how long

are stepping stones supposed to last? (rhetorical question) One of the adjustments of moving to Lewisburg was having to find a new balance between work, a social life, and re-making friends. There were a ton of PROs for taking my position at Bucknell:

– great career opportunity, ability to “have more” (own home, dog, car, more money, etc.), 4 block commute to work, great running, the support and advantages of working for a university (nice vacation time, strong financial backing in the Arts, colleagues with similar interests, cushy perks), and small town life.

But there were also CONs:

– ya… that last one, small town life… that’s a biggie, no Matt, no friends, no ethnic food, no real malls.

Lewisburg is a small town, a charming town, but a VERY small town. We are talking one mile of Downtown and the rest is a highway and farm stretched. I learned my frist week here that people knew my name, where I was moving from, that I had a boyfriend in SF, etc. before I even got here! I’d meet people on the street and they’d say things like, “Oh, I heard about you. You’re the new ____” and I’d walk away scratching my head. Everyone knows everyone else’s business. The woman whose position I stepped into after she left, left on some very unhappy terms. And if that wasn’t awkward enough, her partner and friends all still work at BU and I work with them. They all launched a legit smear campaign against our Director and remaining staff. She had been at the university for 30+ years, so she has a lottttt of friends. And those friends HATE ME. I’ve never even met this woman, but people have already made their minds up that they would boycott me, our events, etc. I see her all over town and I’m always ignored. On top of that, other locals wanted this job… so they hate me too.

It’s also challenging to move here in your 20s when everyone’s married or comes with a parner. The younger BU staff have spouses that applied for my job, too. So they don’t want to socialize with me either. At first I was good at brushing it off but more and more I realize the hole in my life from social activity. I run, I travel on weekends for races, I cook, I buy ingredients and experiment with new foods, I walk Marfa, etc. I do things that keep me busy but I do all of these things with a four-legged friend. I realized that on the weekends with the exception of the dog… I rarely speak. It takes a toll on you emotionally.

Now I’m realizing that balances are so hard. While I’ve made strides professionally I now wonder how much it’s worth when your boyfriend and friends are no where in sight. Should I have taken this job? Was it really worth it? How long do I stay at this stepping stone before I move? How do I know when it’s time? How do I keep myself healthy so that I don’t just snap one day? How do I cope with these anxieties and sadness? Often the worst part of my days are Fridays at 5pm… everyone else is excited about their weekends but I fear 48 hours of not doing much socially. Running only takes me so far (literally), and Marfa hasn’t learned how to speak English yet 🙂

Happy weekend everyone…

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4 thoughts on “how long

  1. Pam! First off I love you very much. You’re such an amazing person! I am constantly amazed and inspired by the risks you take and the accomplishments you achieve. (and your drive! where do you get that unfailing motivation to accomplish your goals?)

    Balance is soo hard to find (Lord knows I’m not there yet). I’m on the opposite end of the spectrum…I have Jeff with me everyday and we are happily finding community and friends, but my career is (as you know) no where I thought I would be by now. I guess my point is hang in there, because you are soo very loved, even if you don’t get to see your loved ones on a daily basis. I know Matt misses you something fierce and so do Kimmy and Meghan (and me!)

    You know in your gut what the right timing will be for any major changes in life. Stay strong and don’t let negative people (my god if only they knew who they were missing out on?!) hold weight in your life. You have worked SO HARD for YEARS to be where you are. YOU DESERVE this great career opportunity. But on the flip side, you also deserve to do what is best for you and you will know when you need to leave (hello ELMIRA).

    Listen to your heart always and know that in any decisions you make you will be supported by your friends and family (even if we are a long car ride away).

    Love you roomie!
    -melis

  2. You forgot the WORST thing about Lewisburg… this crazy coworker lady who is stalking you and trying desperately to be your friend so you keep canceling plans to get hammered off your boss’s tequila and watch Magic Mike.

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