My lease will expire in June, and I don't know what's going to happen. I realized this past week that a number of people hadn't heard that I'm expecting to begin writing a new chapter in my life, so this entry is addressed to the people that didn't know that I might or might not be moving to a new apartment, or a new state, depending what jobs I find.
If I move to another state, there are three options that I've considered seriously: Richmond, IN; Fulton, MO; and Norman, OK. I've family in each city that I don't expect to be moving any time soon, so I wouldn't be moving out all by myself, but each place has its positives and negatives.
From what I've read, Richmond was infested with the Ku Klux Klan a century ago, with almost half of the city's whites as members. Even now, the demographics as of the 2000 census are...shall we say "tragically skewed"? I'll draw you a diagram:
I'll just say this: if the sum of the areas of the circle and the ring is the total population of the city, the big white spot in the center has clearly pushed the other ethnicities to the fringes. I'm leery of living in such poverty of diversity (despite how comfortable white culture is for me).
However, living in Richmond would give me a much-needed opportunity to connect with my sister's family. Being that I've been several states away for several years, I feel like I've missed out on a lot of opportunities to develop a better relationship with them.
Fulton is an incredibly tiny town. It has 12,000 people. I would be concerned that I would get to feelin' isolated. Plus, the nearest Chipotle is in Columbia, apparently, which is a 40 minute drive away. Still, the cost of living might be so low that I could pay off my college debts much faster.
Can I just say that I love that town? It will always feel like home to me. However, if I move back in June, it will likely not be by choice, but by default. I would much rather move there deliberately than use it as a staging area for the next phase of my life.
Truth be told, I don't really want to leave Chicago yet. I've some of my Important People right here already, and many in neighboring states a half day away. There are also tremendous opportunities in a city this size, such as a greatly expanded job market in comparison to the other three cities.
I mention the job market only in passing because I don't know what kind of job I should be looking for. All I know is that my goal with a new job will be to pay off my college debt quickly. Additionally, I'm looking for a job that will leave me computers and programming as an after-work hobby, which almost certainly nixes any IT jobs (though I will likely apply for any that I find interesting).
Here's to May, my job search month!