Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Thought I knew my mind

Like the back of my hand. Really I did.

Six months ago I was strategizing how to stitch together a reasonable income from a variety of sources that would allow me to continue to living on this island. Because that was most important thing - finding a way to stay.

And now? I'm ready to leave.

Not physically, mind you! After ten years in the same apartment, plus a few more in the same town, I've accumulated an astounding amount of clutter. Clearing that will be my ongoing project over the next few months.

But mentally? Yeah, I'm just about there.  How did that come about? Well, let's see...

Just before the holidays the owner of the shop I worked at informed the staff that the business was about to be sold. We were only slightly surprised, even though it had been on the market for a couple years we had noticed a few things in prior weeks that led us to suspect that it might finally be happening. Initially I thought this could be a very good change for me, I had several positive discussions with the new owner, and really - who wouldn't want to manage an independent bookstore? Just about a dream come true - right? 

Well, perhaps somewhere else but not here and now.  After a short time and midway through the negotiation process of attempting to hammer out the details of job duties/salary/blah blah I realized two things. First, the store itself was going to change so drastically I had to wonder how much longer it would actually be a bookstore anymore, when other lines of business were clearly the priority. Second, that while this was probably a decent job by island standards, that's all it was. Decent. By island standards.

In the midst of all that drama other local opportunities presented themselves. And again, they were local, but that's all they were. Not exciting, interesting, or even remotely fulfilling. Not for me anyway. Yes, I recognize that's an issue when you are madly overqualified and no, that's not ego talking - just the facts. And salary? Not even enough to dumb it down and sell your soul for a few years - just barely a living wage, if even that. The idea of just scraping by, and going nowhere all too quickly, became increasingly distasteful. 

I've lived in and loved this place for over ten years, and I've accepted that living here meant accepting limits on my life. Social, work, income, travel, you name it. And up until now, what I was giving up was worth what I was getting back. But it's not anymore.  Because it's limiting my future. I've got that shiny new college degree arriving in the mail soon, another birthday recently celebrated, and I can't help thinking about all the things I still want to do and places I want to see.

No matter how sad I get when I think about leaving, or how scary it may be to start over in a new place, the idea of waking up one day to find that another ten years have passed and I am still here is absolutely terrifying.

So that's the story.  Right now I'm back to being employed by the U.S. Census, but it's a temporary job with limited part-time hours.  I spend my free time cleaning out my aforementioned clutter, applying for mainland jobs, and working on a variety of other projects all aimed towards the goal of moving off the island.

I don't know yet where I'll end up. Just that I'm going somewhere. Wanna come with me? 

Seriously, if you're still here, leave me a comment and let me know. I've got to figure out how to continue blogging through this transition in my life. I want to but I know that there will be things happening in the future that I can't put out on the interwebs for anyone and everyone to read. So do I circle the wagons and change this blog? Or leave it to stand as is and start a second private one for friends and family only? Tell me what you think.

I won't be making any changes yet, this will take some time.  And in the meanwhile, I should give credit where credit is due for the post title:

Thanks ladies! Think I found myself a new theme song here.


AmyPinSeattle said...

Good for you!! People get so married to their ideas, they forget to check if they still want it!

I can't wait to read about the next chapter of your life!!

Cristina said...

Still here!
Good for you on realising what you want and not just giving into inertia. Best of luck with the packing and de-cluttering, and finding a way back to the mainland.

Mia said...

welcome back! We're here for ya. Sounds to me like you're thinking good thoughts. I've wondered why you didn't move someplace else.. your posts must have been reflecting your thoughts :)

Scary, but exciting - and you do have that shiny new degree, after all :) Go make use of it and make a bundle of money while you're at it :)


Michelle said...

Definitely keep blogging! It'll help to put your thoughts down on virtual paper.

Anonymous said...

Blogging can be a very good sounding board. And hey, if you feel the need to have a place where you 'talk' about stuff that's a little more only for you, you can always have a secondary site that's password protected and just for you. Kind of like our dear diaries back in 8th grade. :)

Plus, we're always happy to help you out or just listen. You know. :)

Sheepish Annie said...

I wish I had the nerve to make a move like that. I'm so excited for you!

Pat said...

Good for you! It takes courage to embark on something new and different.
I like reading your blog- I hope you decide to keep it.