no direction home

It’s exhausting, not having a real place to call home. Yes, I have a room. It’s about 75 square feet of space, a limitation that makes me acutely aware of how little I have, how much I’ve given up.

I’ve halfway decided that if something doesn’t break by Thanksgiving, I’m going to ask my dad if I can come home for a while. There are worse places to be than Texas, and there are worse things to do than reconnect with my father and his family. Maybe he’ll even have work for me to do down there. Probably so, knowing him.

I’m tired of being a nomad. December 2nd will be six months since I moved to NYC, eleven months since I was laid off from my last full-time job. Everyone has their limits. New York City will always be there. Maybe it’s good to have a backup plan. I’ve said before I didn’t have one, that if NYC didn’t pan out that it would be the end of the line for me. What I meant by that, I don’t know. But I know I’m not ready for an ending.

Of course my No. 1 choice — if the option exists — is still to find a job with a decent wage and stay in NYC, visiting Chicago frequently to see my kids. No. 2 would be going back to Chicago (which would be much easier on my heartstrings when it comes to the boys) — I’ve opened myself up to the possibility and have been looking to see if the job market has perked up a little bit in the past six months. No. 3 is going back to Texas, getting some sort of work that would allow me to visit Chicago regularly.

I have an interview next week for a dream-y job. I’ve got a few freelance things in the pipeline. I’m not in a horrible situation, even though I am living on a week-to-week basis in terms of money, most weeks. But I need more stability that what I’ve afforded myself lately. I need for 90% of what I own not to be in storage indefinitely. I need to be sure that I have the financial means to see my kids regularly.  I need to have a space that truly feels like my own, not one on loan for a cheap price every seven days.

In a little while, I’m taking my younger son home. We’ve been together for five days, and it’s been a blessing. I hate leaving him in Chicago. It’s harder and harder every time to go back to NYC, knowing that the ostensible reason I went there — to find a job more easily — hasn’t come to fruition. There’s only so much I can take, and I’m reaching that limit. Quickly.

We’ll see what happens with the interview next week and with the other things on the horizon. But I’m giving myself a deadline. Six months, December 2nd. There it is. I can’t afford to feel guilty or like a failure. It just is what it is. I’ll wait and see.


7 thoughts on “no direction home”

      1. Some people have wacky beliefs, but it’s not really for you to concern yourself with that. People will believe what they want to believe, regardless of what you choose. Trust me, as someone who is trying to launch a business, I live with the very real prospect of failure every day (I don’t have a trust fund or anything else to fall back on, either). Ultimately, what people think cannot be any of our business if we want to be fulfilled and serene – which I assume we do…


        1. Yes – it’s not as if I don’t have my freak-out and fearful moments!

          A friend shared last week something that has been on my mind ever since: “Progress comes in fits and starts.” That has absolutely been my experience.


        2. I also like Anne Lamott’s thing: that when things get all troublesome and difficult it’s because something great and beautiful is waiting to be born but you need to be distracted for that to happen (paraphrasing, much less grace than she offers).


        3. Another friend (who is in deep work turmoil) said today that her therapists encourages her to revel in all that is “yummy and cozy” in her life when things are really awful. I live for hot baths and mint tea and my favorite scents when things are just plain scary. I hope you have some sensual treats you can give yourself!


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