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Monday, May 27, 2013

Coming Home

Is it a sunrise or a sunset? 
My husband and I have been in our new home state for about a week. This is our third multi-state move since this time last year. Although we had some difficulties getting here, it still feels as though this move is the One, the end of new difficulties, the beginning of feeling our place in the world.

I've been reading that writers should show their true selves on their blogs. Here's the truth about our recent situation: Illinois never seemed it would be anything more than a stopover. I had dreams and plans and everything was going to work out incredibly well. I was going to get a good job in my chosen field in NYC, Boston, or elsewhere, and be able to support my husband. I have so many chosen fields, after all, something had to come through. Or so I thought. Turns out, I've had some disappointments this spring, in this 2013 that was clearly meant to be our year. (We met on a 13th and married on another 13th, so that's our number.) Of five solid plans I had, not a single one panned out.

My husband and I were so close to being homeless that we told my parents we were moving in with them. They're in Oregon, so this was not a step to be taken lightly, given the distance and expense, and total leap of faith, required. In spite of my recent disappointments, I was totally secure in the thought that once we'd made that decision, everything would fall into place for us. Oregon is nice, and we would each get a decent job in a decent amount of time and we would support each other financially as well as emotionally. We told our landlord and started a painfully slow process of packing up and trying to get someone to take over our lease.

And then, mere days before we would have been on the road westbound, an old contact emailed my husband asking if he was interested in a job in North Carolina.

Yes. Yes, we were.

The relief began to flood in for me, but my husband remained reserved throughout the phone interview process (two or three steps) and confirmation after confirmation that this was going to happen, and even the offer.

My husband expressed some doubts as to whether the salary would be livable, but I said, "They're going to offer you X. That's enough to be comfortable and slowly pay off our debts." And I nailed it!

But we've been through so much, I saved my joy, too, even though I thought we deserved to scream "Yippee!" out each and every window of our Illinois apartment.

So here we are. Contract negotiations being what they are, we're staying in a hotel until some time in July. It's a mite inconvenient, but it also gives us an unparalleled opportunity to check out the area and decide where would be a good, affordable place to live. Before, we've always been rushed and have ended up with some pretty lousy living arrangements for different reasons.

We still haven't had that moment of jumping in the air and yelling with jubilation. How can we tell when the threat of homelessness is truly behind us? What is the magical gateway that serves as express permission to revel in our long-awaited good fortune?

I still meet my wonderful Tucson writers' group through Skype. Our most recent meeting was the second night I was here, and I was exhausted from the details and mishaps of the move. But I'd still managed to give the group new material based on their and my editor's previous suggestions, and I explained my plans for submitting SNKL and the tasks I had to accomplish before I could submit. One of the writers expressed admiration at the way I've pressed on with my writing and all it entails in spite of all the disruption—and she didn't even know the whole story. So perhaps that acknowledgment is my moment of hurrah. Just having another human being appreciate my efforts is sublime.

Because everyone likes to be acknowledged! And I certainly do keep on keepin' on, roll with the punches, get back up when they knock me down, etc. So that eternal optimism has crept back in and wants to tell me that all I need is a little (more) patience, and North Carolina is the place where it will all work out.


Happy Memorial Day!