Saturday, April 09, 2016

Just down the street.

My lease at the compound is up in May, and the rent increase (hello, building with no rent control!) is beyond my means. Or beyond the price I'm willing to pay for a place that's not too great. As it happens, my friend's roommate had to move out mid-lease just as I was deciding to move, so I'm moving on up. To the upstairs rooms in a townhouse.

Yes, with a roommate. For the first time since 2007. Right. But it's going to save me roughly $500 per month, and I won't have to share a bathroom. And it positions me well to have a great roommate reference when I move back to SF, because realistically, I won't be able to live on my own, at least not if I move before the end of the year (hopefully, because God I hate it here).

I haven't loved my time on the compound, but I'm so glad I've been here. The friends I've made have some days been my only social interaction. And it's been a really great place to have a puppy. But we'll be close by and we can visit often. I'll also be living closer to the dog park, and we can make puppy dates.

So after lots of long-term housing, I will likely end up moving three times in less than 20 months. This is definitely not the stability I was hoping for here. But it's all good.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Ok, now just pause a minute and breathe

I struggled a lot when I first moved here. Panic attacks. Constant, suffocating anxiety. Overwhelmed beyond the point of tears on a daily basis. 

It took a few months and a few missteps to find a good therapist. Finding Joyce was a light in some dark times. She got me, and my situation, and she was full of wisdom and good advice. Talking to her relieved the burden. I really liked her and we were doing very good work. I'm so grateful I found her. Some of her wise words will stay with me forever.

Joyce died about a month ago. It was a sudden and unexpected event, possibly brought on by a diabetic crisis Two weeks went by before I found out. I'm devastated. I'm also really struggling again - I have been for the past couple of months. And now I've lost my only local support in this struggle. 

Her favorite advice to me was to breathe. Deep breaths, in and out. That's how we'd end every session. 

So I'm sitting here, breathing deeply, and doing daily yoga and meditation. And waiting for next week's appointments with a new therapist and the shrink who will administer some anti-anxiety meds. 

In the meantime, I'm trying not to lose my mind, and trying to mend my oft-broken heart. And trying to remember to breathe. 

Friday, March 11, 2016


As of today, I have lived here a year. While this hasn't been the hardest year of my life, it does rank pretty high up there. I have lived beyond my comfort zone since the day I got here, at times so far outside it that I was physical uncomfortable. 

I have battled location-related health struggles I have never faced before (hello, uncontrolled asthma)! 

I have stripped away all my much-loved outside hobbies (thanks, asthma), and replaced them with, well, very little. I walk the dog. I dream about riding my bike. I pine for wooded hikes.

I've never been one to take the easy way, and I know how to work hard for what I want. I have worked so hard to make this move work. And it doesn't. 

I just want to go home. I am so grateful for this experiment, and really sorry this isn't my place. I recognize how lucky I am to move across the country just to see if I like it. And I know how blessed I am to be able to move home. I needed to come here  to find my place, and now I need to stay here until the time is right to head home. I'm not patient, but I am trying. 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

It's a baby!!

I'm sitting in the only pet-friendly hotel near my brother's house. The heat is pumping, Posey is alternating between curling up at my side and barking at everyone who walks down the hall. It's 1* outside with a windchill of -22*. It is too cold to stand outside without my ears going numb and my eyes tearing. I hate winter so much more than I remembered.

My brother's daughter was born this week. Just writing that makes me tear up. My little brother has a baby. She is wrinkly and squinty and beautiful. I snuggled her most of the afternoon, and I'm heading home early tomorrow to beat some storms. Part of me wishes I could stay for awhile. Most of me wishes I could head west right now. But I am so grateful I'm here today. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

This actually happened

On Saturday afternoon, in the lull between storm and blizzard, a neighbor took her dog for a walk around the complex. Her husband watched her from their window. He could see the guy with a gun approaching her. 

He heard the shot and feared his wife was dead. 

Thankfully, she wasn't injured. The shooter - also a resident of this complex - shot Mabel, the dog. 

There was a shooting in my complex on Saturday. 

Wait, let me write that again, because I really can't believe it. 

There was a shooting in my complex on Saturday. 

Mabel was injured, but she'll be fine. Her owners  are livid. The shooter was not arrested.

Right, so there's a guy living here who's cracked out or something and unprovokedky shooting dogs.

I've had my tires slashed and car broken into. I have had my apartment robbed and set on fire. I've been sort of assaulted with a liquor bottle in a bus stop and threatened by a homeless person around the corner from my house. But I have never felt as unsafe in my surroundings as I have since moving here.

Shit happens and urban living has a dangerous edge to it, but this is beyond the risks I'm willing to take to live my life. My lease is up at the end of May, but I'm
probably breaking it. I would like to pack up and move to San Francisco right now, but I don't know if that's feasible yet. So I don't know where I'm going, but it'll definitely be someplace where Posey and I are safer.

Because I don't know what I would do if anything happened to my cute puppy.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

So we got a little snow

Maybe two feet? I can't say for sure because my ruler is too small to measure it. The snow has stopped and it's a beautiful day, but I can't get out of my complex. 

I'll be housebound for a couple of days. Time to get a few projects finished. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016


I'm not even sure I can wrap my head around this storm. It's been snowing since early afternoon yesterday. The snow is taller than the dog, and the storm won't end till early tomorrow.

It's cold. It's windy. There's talk of potential power outages. I would have no heat source if my power goes out - and it goes out during most thunderstorms. 

This will be my only east coast winter.