Why do I keep using Match.com and such and contacting people from across the country that I will probably never meet? I get all excited to meet someone handsome, and then inevitably, I or they get bored of the email-tag and cut it off. I’ve met MAYBE 1% of the people I’ve talked to online…And considering I’ve maybe 10 penpals scattered across the planet as a result of online dating (none of whom I’ve actually met), that gives you an idea of the "success" rate of online dating. Texting with a guy from NYC at the moment…F’ing New Yorkers; too hip to write emails; texts are their preferred means of communication. And I hate all of the pop culture references I don’t get; it’s just awkward lol.
Well, in other news, I had my interview with Mr. Gao and I’ve been reviewing the contract and considering my options for China. BUT that’s actually not what I want to write about right now. I’m…Far more uncertain now than I have been in a very long time. Because I see so many potential paths in front of me offering me happiness in varied forms…In China, I have a place to stay, a well paying job, and an unexplored continent in front of me…In Austin, I have a familiar, exciting city, friends whom I care for, possibilities with decent jobs in both the City of Austin’s park ranger division and American Youthworks’ teaching staff as a science teacher/teacher’s aide…And, suddenly, a return to Buffalo just became a possibility. It turns out the Civil Service exam, which I took three years ago and scored very well in (though not well enough) is rolling around again in January. Which means I could potentially get the job I’ve been gunning for, for more than a little while now; Forest Ranger 1 with the park service…The irony is, I practically had the position in the palm of my hands when I was a college intern…But I was hardly career-oriented then. Not to mention, I’d not have been to Austin or New Zealand, had I been.
I see myself on Mount Tai in Jinan, practicing my Mandarin with a Taoist sage over noodles…
I see myself with a warm apartment, a truck, an aquarium, and a dark haired guy cuddling on the couch with me watching the Discovery Channel while the snow falls in December.
I’m on a crowded ferry in Indonesia trying not to get pushed overboard, looking through glass clear water at reef sharks trailing us.
I’m on a bus in Austin going downtown for karaoke night at Ego’s after a half day teaching, before going back to my swank apartment off of Barton Creek.
I want it all, but I can’t. At least not all at once…Buffalo is contingent on a lot of things falling into place; and ironically, it’s far cheaper for me to relocate to China than it is for me to move back to New York…Need a car, an apartment, a good paying job…All of which is up in the air. Jinan has an excellent bus system, my place is paid for, my money will go very far there…Austin is…Austin. I’d eventually get my own place, the weather is amazing, the city is bustling and I know it well enough to be comfortable here, and I have great friends I’d love to keep around me…It’s the uncertainty I hate most. Though with Jinan, I will be able to try in earnest what I’ve always wanted to do; an overseas trip in a truly foreign land. NZ was interesting and different, but not at all difficult for an American to adjust to, even being in a Buddhist monastery. China is chock-full of cultural differences and most of the people do not even speak my language. This would be the kind of challenge I’ve dreamed about; and even if everything I were to ever desire in NY were to come true, I would hate myself for not facing the challenge of China now and not having the opportunity to do it ever again, despite all of my talk about avoiding careers and suffering through lack of income to make this happen…