Posts tagged with los alamos:
As some of you know, I am in Los Alamos because Joe has been working on a physics doctorate here at the national labs. Well, he did it.
Joe achieved his doctorate!
I’ve been waiting for so long. A lot of this waiting time for me has been frustrating, but it has always been worthwhile. We’re waiting to hear about jobs… but I hope whatever it means is that my life will change, too. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but I am looking forward to it all.
I’m ready to live somewhere new. This morning, I got to chatting with my cousin, who has temporarily lived in New York and England before, but mostly stuck to Illinois. He has lived in North Carolina for a few years with his wife, and he ended the conversation by saying he was off to get some barbecue. That is, I’m assuming, just part of life in North Carolina. The new way of life that one gets by moving to a new place really appeals to me. I’m really proud of the New Mexican way of life- just expecting green chile to be available everywhere, being able to make outdoors plans without much likelihood of inclement weather- but I want a new one.
Joe and I are likely to have a change in about six months. He’s finishing his doctorate this spring semester (don’t ask about my graduate work; the internship seems like it’s falling through), and he’s begun applying for post-doctoral opportunities in three main places: Oak Ridge (Tennessee), Chicago, and here in Los Alamos.
My ideal spot would be Chicago. I’d get to go back to Illinois and live close to where I originally came from, see family (my godparents live in a suburb even!), and old friends who moved there. I’d get to live in a city with all kinds of different weather, opportunities, and I might even become a regular Second City event attendee (a dream of mine). Also, I’d be nearer to Rahm Emmanuel and Chicago politics, which intrigue me to no end. It would be a completely different way of life; one I’ve always dreamed of. I want to live in a major metropolitan area with public transportation and pubs and pizza.
My next preference would be Los Alamos, just because I’d be near family and friends still, we’d live in the mountains, and I could probably quit my job and pursue whatever I’d prefer because Joe’s pay would be a lot higher (LANL post-docs pay particularly well). As a result of my medical bills, Joe seems to think it’ll be better for us for now to keep renting, but we’d at least be able to look into renting a house. That means we could look at expanding our family (pets and children alike). A future here would be alright.
My least favorite, which if I choose to be void of all hope, we’ll end up at, is Oak Ridge. They’re the other major national lab, and they do a lot of the same work Joe does. My main objection to Tennessee is that it’s right there in the Bible belt, and we would not be living in a metropolitan area. At least in Los Alamos, I don’t feel stifled by religion (though it is surprisingly popular in a town full of scientists), and at least if I was in a city, I wouldn’t have to worry about being stifled by any one group. Also, I’m not crazy for the climate in Tennessee (hotter and wetter), though at least we’d be in the mountains.
That all being said, if we moved to Tennessee, I think I would like to learn a southern way of life. I’m sure it could be charming. The pay there would be comparable to Los Alamos, so I could make a home there, too. I’d rather learn to live a more coastal southern way of life, but I’m sure the forests of Tennessee would also grow on me, especially in the fall. Ultimately, I’m deciding I can handle it anywhere we go, because I want these new experiences. I feel like moving northward to Los Alamos was a soft start- learning to be away from close family and friends, but not too far, and being in a new place by ourselves.
My first experiences abroad put into perspective the fact that I do, in fact, have issues with culture shock, even though I want so badly to experience new cultures. China with Model UN in 2008 really stunned me with how “unclean” the whole place felt, and then the same happened when we went to Cyprus on our honeymoon just a couple months later. It wasn’t until we lived in Prague in 2011 for a month that I really adjusted to life abroad. Joe got it right: the Old World is going to have a layer of grime, that I’m not used to, living in the western United States. Now that I know what to expect, I can’t wait to get out of the country again.
What I’m saying there is that I am apprehensive about a new place and new people because I’ve had rough experiences in the past. At least I can expect to handle them with a bit more grace, though, this year. If we move to Tennessee, I’ll probably learn to love country music more. If we move to Chicago, I’ll probably suffer every year with the Cubs. If we stay here in Los Alamos, I’ll become even more devoutly a New Mexican. I can handle it all. I’m ready for it now! So… hopefully the next few months fly by (with the exception of March, because it is my favorite month and my birthday is a palindrome this year: 3/13/13).