A world citizen may provide value to society by using knowledge acquired across cultural contexts.
So if not DC, then where do I go?
This question repeated over and over in my head. Where? And the more I mulled it over, the more it stuck me in a weird middle ground, debating myself. The question morphed from one of destination to one of direction.
If I know that I don’t want to be in DC and I leave because of that, I must inherently go to somewhere else. But if the somewhere else doesn’t matter, if the act of leaving DC is all that matters, then aren’t I running? Am I just engaging in some escapist fantasy that somewhere, in some magical faraway place, things will just work out? Without effort or planning; just show up and things will line up to present me with a better life? That I have no agency in my time in DC; that it was, in fact, DC that failed me?
But what have I learned from past experiences lingering too long in something that I knew wasn’t working? I stayed because I didn’t know what I was jumping to. What did staying too long in a job that wasn’t right teach me? What did staying too long in an unhealthy relationship teach me? That I don’t need to know the best answer, or even the right answer to the question. If I know that the answer I have isn’t right, then I should try something else. I won’t learn anything by staying. What I try next might also be wrong, but then I have two data points. Repeat as needed until a picture emerges, a sense of what might be right. Negative results are still useful data.
And in the end, the knowledge that this city and this path are the wrong ones right now won out. I can work to figure out what might be the right one, but I know which direction to point myself. Away.