Sunday, July 10, 2005

Moving On

In one month and one day I will mark the fourth anniversary of my move to Washington, DC. When I moved here I had a sound purpose. I’d move to the District to accomplish one mission, obtaining my masters degree. That mission has long since been completed. I have remained here for a number of reasons. I’ve grown to love my environment and the world that I have created here for my adult self. The District has been good to me and if the District could talk I imagine that it would say that I’ve been good to it. But as I approach my fourth anniversary of my residence here I begin to put significant thought to the question of if I will celebrate a fifth anniversary.

I have succeeded in creating a vision for my life. I know what I want for my life. I don’t know however if the District will offer me all of those things. From an economic perspective, a single black man in my field does not stand to have large salary improvements often and in leaps and bounds. Those types of salary increases would be critical to me continuing my existence and enhancing it here in Washington in the manner in which I’d like to comfortably live.

I have long since preferred the practice of working over wishful thinking. I won’t sit and wish that things could be different, easier or more affordable. I’d rather do what I have begun more and more these days - try to develop a plan to work to afford me the life that I want for myself even at the risk of having to leave the city I’ve grown to love. I also imagine that I will soon change my vocation because I only find parts of it to be enjoyable and I often would rather be doing something else. Plus I must be real about the dollar bill.

Today I talked to my mentor. It was refreshing to hear his voice and gather his insight on this place that I’m in. He was supportive and has long since encouraged me to move to another city where the cost of living is more reasonable. “That isn’t the town for you to do it on your own,” he offered referring to my desire to soon be a home owner. I don’t want to live in an apartment for the rest of my life and a condo doesn’t sound all that appealing to me either. The cost of buying a home or condo in the District these days is now by and large beyond my price range and there are no apparent signs that the housing market is about to soon change. At the same time I realize that even if I change my field in the next year or two that even an increase in salary unless it were huge, wouldn’t put me in a position to buy a home (where I’d want to live) in the current market. So I move. Where, I do not know. Moving with my eyes on the long term future, not just the now.

One day, one month and one year from today I am not certain where I will be or what I will be doing, I don’t know even know who if anyone I may be with. I do know that the time has now come for me to start plotting the course and working the plan to be there, doing it, with myself or alone…moving on.