ME: I had a good life. My program wasnâ€™t what I really wanted, and it was hard to do that and work full-time. And if I had stayed just one more year, I still couldnâ€™t have finished it because I was going part time. But I was really good at my job, and it fit me well.
HIM: So what about your social life? Romantic life? I mean, your family is there, you were studying, you had a good job. There had to be some reason you left.
ME: Iâ€™m not running away from or to anyone if thatâ€™s what youâ€™re asking.
A few days laterâ€¦
ME: I miss my job.
HIM: Okay really, what happened? Why did you leave?
So went two conversations with the first friend Iâ€™ve made here in Philadelphia. I didnâ€™t answer him directly, but for this first Philly-based post, Iâ€™ve decided itâ€™s confession time. Had I believed I could have found a life partner in Louisville, I would have stayed there. Iâ€™m not quite ready to say I left to find a husband, but I will say I wanted to put myself in a place and in situations that increased my chances of meeting men, in the hopes that I would meet one that I want to marry and who wants to marry me. For reasons Iâ€™ve previously articulated, that was unlikely in my hometown, and that left a part of me unfulfilled, despite all of my professional and academic successes.
Oddly enough, in my short time here, my focus has changed. I know that when completing a move to a new city and state, immediate needs abound. Thereâ€™s unpacking, setting up utilities, finding the right grocery store (still working on that), moving money to a new bank, getting a new license, getting lost, etc. I start an MFA in creative writing on September 1, and it was a week after my arrival before I wrote anything, even in a journal. But in those moments when Iâ€™m not in the process of moving, something dominates my thoughts that I didnâ€™t expect: money. In June, when I wrote out my vision for my life (a very long and ambitious vision I havenâ€™t shared on this blog, and different from the personal mission statement) and ranked my values, finding a life partner was number 1, starting a family with him number 4, and financial security number 8. Now that full coverage auto insurance has gone from $185 per quarter to $111 per month, and I still havenâ€™t found a job, Iâ€™m thinking about how I can monetize everything, anything. I think I am finally in the position to complete and self-publish a long overdue essay collection about black women, sexuality, and the Christian faith, but even the thought of returning 100 percent to entrepreneurshipâ€”to marketing, sales, production, distribution, bookkeeping, etc., all at the same time and under the power of oneâ€”makes me tired, unmotivated, and a little guilt-ridden for being a capitalist feminist, but somewhat empowered for wanting writing to produce financial independence rather than assuming that it won’t and that I’ll need a husband for that.
Interestingly, I donâ€™t feel guilty at all for being a marriage and children-minded feminist, though I do feel odd about dropping every good thing in my life to pursue those two things. (I’m not hard on myself; I’m just reflective.)