I know! I know! I'm sorry! I have left you all on the edge of your seat, vis-a-vis The Great Move-In Of 2011. You don't know, maybe I was going for a season finale-esque cliffhanger. Or maybe I got caught up in reprogramming the TV.
Either way, consider my couch Ross and me Rachel because after months of "will they/won't they" we are finally reunited! JK, I'm totally the Ross in that relationship, let's not kid ourselves. Regardless, it didn't cost the nominal egg we thought it would. (TIME OUT to explain a Family Inside Joke: my mom knew a woman from Boston who thought the phrase was "a nominal egg" instead of "an arm and a leg" I would laugh but it hits a little close to home.)
Wow, I am WAY off topic right now. BACK TO THE MOVE IN. So we didn't have to pay for a shuttle because the truck made it to our apartment just fine, AS I TOLD THEM IT WOULD. And right before the truck was due, Joe and I stood guard over five parking spaces out front so the truck could take over all of them. We turned away the elderly and infirm and forced them to park far away and I'm not ashamed to stand here and say it right to your face.
The movers arrived, our stuff was moved in, Joe left for work and I spent the day agonizing over the extreme amount of mugs we brought along with us. Were we planning some kind of herbal tea party? Apparently yes. Regardless, everything is almost finished at this point. We have pictures to hang and rugs to lay out and boxes to toss, but we're mostly there. We have places to sit and a bed to sleep on and Regina is enjoying her options of places to hide in/lay on top of.
The question is: Now what? I've been aiming myself toward this move for so long, now that it's done, I can finally focus on what lies ahead. And what lies ahead is looking pretty good.
I've been on a professional roller coaster this year, including one very large dip. That happened a few months ago, when I was already questioning my abilities as a copywriter (I mean, come on. Laid off twice in two years? Everyone said it wasn't my fault but...it's hard to keep telling yourself that.) I went to a gathering with ex-coworkers who told me the agency was actually hiring already. That stung. When I got home, I had an email from someone I'd sent my work to. He told me that my book wasn't good enough to get a job in San Francisco.
So...it wasn't a GOOD day.
First, I did EXACTLY what Steve Carrell did in 40 Year-Old Version and walked through my apartment yelling. Then I tried looking for work in fields other than copywriting, like everyone had been telling me to do. Turns out, those jobs all require specialized knowledge in the writing topic, like parenting or healthcare or technology. The only thing it seems I can write for is How To Be Awkward and I think I already run that blog for free. That, or you need journalism experience. Which I don't have. So the only thing I was qualified for was a job that I was apparently bad at.
I don't know the right way to handle dark times. My way involved staring into space, getting back into Grey's Anatomy, and my cat laying on my neck. Now that I think about it, it is remarkably similar to the way I handled getting dumped in Paris. Except this time I had a boy who believed in me and supported me, who told me that I should do what felt right. Including staying in Chicago.
I had a lot of reasons to stay. And I weighed all of those reasons. But my gut still told me San Francisco. This was my next step. This was my new beginning.
Now that I'm here, I feel enormously good about it. Was it definitely the right decision? Hell if I know. Hell if I'll ever know. But the city is growing on me every day: the small shops, the crazy hills, the serious amount of Asian food. I like it a lot. And I've gotten more positive feedback about my portfolio, which makes me think that I may actually get a job at some point. And with a job comes more stuff that will make everything even better, including taking improv classes again, going on road trips, and buying a bike. Plus, it's mid-November and I went jogging in short sleeves today. Hard to complain about that.
So is everything perfect now? No. But it has potential to be. And for now I have a couch, my boy, and hope.