A recent three-day trek through Manhattan – lots of good sightseeing on that one little island – got me thinking about the course my life might have taken if I would have considered moving to the East Coast after college.
I was too much of a Westerner to have even entertained such a scary prospect, I suppose. It was scary enough to move to Oregon for that first post-college job.
On the other hand, way back then I was embarking on a profession in publishing, in the broadest sense, and New York was and still is the end-all and be-all of publishing. I could have looked for jobs in entry-level writing, editing, office assisting, fact-checking, etc., at any number of publishing houses. Become a reporter for the New York Times? No, not even with my 4.0 GPA from J-school. But where‘s the pulse point of most magazines, corporate publications and book houses? The Big Apple, of course.
Would I have been happy in a 200–square-foot living space, scraping by, andputting up with the crowds, the noise and the brusqueness of New Yorkers? Maybe. I think I would have liked riding the subway and getting my exercise by giving up a car and walking to most places. I would have loved the cafes, street vendors and variety of other eating establishments. I might have become an avid art gallery visitor and theatergoer. I might have begun to prefer the beauty in the vast panorama of skyscrapers to the beauty of vast Western landscapes. I might have been OK with more rain than I was used to. I might have become an expert at spotting locales for the many, many TV shows and movies shot in NY. And Central Park – gorgeous.
That’s a lot of “might have’s.” Probably it was by default that I headed down this particular fork in the road where I find myself more than 30 years later. But, but, but … should I have taken the “road less traveled’?
What was your post-college “road less traveled”? Comment below.