It’s been very tempting these past few days to bail and decide to go back to the U.S. next year. The problem is that going back is not simple and easy. I’d need to tell my boss now (like right now, seriously), to start looking for a job now, and to possibly fly back to the U.S. during my April vacation to interview and visit schools. There would be no back-up plan if I don’t get a job so I’d really need to put my all into it.
So to help me think I thought I’d make a list of pros and cons, even though in the end I think it will be decided by gut feeling. They range from major to tiny.
For going back to the U.S.:
• I want badly to move to the Northeast, mostly Boston. I dream about living in Boston the way I used to dream about living in France.
• I’d be paid better.
• I could start a real career.
• I could have all my stuff with me, get a real apartment, and really settle down.
• I could get a dog sooner.
• I miss my country and my people. I want to make friends easier. I want to be around people who get me. I want to play Time’s Up and know what more than half of the guesses are (not that Time’s Up even exists in the U.S.).
• I could get the HPV vaccine. If I go back to the U.S. when I’m 27, I presumably can’t. (Actually, am considering just shelling out for it and paying out of pocket here in France.)
• I want to settle down, meet someone, and stop wandering. Am I willing to wait till I’m 27 to do that?
For staying another year in France:
• I’ve applied to a couple of conferences and am soon going to start turning my masters report into a paper to submit.
• I want to do an intensive Spanish program this summer so I can teach beginning Spanish if needed. This and the first point mean that my resume will look better next year and I’ll be more hire-able.
• I love my job. I love love love my job. I’m learning things that I can implement next year. I have so much freedom in what I do. Once I start teaching high school there’s no way I’ll have this much freedom.
• I love being with people who are in between two cultures. Sometimes I feel a little isolated among my French friends but I’m sure I’ll feel similarly once I’m back among people who’ve never really lived abroad.
• My feeling is that once I move back this time, I want it to be for good. I want to start building a life somewhere. If I go back now, it’ll feel a little bit like I maybe gave up before I should have. Am I really ready to give up on France?
Well, there it is. I think I know what I’ve decided but I waver so I thought I’d write it all down. Any advice? Anything to add?