I am finishing my undergraduate degree on Friday, which means I am not only FREE FREE FREE from the endless carousel of writing papers, but I'm also unemployed and homeless. Well, technically I'm just moving out of my apartment on Sunday and moving back in with my husband.
It's a long-ass story.
Or should I say it's a big-ass story? Okay. It's a big-ass story, one that stretches over years, decades, and possibly eons. And it begins right now with me packing up my apartment and moving from Washington State to Texas. Yes, Texas. As much as I love the Pacific Northwest, the job outlook is dismal. For two years I've been trying to find a part-time job while I took classes at the local university, but I couldn't even get an interview. Oh, no, wait...I got one interview and it was at a group home that was so far out in the countryside that it took me an hour to find it. And when I found it, I discovered what happens to people with intellectual disabilities when they can't (for a multitude of reasons) get into a sheltered work or living program. They sit on couches and watch the wind blow. I wanted to cry. And then I wanted to throttle the program manager and say "What a WASTE of humanity!"
I didn't get the job. I didn't want the job. I also couldn't get a job flipping burgers, stocking shelves, running a cash register, waiting tables, or turning tricks behind the bus station. Go figure. So I kept applying for school loans and lived high on the hog off the government. HAHAHAHAHA! The private loan industry now has me by the cojones for the rest of my natural life. And did you know that only DEATH wipes out the loans? I've started rolling pennies and nickels to make my payments...
So here I am, a college graduate with potentially unlimited job prospects if I am willing to move anywhere and do anything for any amount of money, and I am driving to Texas starting on Sunday. I will be driving down the west coast first because there's something about driving the length of Colorado that seems unwise at this point in time, and if - IF - a catastrophic earthquake should strike between San Francisco and Los Angeles, Jesus take the wheel and make it quick because I'm worth $200,000 if I die from anything other than suicide. No matter what, I kept up those life insurance payments.
Did I say unlimited job prospects? I jest. College was a way to hit the reset button and take life in a new direction. I might be successful, I might crash and burn, and I might even end up living in my truck for a while, but at least I'm trying something new. Life prior to going back to school had become pretty crappy. Public education is now the playground of the Devil dressed up as politicians and bean counters. It makes me cry to think about such an important and foundational institution as public education becoming the whipping boy for just about every cause out there. Well, that's a little hyperbolic, but after years of being punted back and forth between the union, school board, superintendent, angry parents, angry teachers and kids...enough is enough.
If my computer cooperates, I'll post pictures from the road. If not, well, not. I have to get back to my last paper and after that I will be packing boxes. Oh, who am I kidding?! I'm throwing just about everything away!