Archive for July 8th, 2009

While I haven’t officially moved yet, I recently journeyed to my new home to sign the lease and make sure everything was in order.  Spending a few nights there on an inflatable mattress brought back the feelings of emptiness I had when moving into my new apartment before grad school.  Obviously, the fact that the apartment was empty contributed to these feelings, but with the work that I’ve been putting into finishing my dissertation and preparing to teach in the fall I had never taken much time to reflect on the fact that everything is empty in a new town.  My list of people to call if I need help with something is empty, my social calendar is empty, even the mailbox is empty because the junk mailers haven’t yet caught on to my move.

At some points in my life I would have seen this emptiness as an opportunity to directly shape my future interactions – a sort of blank slate for impression management.  Now, though, I have very little desire to change my social arrangements.  My recollections of making friends are vague, but unlike grad school I assume that it is going to take more than cheap beer to become socially engaged with other professors whose families and children control the majority of their schedules.

Soon enough, the void will be filled.  The apartment will be filled with boxes to unpack, helpful people will be found, more work than I’ve ever done before will fill my time, and the junk mailers will find me.  For now, though, I think that the emptiness might provide a good opportunity to reflect on where I’m going and where I’ve been.  Thankfully, this time I’m not alone.

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