Thursday, April 30, 2015

Sick day

I'm home sick today. Or at least unwell. I think I'm actually so stressed out that I'm having head and stomach aches. I've been having panic attacks, and I feel like all my grief-stress issues have returned with a vengeance. It's like I've regressed three years over the course of the last few weeks. Yes, moving is hard, but this isn't about the move.

My job is awful. It's so stressful and beyond overwhelming. I'm not the right fit for the role, and the org is not a healthy place to work. And with no path to organizational change, I think I have to leave it for my own self-preservation. I am so very sad and discouraged.

But, not all here is bad. After years of trying to figure out how to adopt a dog, I adopted a puppy last weekend. Having a puppy is HARD, but so very fabulous. 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The good, the bad, and at least it's not ugly

In the five weeks that I've lived here, I've had some stellar experiences:
  • Seeing my sister along the course of my first VA 5K
  • Finding an excellent church community and joining the choir
  • Talking to my brother with ease now that we're in the same time zone
  • Spending time with great friends
  • Getting outside on the trails by my house
 And I've had one overarching bad experience: my job. It's awful. The organization's a mess, morale is awful, people are disrespectful, and the expectation is that everyone will work seven days a week. Seriously. 
Pretty trees in front of my building.
There's a lot about this job that's not the right fit for me, but the expectations around schedule and overall workload are just way beyond what I can - or what anyone  - can manage.
Sunrise on the trail by my house.
I can't put into words how sad this makes me. I'm discouraged and disheartened and so very disappointed. I spent a few weeks walking around shell shocked, and not really sure what to do. But now that I'm settling in a little better I see that I have a very small timeframe before I completely burn out, so I'm hunting for a new job with a vengeance, while trying to also make friends and get to know my new neighborhood.
Visiting the cherry blossoms right before they bloomed.
I'm overwhelmed and tired and disoriented most of the time, but I can see the potential. The potential in my bigger apartment, which lets me host friends for dinner (and overnight, helping out a friend with long-term business in the District who lives too far away to commute). In the dog adoption paperwork I've been filling out. A dog is finally not too far out of my grasp! In the career opportunities and social excursions and just in everything that's shiny and new.

Moving is hard. But I'm hanging in.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

On not being settled

I'm getting a lot of emails and texts asking how I'm settling in; how unpacking is going; and how I'm getting acquainted to my new life. I laugh as I respond, because I'm not. My stuff is still on a truck, so I'm not unpacking. I have set up a few new items in my apartment, but I'm staying with my sister until all my things arrive. That will probably be the end of next week.

But the weather is nice and I'm doing some exploring in the area and trying not to completely lose my shit at the chaos. I don't do well without a routine, and, with the exception of my pillow, I have none of the things (or people or places) that might make me comfortable.

And while I recognize that this isn't even the hard part, right now it is very hard.
Sunrise over the Potomac on the Mt. Vernon trail.
At least it's also pretty.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

The final night

In the past week, I have hiked, biked, bar-ed, karaoke-d, and packed myself into a frenzy of other celebratory goodbyes. I have had a blast fit for capping off my 14 years in the City by the Bay. And I have sobbed all of the goodbye tears. I think I am sobbed dry anyway, but there are probably still more to come.

The movers come in the morning, and all that's left to pack are the things I need to cook breakfast, and my blankets and pillow.

I am exhausted. I am excited. I am terrified. I am so very sad to leave, and so stoked for what's to come.

And I am thankful, so immensely, beyond words, thankful, for all the friends who have packed boxes and bought rounds and sat over lunches and dinners and coffees to help me say goodbye. Tony Bennett was right: no matter where my adventures take me, I am leaving my heart in San Francisco.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

The process of saying goodbye

These past few months, I've put some effort into visiting a couple of favorite spots or tourist attractions each week, so that by the time my plane takes off (in six days) I will hopefully not feel like I've left a lot hanging here.

This week is all about my favorite places, and the last time I will see them for awhile. We've been gifted amazing weather lately, and being outside has been a joy. I'm soaking up as much sun as I can before I head to the snow.

My last Land's End hike.

One more visit to Ocean Beach at sunset.

 A final ride along my favorite city route.

This weekend is the hardest part of all: seeing many of my friends for one more visit before I leave. Those festivities have already started. So far, I'm only crying in about half of the photos.

Monday, March 02, 2015

I haven't yet wrapped myself in packing tape, but that moment might be coming

Moving is hard, life is emotional, blah, blah, blah. My apartment is chaos, I feel like I'm not spending enough time with my friends, and I'm definitely not spending enough time filling boxes.

The movers come in a week. I need a nap. But things are chugging along. I'm tired and trying to juggle too much this week. I'm also trying to remember to cherish the moments I have with friends, and the ones spent in some of my favorite places.

I never thought I'd live anyplace other than San Francisco, but I'm oddly at peace with leaving. And the universe keeps reminding me that it'll all be OK on the other end. Once all the boxes are packed and the parties are over and the tears have dried and I make it there, it will all be OK.

Monday, February 23, 2015

In a nutshell

My life recently:

"Do you want a square hipster ice cube in that Coke?" my friend asked as she poured my drink during a recent party.

"Sure, and can you serve that in a Mason jar, just to make today's Oakland hipster experience complete," I replied.

"You realize that by leaving, you're likely to be engaged within the year," a friend commented while we were discussing dating and my move.

"A dog is expensive. It'll be at least six months before I'm financially ready to adopt one," I told a friend as we were discussing my pet-friendly apartment complex.

"I don't know, the way things are lining up for you, I expect a dog to show up on your doorstep as you're moving in," she replied.
"I went out to move my car this morning, and I was parked behind a Maserati. Who parks their Maserati on the street?" I asked a friend the other day.

"Really," she replied, "how messed up is San Francisco that the guy with the Maserati can't rent a parking space?"