Urban Grind

Since I sort of have some free time on my hands and can job hunt just as easily crashed on a couch as I can at home, I took off for Portland yesterday, and am now hanging out with my brother. It’s been good: good company, good food, and good hangouts. We’re currently at a place called the Urban Grind, which is a rather expansive coffee house, with an interesting mix of industrial aesthetic (it’s in a reconditioned warehouse space), and “kid friendliness” (they have two rooms explicitly for the little tykes to go play, which I gotta say is pretty cool). It’s kind of empty at the moment (the evening on a Saturday), but the music is good (Radiohead’s new album at the moment), and they have a nice Rooibos-based chai that I’m on my second large cup of. The wireless is kinda corporate: two networks, one “free” but with the occasional web-redirect to an ad, or a “premium” (pay) network with a fatter pipe and no ads. I don’t mind clicking past an ad every once in a while, personally.

I promised to take Anna to the airport next week, otherwise I’d be sorely tempted to just keep couch surfing for a while. I really want to hit the road for a while, though I know I can’t really afford it, but the prospect of couch surfing in different towns, seeing if one appeals to me to move to or find a job in… well, it’s more than mildly appealing to me. A thought I’ve had (I don’t know how feasible it is), is to put in my month notice on my apartment, sell off as much as I can, put the rest in storage, and then go look for places to be. I’d need money for gas, and food, and I’d need to line up a few places to stay first before it starts to look realistic, but that’s not that much in the grand scheme of things. How long can I stretch that while I find work and the path I want to walk next?

Don’t get me wrong: I’d love to get a more permanent (and livable) job with the game industry. In particular, a role as an associate producer sounds really appealing right now. It’s the primary focus of the positions I’m applying for (though not all). Of course, there’s a part of me that wants to just go do random other stuff for a while. Take some other job that covers the basics, but is in Hawaii, or Guam, or Japan, or somewhere in Europe. Learn to surf. Learn some more languages. Spend a few months to a year in a place, and then pick up and do something else (or even a similar thing) somewhere else. Does that provide stability, or savings, or a home? No, not really. That’s sort of alright, though, if it brings a sense of wonder and exploration with it. It’s not boring. It’s not a cubicle, it’s not 2.5 kids and two mortgages, it’s not the rat race, even if only for a little while.

The most satisfying moments in my life have been the times where I veered off the path and did my own thing.