Laura (BJH ’08) had the world at her feet when she graduated top of her class* in 2008. Job offers were rolling in from across the country** and her work, which had once been described by a professor as “brilliant”*** was sure to take her places.
Instead, she packed up her ’96 Corolla and took the ferry home to Newfoundland, where she moved into an apartment sight-unseen at the top of a steep hill. The only basement apartment in existence with a view. She made a happy home for herself, hosting dinners for her colleague and jam sessions for her band. Buoyed by a couple of newspaper awards**** and a promotion,***** she went looking for a home where you couldn’t hear the neighbours pee through the ceiling. She bought a house in the woods and painted the living room bright blue.
She met a man, moved again, had a baby, and now fills her days singing about stinky poop and stick-out ears. She had her first-ever pedicure at 25. Her living room window offers a view of two waterfalls and the occasional otter. “It’s a far cry from a career as Carrie Bradshaw,”****** she says, “but then again, Carrie Bradshaw didn’t bake her own bread.”
And as for that $80,000 degree? “It hasn’t gone completely to waste,” says Button. “When my daughter won’t go to sleep, sometimes I’ll read a bit of Plato, or maybe a page or two of the CP style guide.”*******
*alphabetically, that is
**from the one place she applied
****ACNA best resources story, 2008
*****it was forced
****** #1 career goal among first-year journalism students, according to an informal poll
******* Ms. Button wishes to make it clear that she herself LOVES the Style Guide, but its gripping subject matter is somewhat lost on the under-5-month set.
This post was inspired by the Alumni magazine that just arrived via my parents’ mailbox. My fellow grads are working around the globe. I just made chicken-noodle soup from a whole chicken. I love my life (truly!), but it is a long way from my contemporaries who have lofty job titles and their profiles in alumni magazines. I’m proud of what they are all doing.
Last week some friends From Town visited, and as they pulled up our gravel lane and barreled out of the car they cried, “You’re living the dream!” And I am, mostly. I know what they mean – fresh air, ocean view (hell, ocean frontage!), diapers on the clothesline, bread in the oven. It’s a dream for sure, but there are no 24-hour supermarkets handy, and we’re 45 minutes from the closest emergency room, let alone physician. We’re smack dab in the middle of two school zones. And when there are only a handful of other moms nearby, it’s harder to find something in common with any of them.
It’s a dream, but occasionally it’s a nightmare too.