Thursday, February 14, 2013

Burning Bridges...

Well, this past week, in particular, I have been struggling with the dichotomy of the fear of potentially burning bridges, and a realization I may never come back here, so...?

In particular, I was angsting over this project I had been contracted to do.  But I was also angsting a little over the church, too.  And yesterday, it all came to a head quite quickly.  In an ideal world, of course, everyone would be happy for me, and everyone would want me to be happy, and that would be all that mattered.  But we don't live in an ideal world, do we?

Apparently, I do. 

Go figure. 

O! M! G!

So, I was on Twitter this morning, and I suddenly had this FEAR that I had missed my blogging anniversary.  I knew I had started in mid-February last year, and I thought it was around the 12th.

Well, it was.  AROUND the 12th.  Fortunately, it was the 15th. [Here is my opening post... ]

So today, then, is the last day of the first year of my blog.  The first of perhaps MANY years, I can hope...

But WOW! What an amazing first year!  What an incredible, incredible first year! 

I don't even know where to begin in my recap...

But one of the reasons for this blog was because I'm real cheap, and this was free therapy. So thanks, guys! ;)

No, but seriously, at the time I started this blog, I was deep in grief over two lost relationships, and I was feeling incredibly lonely in a small town where I was trying to dig roots, in a job that ultimately I felt both overwhelmed and bored with.  I had lost my best friend, and was feeling a deep need to find someone to tell all the random thoughts and silly things (and perhaps profound?) that were screaming through my head.

So, I thought the whole world was a suitable audience to share everything with...

But I had no readers except my good friend Robin Sparkles (thank you, Robin!) and apparently I wasn't the type who liked to talk just to hear my own voice.  Apparently, I'm so selfish and self-centered I actually want OTHERS to hear me too....

And I had decided to give it a whirl because I enjoyed hearing The Bloggess' voice and thought I can do that!  So after twenty-five blog posts, and hoping that meant I was going to stick with this, I called her out. At the time, on her blog, there was an incident that she has asked us to no longer name with an actor whose first memorable role was as the second Joey in One Life To Live, and I encouraged her to share a picture with me as she might have wanted one who shall not be named to send a picture to her of him. 

So, to get her attention, I did an evil thing.  Something that from high above in my lofty cloud I thought was much too far beneath me.  Something I never thought I would do.

That's right.  I joined Twitter.


And The Bloggess - bless her heart - was my VERY FIRST FOLLOWER!!!

At some point along the way, I found Kit.  And I believe I found her through Jenny.  And I found her posts - particularly her posts about sex - to be really funny and amusing.  I liked her voice too.  And I'd like to say she was my second follower.. but I'm not sure... Either way, with #wineparty, she opened up a whole new world to me.

A world of 30-40-something Mommy bloggers.  (Primarily)

You guys are great.  Considering I am most definitely NOT a Mommy... 

And I have a Sci-Fi name that should turn you off. And it took some of you awhile to realize I wasn't a guy hitting on and flirting with women, but, um, a dyke.  But you enjoyed it and flirted back.

And one particular chickie - who played a little hard to get at first - flirted back and foolishly fell in love with me.  ;)


And slowly, but surely, I've built up a following.  I have a steady readership of about 20 readers... ;)  and I have had over twelve thousand hits.  I have a strong Balkan following.

The CANADIANS have been quite impressive fans.  They are so polite.  They'll apologize when YOU fart.  I love the Canadians... And so... today is as good a day as any to make the official announcement that, well, I'm moving to Canada.

'Cuz, as I've already mentioned, there's this particular chickie.. and well.. she's a CANADIAN chick.. go figure... We're not entirely sure she likes me and that she isn't just being polite to me, "Oh sure..." but we're gonna run with it anyway.  ;)

(Actually, no, we're QUITE sure she likes me, very much... and if I left that sentence alone, particularly after her sweet Valentine's eve series of love notes, I'd be in trouble... and that's no way to start a life together... )

Goodbye small town.  Goodbye single.  Goodbye soccer coach.  Goodbye America.  Goodbye job.  Goodbye church...

Woah.. what's going to be left of me when I go?

All the essential parts of me will still be here. 

I have enjoyed very much living in a small town, but I didn't particularly choose this place.  They have been good to me.  Very good to me! I have really enjoyed coaching soccer, but I have no inherent skills or even love for the sport.  I enjoyed the girls - they were great!  Can't say I enjoyed being single, but I can say that I got out of it what I needed, and I have most definitely let go of my past relationships and am ready for this new one I'm already in (so it's, um, a good thing, eh?)  America? Well... you're hard to ignore.  And I'll be living in a border town (okay, border megaopolis), so I have a feeling I won't miss you too much.  Job? Pfft... well... it has always been a gap-filler.  And it and the church, and the soccer have all sort of helped me get a firmer understanding of what I enjoy doing, and in a larger city, I will have a better opportunity to find something that fits those things. 

What a year!  I mean, really, what a year!  One thing which has NOT changed, though, over this past year.  And that is being and knowing that I am very, very blessed. 

Who knows what themes will emerge with this blog in the next year?  Change will probably be one of them.  I'm going to try and stuff my life into five duffel bags and stuff them and my bike into my car and start over.  I've always always always wanted to have such little stuff in my life that I could stuff it all in a car and go.  I have a couple of weeks to pare things down to see if I can do it.  If I manage it, that's another WOW!  I am looking forward to trying.

Alright - a few other topics are creeping into my head to write about, but it is clear to me that they are separate posts. 

But I wanted to say WOW! and THANK YOU! for an INCREDIBLE year.  INCREDIBLE! 

Who knew when I started this that this is where it would lead?  But I am so grateful it has! 

I am blessed. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Flip a Coin...

Sometimes it would be nice if you could make the hard decisions easier by just flipping a coin. 

Heads, I end the blog post here with that one line.  Tails, I write more...

Tails.. Damnit.


As many of you know, I've not been happy with the work I've been doing - my contract - for some time now.  I thought when one aspect of the project came to an end at the end of September that it would be it, they would thank me for my time, and I'd be moving on.  I stockpiled at Sam's club.  (That reminds me, I should have spaghetti for dinner tonight...).  I prepared for a period of unemployment and was gently surprised when the end didn't come.

I briefly got excited about a full-time opportunity with them, with benefits, but that didn't come either.  And so for the last four or five months I've been biding my time trying to figure out what I'm doing, and whether or not it was time to start looking for other opportunities.  But at some level, I am committed to them. 

Except I wasn't supposed to be.  Originally, when we approached this local business run by someone who my partner and I both knew from church, this was supposed to be a gap-filler for me while we looked for the work we supposedly wanted to do.  Initially, we hadn't exactly made any promises to be there long-term, and the point was that we wanted this job to provide some flexibility, so that if I got another project in the area where were hoping to build our business, we could put this one on the back burner and bring it back up to full boil when each other project ended.  It was intended to supplement our other business development.

But they were happy with the work, and it was providing steady pay, and it was 30 hours a week, so there wasn't a lot of room to fill in around it.  And the opportunities weren't there immediately, and by the time they might have been, I seemed to have settled comfortably into this, and we didn't want to rock the boat. 

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.  ;)

But seriously, one of the things we were hoping for and expecting with this assignment was some flexibility.  And slowly, but surely, as time has gone on that flexibility has eroded.  So much so that shortly, after they finish installing software onto a computer that I can use, it would be hard pressed to make the legal distinctions between me as a contractor and me as an employee.  Now it has come all down to the hours I work, and that the hours I work are on-site.  Certainly no longer encouraging me to work on the project when I want to, nor making me want to work on the project much at all.

If I were not planning on moving from here, this would be an even more delicate situation than it is.  I'm ready to be done with this.  I need something different, something that doesn't keep holding the potential end of the contract over my head like the blade of a guillotine, and something that brought me more security and ideally an opportunity, perhaps, for benefits.  They have had an opportunity to hire me for awhile, but seem deliberately to have chosen not to.  And I don't know, had they made me a job offer, it would necessarily have been better than what I have - it may not have been.  But, it would have been nice to have had the chance to decide.

There's that annoying song by Beyonce about "put a ring on it" - and it's only annoying, of course, because it gets stuck in your head and at random times, you'll find yourself singing "uh, uh, oh.. oh,oh, oh oh...." (you'll have to know what I'm singing to know what I'm singing, but I think you know! You're welcome!).   And a part of me thinks that he has had plenty of opportunity to make me a more permanent employee and secure my loyalty, and that he hasn't done so should give me some freedom, some freedom without GUILT, to not feel so loyal to him.  To move on. 

Instead, there's been a bit of an arrogant boyfriend chipping away at your self-esteem kind of pattern going on.  And if this were a romantic relationship, not being happy, not getting what you need out of the relationship, well, it might seem like a no-brainer.  Particularly if he hadn't put a ring on it! ;)

So why am I agonizing over this? I have a new opportunity in front of me.  And while it might not have been the one I thought I was looking for professionally, I am prepared to make a change and a positive one for my future.  Why am I allowing this outstanding string to act as a yoke?

As I was telling someone else earlier today by chat, it isn't as if I am relying upon him for a good recommendation....

Oh, wait... it's that whole burning bridges thing.  That wherever you can prevent burning a bridge, you should try to avoid doing so.  That's generally a good plan, I admit.  And I have been fortunate the one time I napalmed a bridge on my way out of a job, it actually got rebuilt, and I was rehired nonetheless.  I did feel a bit of regret at having napalmed it, but, overall, things worked out fine in the end.

And where does this bridge I'm afraid to burn leave me anyway?

Is this really a Kobayashi Maru scenario? (and yes, I did have to google to remember the name of the unwinnable scenario from Star Trek - despite the Borg name, I am NOT that geeky (or so I pretend)).  In which case, why am I so worried? Or what am I so worried about? 

I don't know. 

Flip a coin.. Heads I leave tomorrow (okay,well, maybe not THAT quickly).. tails I get stuck here, forever (definitely NOT!).  Maybe I need one of those D&D dice so I can have a few more options...

Wait.. who just turned into a geek?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

What AM I waiting for?

Waking this morning to find heart-breaking tweets from my love, I can't help but be asking this question.  It isn't like it's the first time in the last week that I've asked the question.  Ever since my passport arrived last Saturday while she was still here, we've been - or I've been - asking the question.

There are three or four "hooks", I guess, that keep me from taking off immediately, and even then, their ability to hold me here keeps loosening.

The first hook we talked about when we first became romantic was the one that provided us the structure of the laughable idea of a two-year plan.  My commitment to my church.  But I have quickly grown to realize that these people truly care for me, and what they would want most for me is to be happy.  And the new guy we have in as priest is doing a good job getting himself settled in and taking ownership.  They don't need me like they might have needed me if he hadn't done this as he should.  When we were dealing with supply priests - a priest who was just filling in as a supply for our need - then we were the ones still responsible for running the church.  That just doesn't apply any more.  Thank goodness!

So while I will feel some guilt and some loss at letting go of this fine community that helped me sail through my healing and recovery process, I know, nonetheless, that when I'm ready to say "goodbye", they'll be okay.  That is a hook that I can gently release.

The second hook is actually two fold - just cleaning up and packing to go and leaving nothing behind.  I have accumulated some junk - none of which I am attached to to keep other than if I am living here.  Furniture, basically.  And I've just accumulated a lot of paperwork that is unnecessary to keep - stuff that I couldn't throw out because I *MIGHT* need it.  As well as the general paraphernalia for running a household.  Like a fridge.  Or lawnmower.  I need to clean these out of the house, apparently, before I were to move.  And to pack up what remains reasonably enough to fit in my car.  This is somewhat easy, although, I don't want to call Salvation Army to pick up my bed until the car itself is packed and ready to go...  I kinda enjoy having some place to sleep other than the floor...

The second "fold" of this is that I did manage to rescue some stuff from California when I left.  And it has all been sitting in a storage unit about 300-400 miles away near where my folks' live.  Surprisingly it is not worth continuing to pay $200+ a month to keep.  They have been kind to help me do so, as I have been unable to face the overwhelming monstrosity that is the storage unit, but it is time for it to be cleaned out and stuff to be tossed and sold and given away.  I have been ignoring it for three and a half years now, it is time to face it and deal with it - before I move on.

The last hook is an awkward one, frankly.  I finally return to work this week after having been gone for nearly three weeks, really, even though she was only here for one of them.  I had a parishioner who was dying, and I stayed with him and his family for the last two days of his life, and I had a few of my "old ladies" go in and out of the hospital, and I did have a funeral to help prepare for.  The two weeks before my love visited were full, to say the least.  So, I get a bit of understandable guff from the guy who owns the place and who was kind enough to hire me over whether I'm still working here or not.  On more than one occasion.  And so I have to pretend like it's business as usual because it isn't as if I have any clue exactly when I will get everything together to go, and money - particularly for making a move - is a good thing.  And I'm a writer for him.. I have several outstanding things I've been working on.  Some of which - yes - could be written remotely, but he'd prefer to see my face to know I'm working on it and making progress.  I can't exactly leave entirely without finishing what he's been paying me to write.  And I'm not exactly sure how and when that will happen.

But I want to pack up my car and go now.  Call a friend and ask her to deal with the Salvation Army for the furniture - tell her she has until the end of the month since the rent is paid up.  Offer the appliances to the landlord.  And go.  That's what I want to do now. 

But there's an annual meeting for church that I'm running...  and then there's those pesky projects that need to be finished and the outstanding storage unit to be dealt with... 

I have the passport burning the metaphorical hole in my pocket...


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sleepless 'til Seattle....

I have just returned home from the airport to an empty house.  A house that has been filled the past nine days with the presence and being and sounds and scent of the woman I'm incredibly in love with.  A woman who is now on a plane to take her to another plane that will take her back to Seattle where she will still have another long drive across the border. 

My "journey" for this trip is done... but hers is just beginning. 

The original plan had been for me to make the trip and come and see her first.  I have more flexibility in my work schedule since they don't pay me when I don't work and I had intended to come out for a long visit to be with her.  But the original certificate of my birth given to my parents 40+ years failed to list them on it, and thanks, I imagine to the Donald requiring a long-form birth certificate, so does everyone else now.  So to get across the border to see her I needed a long form birth certificate to get a new passport. 

This process has been a comedy of errors.  Primarily in getting a new birth certificate.  But that arrived about three weeks ago - about six weeks after I requested it - and I sent it off for my passport about two and a half weeks ago.

When she was here, we "joked" - although I was kinda serious - that if my passport arrived before she left, that we would just pack up the car and go, and I'd leave this one horse town.

To the State Department's credit, they processed my application in record time - just over two weeks!

It arrived yesterday. 

Believe me, we did seriously consider it.  Well at least I did.  She has a sounder head on my shoulders (have I mentioned yet that she's smarter than me? She is...).  And tonight, I do wonder just what it is that is keeping me here...

I will probably be sleepless until she arrives in Seattle... Seeing her here and there... everywhere but really here in my arms. 

Hopeless romantic...