Meanwhile, I started to feel very blue on Sunday. I knew that I had to return to Virginia on Tuesday, and I wasn't ready to leave Florida. Not only was the weather wonderful, but I was seeing my friends and family, playing with my nieces, and absorbing some much thirsted-for culture. I really miss my hometown, and I finally admitted to myself that I wanted to come back for good.
I know I've said it before, that I want to leave here and move back to Florida, but I needed to say it out loud to another person. So on Tuesday, when I just couldn't take it any more, I burst into tears when my mother asked why I looked so down. I was afraid that I was giving up, quitting, being a baby, being fickle. My mother reassured me that I had given this town the old college try, and that after a year I should know if I can live in a place or not. And clearly, I cannot, which I will try not to feel bad about. Of course, both of my parents want me to move back to Florida, partly for selfish reasons and partly because they know I'll be happier and have a more immediate support system.
But now comes the really hard part. I think I'm going to leave in August 2008, which gives me a little over a year at my current job. I said I would wait until I got tenure, but I don't think I can take it that long. Yes, this town is that bad, what with it's constant gossip and exclusivity and not a fucking thing to do. I also want to start a new career. I want to get a graduate degree in Sociology (with a concentration on feminism, of course) and teach. The only time I've felt truly fulfilled is when I had a regular semester course load, so that's what I need to pursue. I have to tell my department head that I'm leaving, which may make his head implode. I have to figure out my financial situation for once I get back home. I'll probably live with my parents at first, but I don't really want to since a) they can drive me insane sometimes, b) they live kind of out of the way from the university, and c) no matter how much they would disagree, they don't give me the kind of privacy I need. My father thinks I should stay in their guest house, which would be better, but it has it's own problems.
I feel much better after actually talking about it and having a plan. It has somehow made me more driven at work (even though I'm writing this post while I should be grading) to know that I have goals to accomplish in a year. So here is what I need to accomplish before August 2008:
- Tell my department head I'm leaving "for personal reasons"
- Tell my assistant I'm leaving, but give her more detail
- Send in my proposal for an article that I really need to get published before I leave
- Visit the Sociology department when I visit Florida again in June
- Take the GRE
- Apply for the Sociology graduate program, which I think will be painless since I've already got a graduate degree from this university
- If accepted, apply for a TA position
- Finish up one of the long-term projects I'm doing at work (this will be extremely difficult)
- Try not to piss off too many people in the process