Reset Vacation

A year ago this week I took a vacation to a place I have wanted to live my entire life, and was actively pursuing for about four years.

Last year I was still living in California, renting a room from a very nice older man  and, rather unpleasantly, my ex had moved into the room across the hall from me. Honestly, it was like we were still together, but with open infidelity, hostility, avoidance, and the pain of watching him really sort of throw his life away. What made it so hard is that there was still very strong love between us.

Last year I was also in the office, working in an environment that was getting progressively more and more toxic. I had salvaged one work relationship and was maintaining most of the others…but frankly I could have smacked 80% of my team with a frozen salmon and then pushed them down a flight of stairs — not necessarily because of what they were doing to me, but because they are all adults and acted like bitter, disenfranchised, spoiled middle-schoolers.

So, I visited this city and within a day I knew that I had to live here. I was prepared to quit my job, move, and live off what was at the time a decent savings until I could find a job. The city was bursting with greenery and spring and beauty and promise and hope. I walked around like I was on a cloud, like there was nothing in the world that could bring me down.

When I returned to California, I hit the ground running, and things lined up for me  in a sychronistic way that told me this is exactly where I should have been. I eventually found a place, I decided to drag one of my best friends with me, and then things happened with my job.

I went to give my two week’s notice, and talked to my supervisor about being able to work from home in another state. It went all the way to our vice president, who said yes. We were about to be transferred to another department, unknown to me, and all of them said yes. Had I moved even a month earlier, I would not have had that security of the new department being consulted. Had I tried two months later, I would have been in a new department with new people who didn’t know me or my work as well, and I would never have been able to move with this job.

Since then…things haven’t been so great. My friend who I brought with me (with the stated understanding that she had 2-3 months to get a better job and start paying rent) has had a series of bad jobs or failed attempts at good jobs that has left me paying for everything since we arrived — including our move. Some of it may be negligence, entitlement, lack of urgency, I don’t know what, but it has been breaking me and causing my savings to dwindle further and further. The possibility of home ownership is slipping as my savings balance falls. I have been promised that payment will be made, so I hold on to hope despite my reservations of it happening. When my lease is up, I will be moving alone and the hemorrhaging of money will stop and I can turn back the tides, but whereas I might have been able to own a home starting this year, I may have to wait another year. Or two. Or more.

The only thing that has stemmed the damage to my savings has been overtime. We moved departments and the new place ignored my frantic calls to action. Things got out of hand and my team has been working 50-60 hours a week since December. I have been working 6 days a week for 4.5 months now. I am just now starting to get help from my friend and roommate, but that help is inconsistent at best.

I have not been able to go out often or buy rain gear (for a place where it rains over 50% of the year) or even really eat out or have friends over — because I’m broke and this apartment was not built with privacy in mind. I’ve lost the hope I once had. I feel like I’m crawling uphill with no help as all my hopes fall to the axe of realism. I’ve not been able to go out or make friends or do anything, and my constant state of anger and depression and anxiety over paying bills I shouldn’t have to pay alone is taking its toll and makes me unsociable and unfit for human company.

So, I decided on a Reset Vacation. Since the overtime started, I put away $50 here, $25 there. I cut back on the few bills I hadn’t already cut back on. I stopped some things totally and stopped eating out all the time. Slowly, slowly, I put away enough money for another vacation. I almost didn’t take it. Do you know how much that money could help me in other areas? But I did it, I pre-paid for the hotel — the same one I stayed in when I was here last year. It seems absurd, but it’s about hope, about recapturing what I want from my life here and in general. It’s seeing how far I’ve come in a year and knowing I can last four more months. It’s about finding my mental equilibrium again. It’s about the possibility of happiness, of forcing myself to get away, to look up and see the light at the end of this tunnel.

Things worked too perfectly for me getting here. I feel that this is a good place in every part of my body and soul. This is only the trial before the bliss. I know that. I just have to believe it again, to not give up, to take 4 whole days off, to get away from this oppressive place.

It’s about finding hope. And that’s priceless.

~ by Darren Endymion on April 11, 2017.

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