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The Next Chapter

I’m not entirely sure what the next chapter of my life entails, but some of it is starting to come together.

I am going to quit my day job, stay with my parents for six months, and see if I can support myself with my writing.   I considered about a thousand different plans, but this is the one that feels like it’ll lead to a happy, healthy future for me.  Getting an apartment of my own was tempting, but I still would have been juggling two jobs on top of adjusting to living alone. In the interest of my mental health, that didn’t seem like an ideal plan. Moving  back to my hometown isn’t my dream, but for six months, I think it’ll make for a softer landing while I readjust and plan the rest of my future.

I put in my notice at the day job today.  This isn’t how I wanted to quit.  What should have been a joyous moment feels weird and flat when all I want to do is celebrate it with Mr. Vaughn. It’s a strange, bittersweet moment instead.

I have insurance more or less squared away (thanks, Obama!) and it will start September 1.  My last day at the day job will be August 28.  In the meantime, I’m sorting/packing/moving.  My dad came and took a load of things home yesterday.

It’s weird and awful to dismantle the house I’ve lived in for the past 8 years.  It’s even more weird and awful to dismantle the rest of my life.  Mr. Vaughn and I are awkwardly cordial. I cry a lot. Sometimes I forget for a few minutes and when I remember it feels like I’ve been kicked in the chest.

Knowing I will be leaving a job that is causing me nothing but stress now is a major help. It allows me to feel in control of my life again.  It gives me something to look forward to.

I’ll be starting fresh in the fall.  I’ll move into a lovely room with a bay window where I’ll spend most days writing.  I think I’ll set my desk up so I can look out over the field where my parents’ horses graze.  I’ll go for walks and play with my camera and get my writing career in order.  I’ll see if I can talk my mom into taking a yoga class with me. I’ll find a therapist who can help me find ways to grieve and move on. I’ll go out with friends and make new ones and try stuff that scares me witless.

Fall has always felt like new beginnings to me and it’s my favorite time of year. I have a vision of waking up on cool, fall mornings and sipping tea while I sit down at my computer and write. It’s something to hold on to as I put one foot in front of the other and get through what needs to be done now. The remainder of the summer will be rough, but I’m starting to see the briefest sliver of a silver lining.

Earlier today, when I was talking to Christoper Koehler, he made an off-hand comment about my move to my parents’ house being a writing retreat, and I like that idea.

So for the next chapter of my life, I’m going to be at a six-month writing retreat.  And bittersweet or not, that’s definitely something to look forward to.

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