanksgiving weekends home are the best remedy. I have had many, many of those in the past 12 years (though flying the opposite direction)! So happy that you will have that respite.

m(mmm) said...

Ugh. Feeling in tune with a place is important, so I think you should trust your instincts. I'm hoping more possibilities arise on the job market. I'm about to embark on that same boat myself--I send positive thoughts your way . . .

Maude Lebowski said...

Grad City U was so toxic for me the last couple of years i was there, and while i haven't been at my sh*t ass corporate job as long as you have been in scary city, i understand how you feel--i feel trapped in this job, too. here's to more job prospects opening up so you can get out of there and get some place happy.

Psychgrad said...

Your aunt sounds like an awesome lady. Yay for spontaneous trips home.

I can't believe that someone laughed after almost running you over. That's the low of the low. I think the proper response is to stop the car, apologize and be more careful in the future.

I think I would feel nervous living in a Conservative area. I've always lived in either a Liberal or NDP riding. But I don't feel very positively about the election results, given the polls.

Maggie said...

My shrink always tells me to trust my gut. So I will say that to you. That doesn't mean to not be open to the good things that may happen while you're there... but it means if you feel "out of place," there's probably something to that feeling.

Anyway, you know I empathize with you!