Friday, August 10, 2012
Taking a Moment for Me
You guys haven't heard from me in a while. It's been a crazy week and a half. I'm home in Portland. Life isn't easy, so I've really had to dig deep and make some difficult decisions. I am running out of money (at least from conventional sources like a job) and I need to be out of my friends' house by the beginning of September to make room for their mother/mother-in-law to come visit from Mexico. All of this got me a little depressed while I was in Colorado, but also Colorado makes me depressed. Sure, it was great to see my family. I really love them and being around them makes me feel good (more on that later). However, there is something about Colorado that always makes me depressed and anxiety-ridden. I don't even understand why because it isn't logical that a place (especially such a beautiful, sunny place) could make a person feel so yucky. Maybe there's just too much history there for me (being it's the only place I've lived). Anyway, I started contemplating if I should move home where I would at least have some security. During this whole process, which took place over the course of two days, I felt weary, depressed, mopey, and like I couldn't catch my breath. Then, something in me turned. Out of my despair came a very distinct sense of determination. I was going to do whatever it took to live in Portland. I then had to question why. I mean, it's crazy what I'm doing. In many ways, I am living an incredibly unstable lifestyle and throwing all reason out the window. That's kind of crazy. But I do know why I want to risk everything to live here. Portland has made me a happier, healthier person. I am a better person in Portland. I see other Portlanders and how they take care of each other and I find myself emulating them. Then, I asked myself how the hell I was going to fund my stay in Portland. I will be taking money out of some of my retirement plans to tide me over. I know you're not supposed to do that, but that money is my money and I need it now. I mean, who the hell knows if I'll make it to retirement and honestly, this is my dream now, so I should embrace my dream and my life now, rather than wait. In an effort to move forward with my life here, I decided to accept a part-time cashier job at the Dollar Tree. The manager wants me to apply for an assistant manager position (which I have), but I figured I would start making money now and get in the company. I thought that would help me. He called me in today and told me that if I wanted a management position at a higher pay right (which would be nice), I should actually hold off on starting work. Evidently, he could only increase my pay about 50 cents from minimum wage ($8.80) if I start internally and then move up. I have never heard of this! Most places I've worked want you to start at an entry level position and then move you up and you're not monetarily punished for that. Hmmm. Then, he said he would call his district manager, but I probably wouldn't have an interview until the end of the month. Ouch! I could kind of use some money now. He also said I would have to "Get a more natural hair color." I guess I shouldn't be shocked. The world just isn't ready to accept pink and purple hair yet-- not even in Portland. I'm also applying for a substitute paraprofessional position at Portland Public Schools but school doesn't start until the beginning of September. The timing is just all wrong and I'm kind of freaking out! So, I came home. I cried to Maria and then I laid down and meditated for about 15 minutes. I took many deep breaths and I thanked "God" or whatever being is driving this crazy journey for this beautiful Oregon day, and for giving me my time to volunteer at the Portland Zine Symposium this weekend (rather than me having to work and missing something I've been looking forward to for months), and for teaching me patience and perseverence. Then, I acknowledged and released each anxious thought that entered my head. I know meditating might seem hokey, but it helps me find my center. This entry doesn't make much sense, mostly because I don't make sense, but I guess here's my conclusion: I like me better here and I'm all in. I hate the term "Go big or go home" but I guess this is as good a time as any to go big or go home. If I'm going to fail at this, I'm going to fail big... because at least them I can say that I gave it my all.