California, what are you doing to me?

Yesterday we went to the beach. I walked to the edge of this continent and felt a sense of coming home. The incoming waves glided slowly toward me and kissed my feet before receding back with the tide. I felt the full intensity of the sun shining right through me. M and I ran across the sand, through the shallow pools, laughing and squealing, ageless. Hours passed and we felt not a single minute. The ocean breakers in the distance rose and fell and crashed, like the inhale and exhale of breath. The other day I was driving back from East Bay, and somehow got routed down a rural road. We wove through the emerald hills, while the sun sank down and tinted them gold. I pulled over three or four times just to take photos, just to let my eyes absorb it all. Is this the same country I’ve always lived in? Has it always been so beautiful? Why do I love these hills in a way that only someone born there should? Not to cheapen the poetry with finances, but my paychecks are now rolling in every week. I can afford to pay my bills. I can afford childcare. I can afford to send M to a Montessori through 8th grade. I can even save some money. A huge weight has lifted off of me… oh my god, I can be a single mom here and be ok. They pay […]

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still alive

I’m still alive, promise. Thanks to everyone who wondered! I did my week of classroom orientation, which was a great week. I met other travelers, did fun things with M, had play dates with other moms. Then reality hit- I had to actually work on the floor. My anxiety was so high, I just wanted to puke and cry the entire day, but once I was actually there it was a little better. The second night was a little better than the first. If only I could’ve brought my last unit and job with me on my back. Then my life would be perfect. Tomorrow is my first night on my own, without a preceptor. Pray for a manageable assignment and friendly co-nurses on that night for me, please! I need it. I’m a ball of nerves in that place. It is so hard to be new again, and I’ve actually cried for my old job. M is doing great in school and swimming. But my going back to work was definitely hard on her. She has gone back to crying that she wants to go home to Michigan. The mom guilt is hard. Being anxious and panicky again, for the first time in years, is hard. But I’m pulling out my old tricks and telling myself that if I hate this hospital, I can leave in 11 weeks. Telling myself it’s normal to feel this way. Surely I felt […]

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“one always begins to forgive a place as soon as it’s left behind”

Quote by Charles Dickens. I read this today and it is so right on. I was getting so frustrated with Michigan, the long drives to everywhere, the lack of scenery, the awful weather, the same-o same-o. Now I’m not there I of course can begin to miss and appreciate the good things that were there. The familiarity and ease that comes with it. I love the scenery here, every twist and turn reveals a new vista. There’s always something new to feast my eyes on. I love that and feel alive. But the price I pay is anxiety… just a low level buzzing that sometimes peaks. I feel it at home, too, sometimes but it’s a bit more pronounced in a new place. My daughter keeps me grounded, the adventures keep me going. My mom is very anxious and not enjoying herself at all, which makes me anxious. I want everyone to be ok. I empathically feed off of the anxiety of others, and I feel responsible for everyone’s happiness right now, not just my own. I think I will feel a million times better this time next week when I have begun my job and it’s not all a mystery. I hope it’s an ok place and I’m not miserable. I hope the rain clears up and we aren’t stuck inside for another week. It makes it hard to feel cheery and hopeful when it’s still so gloomy. I […]

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big day in the city

I’m exhausted. Today we were up bright and early to get M to her new school. It seems like it will be a good fit, and it’s about 15 minutes away by car. I don’t mind driving in the city, but gosh, things that seem close miles-wise can take some time to get to! She did great on her first day, and even let me leave half-way through. They brought her out to the car at pick-up (our first experience in a “line”) and said she did great. She told me she had fun, most importantly. I know she misses her old school and her dear friends and teachers there, but she will be super excited to see them in April! I’m just relieved that we found something affordable that fit her needs. They had tons of spaces with lots of types of activities, indoor and out. It’s not Montessori, but it will do just fine. After school, my friend Saba and her parents and kids came to check out our place. They were pretty impressed! Then we all headed out to Pier 39, because Saba’s dad is in the USA for the first time and hasn’t seen anything yet. The kids had tons of fun chasing pigeons, riding the carousel on the pier, spotting sea lions, and dancing to the busker music. I am so happy that I have so many great places to explore and friends to do […]

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hello from the other side!

Well, we are here! After 9 states (counting our home state), 6 hotels, one stay with a relative, three time zones, and some amazing side trips (old plaza in Albuquerque, Grand Canyon, hiking in Sedona, the Mojave Desert, Highway 1 and Big Sur), we are happily settling into our San Francisco life. We arrived yesterday where it was pouring rain and gloomy as hell, but our spirits lifted when we got into the apartment and found it to be lovely and old-fashioned, with crown molding and beautiful french doors separating the rooms. No open floor plan (I hate those)! The kitchen is so large compared to what I’m used to at home, with a full table and four chairs. The living room is able to be closed off completely, so my mother is able to fold out a bed in there and have her own room. The bathroom has a separate room with the bath, and one with the toilet. The bathtub is a clawfoot tub, lovely for baths! We have a private patio which is enclosed with a locked gate, so M can go outside worry-free. She has her own playroom, too. We also have wifi, a full cable line up, and of course I don’t have to worry about any of the utilities because it’s all included! The rental company is awesome. I had an issue with the TV (half the screen isn’t working) and they sent someone […]

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goodbye 2016

Well I rang in the new year at the Grand Canyon, on an epic road trip across the US with my daughter, my mom, and my cat… so you know 2017 is gearing up to be an interesting one! As for 2016, well, it was a year of goodbyes, a year of endings. Thankfully I cannot see the future, for it was the year I’ve been dreading almost my entire life. I lost the rocks in my life, my grandparents, and along with them my childhood officially ended. I said goodbye to one of my soul mates, my grandma. Then I left my home and my job of 9 years to chase a dream. I went to Nepal on my own with a 3-year-old, as well as to Niagara Falls, Tennessee, and San Francisco. I had heart-changing adventures. I found and lost love in one breath. I held death in my arms. I cried more than I have since 2012, when I lost my baby. I lost faith in the goodness of my countrymen when the US voted in a bigoted, self-centered fascist. 2016 was one for the record books, for it was a year that changed me essentially, and also quite possibly changed the world forever. So here’s this little survey borrowed once again from By the Brooke: 1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before? Solo globe-crossing by airplane with a preschooler, Nepal as […]

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Christmas frustration

Holy cow. I’ve been up since 7 am with kiddo, and Christmas morning was a great hit for her, of course. But after seven hours of playing with toys and bathing and watching Christmas movies, she is bouncing off the freaking WALLS and making me regret giving her candy in her stocking (just chocolate, no dye, but it seems to be affecting her just as much). I made gluten-free lasagna and muffins, and sorted our food for the trip. We had a great morning, the three of us, but I’m very lonely as the day goes on. Paying the bills was a big downer, and trying to clean the house is sort of just hamster-on-a-wheel, as whatever I do gets undone a few minutes later. I’m so tired after a horrendous day yesterday at work. So tired, so overwhelmed, so sad. About to get into my car and drive two hours to see an old friend just to go somewhere.

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