A close friend of mine, now deceased, used to say, “You need to live where you want to retire” because life is short and the cost of transferring what you have built in a career is too costly, especially your business social capital and close friendships.
As I’m embarking on my 12th year as a full-time college professor, I’m starting to think critically about what Kurt once told me in the beginning of my career as an academic.
Where am I going to be in 2020? I’m not sure, to be honest.
I’ve worked long hours to make my classes better and serve the university and the community to the best capacity I could. There were many challenges I must say but nothing much different from other places I’ve worked at.
My social capital building has increased but not to the degree I’ve planned. In fact, I’m surprised by how difficult infiltrating my local community is which seems to be an unfair career challenge, as far as I’m concerned. I do most of the labor and get very little in return. I wonder why.
I’ve been known for being a charismatic leader who builds many allegiances and close relationships quickly but not here. I still feel like an outsider right now which is a feeling that I often don’t experience.
Have you ever experienced that feeling of “I like you but it seems that you don’t like me as much kind of feeling in return?” That’s how I feel, sometimes. I want to live in a place where respect and appreciation is reciprocal. Lack thereof is a major violation of two of my life principles — Fairness and respect.
I’m hopeful for a change. In order for us to live here forever, this town must be a place where we see ourselves retiring in. I hope things change, we shall see. I will try my best, of course. Our future is in God’s hands anyways. We shall see.