So Long, DeKalb

As promised, I am updating my blog to fill you in on some things you have probably missed unless you are intimately acquainted with me...

. . . .

The most drastic change is my new surroundings. Well, maybe not "new" so much as it is "familiar;" I moved home, last week, to Yorkville, Illinois. Glorious, glorious Yorkville. Everyone knows I lost my job back in January, and it may come as no surprise that I endured the entirety of my six month unemployment benefits period without finding a job. Sure I sent out well over 150 resumes in those six months and only interviewed with three companies, but I just couldn't manage to land a position.

I think, when you're unemployed for six months and have no prospects, it's time to start packing and head home.

A few friends disagreed -- they thought I should stay in DeKalb and "stick it out." Well, that's a nice sentiment and I do appreciate their desire for me to stay around so that we can continue our friendships in a more geographically desirable situation, but I think that "sticking it out" in DeKalb would have ultimately been wildly irresponsible on a few levels:

1) I have a passionate dislike for DeKalb. Sorry, but it's true. Northern Illinois University is a wonderful school and a great campus, but the rest of DeKalb is a hodgepodge mosaic of down and outers, stragglers, rednecks, yuppies and other scary, scary people. The town is run down and has no real cultural hotspot besides The House Cafe (which, I will admit, is fantastic) and a series of bars. I've been wanting to leave DeKalb from the moment I got there. There's absolutely nothing for me there. To have stayed would have been to perpetuate my misery.

2) My understanding is that the unemployment benefits period expires after six months. Two weeks from today will mark the sixth month that I've been unemployed and so, to my understanding, I will stop receiving handouts from the government then. It would be foolish for me to stay in DeKalb when I can't pay my rent nor any of my bills.

3) If I'm going to achieve any of my goals (namely, moving to Ireland, traveling, buying a house, opening up my used bookstore), I'm going to need to save up money. Unfortunately, I cannot think of a career in DeKalb that will enable me to do that whilst paying the outrageous amount for rent I was being charged. Furthermore, living in Yorkville puts me closer to the places where work will be easier to find (Aurora, Naperville, Oswego, Chicago). Living at home, where I have no rent or utilities, will enable me to save exponentially more money than I would have been able to save on my own.

4) It's time to do something different. Retreating to homebase will allow me to gather my thoughts, calm down, get perspective, reorganize, recast my visions and more focus to follow through.

So it is "So long, DeKalb!" Don't hear me wrong -- as excited as I am to be out of that place, it is going to be a strange experience moving home. First and foremost, I am going to miss some of the people I am leaving behind. Inasmuch as I am, in a way, "leaving them behind," I want them all to know that I'm not abandoning nor forsaking my relationships. Just because I live in Yorkville doesn't mean we're not friends anymore. Right? I will have some fond memories of DeKalb, though those memories won't have anything to do with the town itself -- my memories will be of the people that helped me get through the past few years.

And now that I'm home, I will have all the time in the world to reflect on those memories. I've been living here in Yorkville for about five days now.

Things are okay.

Things are decent.

Things are what they are.

I knew going into this that this wasn't going to be a bed of roses, or a walk in the park, or a walk through a bed of roses. I knew that moving back to my chaotic, dysfunctional home would be a challenge -- I knew it would be a dogfight keeping myself motivated to face another day. I am going to need God's grace to be able to make it here. I understand that.

I am hopeful that by strangely looking forward, I will make it through this.

1 comment:

  1. It is always unknown what forces push and pull us, but there are always there.

    As for you, although it seems like you are in a time of great transition, you still appear to have your head on straight. Correct me if I'm wrong, ha. But if you do, it is a good skill to keep. A whole handful of people would probably find themselves in the same situation, and would be lost completely. You remain strong in your goals, your values, and what you want from life. Don't lose that. It'll be interesting to see what else you can take from it all, and I'll be sure to keep on tuning in.