A friend of mine and one-time love, Scott, got on my case recently about the fact I’ve stopped writing. In response to me making wistful noises about wanting to write, Scott wrote back: “Steph, a lot of people want to write. Heck, I want to write. You, however, are a writer. So start writing again already.”
Now, I am certainly guilty at snarling at Scott on occasion, but, even on a bad day, I will admit that he’s pretty good at calling things like he sees them. Most of the time I appreciate that trait about him.
Here’s the thing–I may be a writer, but I’ve always struggled with putting words on paper when I feel like my life is falling down about my ears.
To me, there are two types of writers when it comes to how they handle crisis… those who can turn inward and draw comfort from their writing during those difficult times and those who dry up until they are able to resolve the crisis at hand. I have always firmly fallen into the second camp. I’m not sure I can even articulate why. But when things that are deeply important to me start going wrong: relationships, work, health of loved ones, etc., the words stop flowing.
This certainly hasn’t been the smoothest of years on a lot of fronts. Ending my relationship with Charlie was really freaking rough. Struggling with a difficult job and then losing it was also rough. But then, most of the people I’m close to seem to have had a pretty tough time in 2009.
Anyway, obviously things have turned around enough that I’m feeling the urge to write again. So let’s start with the good news… As of the beginning of December, I became once again gainfully employed.
The day I lost my job I started reaching out to work contacts of mine. A friend of mine at a former employer in the brokerage industry was kind enough to send me two job reqs and also to put in an enthusiastic good word for me (along with her boss who was also familiar with my work). The interview process took about a month and involved a last-minute flight to San Francisco, but I ended up being offered a Senior Manager position working with client data which is where I tend to be happiest.
So, two months to the day of when I lost my job, I received my first paycheck from my new employer. In that regard, I know I’m a lot more fortunate than a lot of people out there right now.
In my new position I’m making close to what I was previously and, so far, I’m working a lot less hours. My vacation and health benefits are better, as well. Some really weird things clicked together for me on the job front which I’ll talk about in later posts. However, suffice it to say, the “Hand of God” phenomena seems to be continuing. To what end, I really wish I knew. But no one seems interested in filling me in on the plan.
So what’s the downside? The downside is that the position is based out of Phoenix. I had planned to spend the winter in AZ since my place in Portland is not complete weatherized yet. But that doesn’t work out so well in terms of what I had planned come spring.
I am a virtual member of a team that is based out of San Francisco. So a case could possibly be made that I’m already working remotely. But there are some advantages to me being based in the call center the brokerage has in Phoenix. So, yeah, there’s some longer-term issues that remain to be resolved.
A big thing I need to determine is whether my hunkering down in Phoenix is a temporary thing where I simply need the comfort and support of my friends for a time. Or, rather, if it’s my way of conceding defeat about all the renovations that still need to be done to my place in Portland and the loneliness of starting over in a new place away from all friends and family. I’m just not sure I’m that tough anymore in terms of going it alone.
Here’s what the readers of Coming Unmoored probably won’t like… I have gone so far as to list my little house in Portland with a realtor for the winter. But, considering the current real estate market and the amount of work that remains to be done, I’ll be surprised if anyone expresses interest in it. And, quite frankly, I’m kind of hoping no one does. I really don’t think I want my hand to be forced until I know what I would like to have happen.
I’ve clearly torn on the subject because I’ve spent the last week delaying writing this post. I just didn’t want to have to type the words admitting that I’ve put my place up for sale. It haunts me. I know also, though, that I’m feeling lonely and beaten up from this year and am not ready to take on the place construction-wise again until at least spring. Both my emotions and my bank account are calling it quits for the present time being.
The good news, though, is I seem to have found a safe place to hunker down and consider my options. I have a job and a place to stay this winter close to friends. That feels like quite a lot, right now.