So, as stated before, I am leaving my current job to go to another one. I will still be involved in archaeology, and in fact will be doing essentially the same job, just with a different company in a different city.
It's a strange feeling. when I came to work with my current employer, I had intended to stay there for a good many years and get re-entrenched into the Monterrey Bay area, a location that I love. I had felt that I was returning home (I grew up in the Central Valley, in Stanislaus County specifically, but moved to Santa Cruz when I was 20 and adopted it as my home), and had anticipated building a life here. If the job went away - as sometimes happens, then I would find another in the area - by that time I figured that I would have enough skills and contacts to be able to find work with another company or with an agency within the general area.
I didn't anticipate what happened, or that it would happen within 3 and a half years. My company's main projects have gradually moved farther south, and the intensity of the fieldwork has increased, meaning that I spend much more time away from home than at home these days. At the same time, several family obligations have appeared which require me to be at home. So, I have given notice at one job and accepted another in Fresno.
I am genuinely excited about the company, I have worked for them int he past and they are fantastic, but it is difficult to return to the central valley 15 years after having left it. Returning to the valley after having escaped is hard - this is something that my friends from the bay area and Southern California have a hard time understanding, but those who are from the Central Valley all understand without me having to articulate it.
The Central Valley was always a decent place to live. Those of us who grew up there simply developed a bit of an inferiority complex because of all of the attention payed to the Bay Area and Los Angeles. When I was younger, it must be said that the Central Valley was a place of limited opportunities and social rigidity. But people have moved around, economic forces have changed the map, and the Central Valley is now quite different.
The valley has changed in the last 15 years, becoming a more vibrant and dynamic place than it had been during my childhood and early adulthood. I have also changed - I am more independent, less timid, and I have learned that you can make something interesting happen and that the place where your bed is located doesn't have to limit your options or life. What's more, I am returning to the Central Valley to take a career-track job that requires an advanced degree and considerable experience, not because I failed and have to head back home.
So, here we go. I am finishing up my projects this week, and packign up my apartment.