Even with all the opportunity of living in a major metro area, sometimes you just have to take a step back and move somewhere smaller
Going on a lengthy hiatus (one that featured therapy and a vacation) helped me realize something.
Living in a big city is not what it's cracked up to be.
I know that there are far more opportunities for gainful employment in a big city. At the same time, when you go into a field of study that is highly saturated, the competition is cutthroat.
The realization hit me like a Mack truck just yesterday, when I had to drudge off to my desk job at a bowling alley. Rude customers and management making me look like a jackass when I have to tell customers that I can't do something, and they tell me to do it anyway was the straw that broke the camel's back. I know I need to get out of here.
My girlfriend had been in contact with the company she had been doing internship work for the last few summers, and employment there would have mean moving to Raleigh, North Carolina.
Overall, this will probably be the best move for the both of us. I will have an easier time finding a job in my field of study, and we'll both have a support system.
Let's be real: here in Atlanta, an "entry-level" reporter position requires anywhere from about three years of experience. That's not the case in Raleigh. A reporter can start right out of college, and an editor's position (which would require experience) needs about the same time span.
Also, comparatively speaking, Atlanta is expensive. Not quite on the levels of New York, Boston, and Los Angeles, but still. Living paycheck to paycheck is not an ideal situation for anyone, and doing so in a big city is even more stress-inducing. With a cost of living 11 percent lower, the Raleigh area provides a slightly bigger safety net.
To make matters worse (or better), we came here basically knowing no one. It's been a struggle to make friends. In Raleigh, my girlfriend will know people, and that would make it easier to make friends along the way.
I don't regret moving to Atlanta. It's a fun city to live in. But it's not the best place to live when you are just starting out. Maybe Raleigh will be better. Perhaps this is a blessing in disguise.