My first job offer out of college was from a publishing company.
I turned it down to return to Maine and spend a second summer as a camp counselor. While I’m sure that I had some totally legitimate reasons for this decision, I can’t remember them now. People are often intrigued to learn about my choice to delay “life” and ask for an explanation. To which I respond, “Why not? I was 21.”
Honestly, I’ve never reconsidered that decision.
But there have been times when I’ve questioned why the next door that opened brought me to D.C. Because from where I sit today (six years later) it seems like the path I followed took me further than I anticipated from where I wanted to be. Now it feels like I’m in a thicket of brush trying to get back to a trail. But the more I slog forward and clear the branches, the further off the path I realize I am. It’s a reflection of where I am now that I can say that I’m not disheartened by this, but instead humbled by the recognition that whoever coined the idea the journey is long and the work is hard wasn’t blowing smoke.
There have been some obvious, positive outcomes to being here, but I don’t think that I’ll fully understand the scope of D.C.’s affect on me until some place much further down the path.
Returning to Maine was important because it set the stage for me coming here; I’ve always known that. And this is where I needed to be, I’ve always known that too. But today it isn’t obvious where this will lead, so I don’t fully understand why I’ve been here. For now the reasons are unknown.
*The Road is a book by Cormac McCarthy. It’s dark, but addictive. Three years ago, three colleagues and I each read the book in the span of a work week.