I started my new job on a six-week contract, which ended last Friday, and now I’m on a four-week extension until the end of June. When my boss told me last week that he would try to get me a six month-long extension this time, I found myself telling him, “Actually, I sort of love the short-term contracts. Can you see if you can get me another four-week one?” I have since come to regret – and retract – that wholly short-sighted request, but I am still in thrall to its motivation: to feel that I can get up and go wherever I’d like, whenever I’d like (or rather, four weeks from whenever I’d like). My lease is up soon – August 1st – and the only other contractual obligation I have in New York is my job. Which means that as soon as it ends, I’m free as a bird – geographically if not financially speaking. I promised myself after my trip to Argentina a year and a half ago that I’d leave for an open-ended language-learning sabbatical in Senegal within two years. If I went in August I’d be six months ahead of schedule.
At first that thought was exciting, but as it sunk in I realized that I’m not yet ready to leave town – mentally, financially or in any other way. And there’s no good reason to leave a job this interesting and challenging before I’m forced to. So I decided I should embrace the longest contract I can possibly get – only to find out two days later that my preferences are entirely irrelevant, since the rules for my particular job designation prohibit me from getting a six-month contract. I’ll be month to month until I leave here, whether in August or next April (another big question mark).
So the roller coaster of uncertainty continues… as do my attempts to enjoy the rush and stave off the mental motion sickness.
[Photo: Bit Boy]