Tomorrow, I return to work after four years away.
I’ll be heading into downtown Portland and working in the same position — with even some of the same programs and people — that I worked with when I first came to the County in 2005 as a newlywed with a handful of short story sales under my belt.
I have mixed feelings about it all. The harder part is still letting go of the time with the girls. But none of it is easy and the circumstances are tough ones. Folks often make the mistake of assuming that because I don’t talk about more private matters (beyond my PTSD) on social media that things must be positive. They’re not. I really only use FB to share relevant bits of life and keep folks aware of what’s happening as a part of my writing life. I’m not sure I’d be using much social media at all if I weren’t a writer. And you can see how much my social media has dropped off over the summer as I’ve let go of some of that writerly identity.
I’m grateful for the four years — I wasn’t able to get the writing off the ground as a livelihood for lots of reasons but I did a lot of good Daddying, got out and had some great writerly adventures (especially that first year) like Imaginales in France, 100 Year Star Ship and a bunch of other cool things I’d have missed back in my cubicle. I launched and ran eight Muse Management and Production in the Story Factory workshops. And though I didn’t get HYMN wrapped as soon as I’d have liked, I wrote some pretty good stories and songs during my time off and saw three books out over that four year period of time. I also added music to my life in a more substantial way. I played a year of Third Friday shows at Starbucks and am in my fourth year of First Fridays at the Village Inn Lounge. Not too shabby.
But really, the more important part of staying home ended up being the time with Lizzy and Rae. And more: I needed that time with myself, too. After all the pummeling by life and PTSD, that break helped though there was more pummeling to come with the loss of Jay to cancer and Jen to divorce. The time let me untangle a lot of knots in my soul and find a better path. It’s not really a harder path because the one I was on was pretty impossible. But it’s different. It’s…change.
So I keep learning the new tricks. One day at a time and keeping it simple. For the first time in years, I don’t have a lot of plans and schemes. I’m less in the past or future than I’ve ever been before and getting more comfortable each day with the here and now that I’m living in.
So today’s here and now is a quiet Sunday at home. And tomorrow, when it gets here, will see me back in the commute and cubicle maze as I take the next leg of my journey.
Trailer Boy out.