The $4.55/gallon epiphany
I love the outdoors. I can think of no better place to decompress, exercise, bond with friends, meditate, and reflect on my thoughts than in nature. I need my time away from the crowds, away from the festivals, museums, restaurants, bars and movies that seem to occupy the city life I’ve been living here in San Jose. However gas prices have me rationing my trips into the wilderness and contemplating how I can enjoy our natural treasures without at the same time contributing to their demise. After all, every time I hop in my truck to go for another bike ride or explore a new trail, I’m pumping exhaust into the air that is in effect harming the environment I’m hoping to escape to; for me it’s the ultimate Catch-22. And in San Jose, it has caused me to miss out on some of the better explorations and got me seriously thinking about my next move.
I have one more year in graduate school and then I’ll be searching for employment and in all likelihood a new “hometown” as well. I’m aware that I will be entering a job market that has seen better days and no election is going to magically fix our wilting economy. It is therefore hard to imagine creating a long list of stipulations for my job search and yet I must. I simply can’t move to a place where deciding to enjoy nature conflicts with wanting to preserve it.
Sure that destroys my chances of ever living the city life pictured in oh so many TV shows and movies, but that’s ok, I’ve never put much stock in them anywise and I know from experience that I’d much rather be a visitor in a city than a resident. I will also face limitation in finding a smaller community that is GLBT friendly, but I can rely on the fact that many college towns are far more liberal than their surrounding areas. Ultimately there will be other things I may miss out on as a result of my need to be near nature (independent movie theaters, variety in restaurant options, a good bagel) but I am certain that a walk in a nearby park will more than make up for all the things my oasis will be missing.