I made a choice today. I am not going to be teaching at a boarding school in Maine. It was my only concrete offer thus far, and turning it down meant disappointing my parents. I grew up without religion, but I was a practicing goody two-shoes. My biggest tremors came not from emailing the school, but breaking the news to my mom and dad. They see it as a choice made out of fear of the unknown, an unwillingness to grow up. They're nervous that I don't want to experience the world.
What I did was maybe dumb, maybe short-sighted. But I did it because what I want is one more year near the friends in my life. My parents retained precious few connections from their college years (and they went to Haverford and Bryn Mawr), and they insist that loss is part of growing up. You make new friends, you drift away from your college buddies. I still don't believe that has to be true, but if it is, then all the more reason to savor the time I have left. A year in Maine would mean missing the people I love most while they're all conveniently squished into a tiny geographic range.
So I'm still looking. I'm working my way back into my parents' good graces. And, just to prove it to myself, I'll write it here: it's not a big deal.