Thursday, June 21, 2007

Meet me at the crossroads

There are, as you might expect, good and bad things about what I'm doing.

The good: my co-workers are nice, my apartment and neighborhood in the Southeast are pedestrian-friendly and beautiful.

The tough: my job isn't quite what was presented to me, my commute is long-ish and requires a car most days, the absence of any and all family and friends is getting to me.

See, here's what you need to understand about me. There's no reason you should know this, since it's something I've only really figured out this past year or so. Relationships are the central part of my life. When I'm around people I love, I thrive. Life may have been pretty dismal these last six months, but the presence of a few key friends and my parents did wonders for my mental state on most days. Which, of course, coincided with many of the days I didn't blog. I need to fix that. Anyway, now? The one thing I didn't factor into this move -- because how could I know? -- was how empty it would feel without anyone here. Sure, you're right: I can still talk to them on the phone...but while that works for some people, I need to see you, to touch you, to be able to pop over to a meeting spot on a moment's notice so we can vent about our days or laugh over a pint.

So right now? Right now, I'm a little scared. A co-worker confided in me today that this job -- environmental consulting around a major transportation project -- isn't like she thought it would be. You don't get to do the environmental work. You don't have time. Your hours are sucked away by menial tasks and public meetings, and because we are at a satellite office, there's really no one around to talk to about the problem, as our own supervisor is so swamped that I've seen her all of three times this week (for five minutes, maybe). I think I can spin this work in a positive direction after a year or two, pitching it on my resume as a skill-builder in a related field, but transportation is terribly boring work for most of us (and, as I'm learning, I fall under the "most" category there). The thought of being trapped in it makes me a little queasy. I have to work to find the positives here, and I'm sure there are many. It's just a tad disappointing, especially when I find out this morning that they are hiring new people for my position in Seattle. And everyone here seems so amazed I relocated for this. The timing, it's a bitch.

And the commute? By the time I get home, I'm beyond exhausted. I can cook, unpack a box or two, and then it's 9:00 and I have to get ready for bed. No real time to explore my cool neighborhood. No time to write. Definitely no time to meet new people, which really sucks. I know it won't always be like this, but I'm starting to wonder if I need to take advantage of my month-to-month lease and move closer into where my office is located. I'm so tired right now that I want to curl up in bed and cry, but that won't help. Still, it's tempting.

The absence of friends? It's confirmed things I was starting to realize, like how I never want to leave my town again. I went back yesterday for a training at the main office, and the very sight of it made my heart hurt. Spent an hour after the training with a friend at Seward Park, and everything clicked. I know this sounds stupid. It's three hours away, right? Even working as many weekends as I do, I should still be able to get home once in awhile. Why can't that be enough? But I know a few people who feel the same, and all I can say is that right now, it's the absence of people I love which comes the closest to making this all unbearable. I can't articulate it, but trust this much: it is everything to me.

So, herein I also realize something crucial about the major relationship in my life, even if it is sort of on hiatus most of the year because of the 8000 miles between us. I don't want us to live somewhere else after he finishes his degree. I'm tired of feeling like our life has to wait. After 10 moves in four years, I'm sick of being nomadic. I want us home. Starting a life together. Buying that first, scary house together. Spending our evenings lingering on friends' front lawns, talking and laughing. Doing all the things that we can do now: let the moving boxes gather dust, find a place we can call our own, have two incomes in one household again. Back to school? It will happen for me, but I've already decided to do it close to home, and I'm content to wait awhile. That dream job? You know, if I can fulfill the personal side of life, I think I'd even be okay with transportation. Well, maybe not quite, but I don't think so much would hinge on finding the "perfect" job. Right now, that's all I have. I don't want to feel that way for long. Am I doing this without him? Yes. Does that mean I want to? God, no. We could each spend our lives working to reach the tops of our fields, and that would be all we had. Instead, I want to reach somewhere good enough career-wise, and end up with so much more in the process.

I'm done being transient. I want to put down what remains of my roots and stay there until there are too many rings on my trunk to count. With all this looming, my other half comes home to visit tomorrow for two brief weeks. Seventeen days to balance the fun with the seriousness. Things I don't feel right posting yet. We have so much to discuss. And it terrifies me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I feel exactly the same way; how is Byran?love to you both!