Searching for home

The big question on everyone’s mind is whether I will move to the West Coast permanently.

I have spent so much time wondering about it myself.

I think the bottom line is that my life and work is so unstable right now that it makes sense to stay put in D.C. until I can bank enough money to make an informed decision. As it stands, every penny is going toward living expenses, and “extra” money is an oxymoron.

But I don’t hate it out here. Haven’t seen much in the way of scenery, but I’ve spent a ton of time with Shan and her family, and well, I’ve missed them. I’ve especially missed our business-related chats about all the stuff we want to do to change the world. I don’t have those discussions with anyone else.

I’ve done some volunteering while I’ve been out here. Loved every minute of it. If I could figure out how to raise enough funds for the organization, I could very well get a salary. I guess I wish I had more time out here — lord only knows how long it will be before I can scrape together the moola to get out here again. The neat thing about a growing small town like the one I’m in is that independent, small businesses are flourishing. Sure, there are chain stores and restaurants and what not, but it’s the people with dreams who are doing the best out here. The job market sucks otherwise.

I spoke with someone about an editorial position opening, but when I gave my going rates, the look of horror stopped me from talking any more. I set my rates based on living in D.C. (and they’re still conservative because I want to beat the competition). But out here, I would never make the kind of money I need to cover my expenses right now. Of course, though, money certainly isn’t everything, but when your pitiful supply is dwindling faster than you can say “bankrupt,” well, you need to make some considerations.

But out here, gosh. I know people. I’ve been networking like crazy. Shan and her dad know everyone out here, it seems. And people out here seem willing to help in general — it’s like everyone really wants their neighbors and fellow citizens to have a better life.

It was funny — I saw a guy on the street arguing with a guy in a truck this morning. Lots of creative language. I laughed and told Shan I felt like I was back in D.C. — it feels like home when people are cussing each other out on the streets!

In any event, I wish I could live in more than one place. I wish I could keep my place in D.C. but also come out here to Oregon. Of course, with Shan, I will always have a place to land out here, and I appreciate that. But I don’t know where I want to end up in life. I always thought I’d end up in the Carolinas or something like that (me, a Southern belle?), but right now, I don’t know anything.

One thing I’ve been thinking a lot about is family. Shan’s 13-month-old daughter is supremely adorable. I put her to sleep yesterday (she heard me sing to her, gave me a really mean look because she knew what I was up to, and then passed out), and I loved it. Absolutely loved having her breathing on my shoulder and wrapping her arms around me as we walked around and I danced a little bit with her. But do I want that for myself? You can’t get a damn thing done with a kid running around all the time. I mean, I want to go to France, to Italy, to some tropical escape that isn’t being torpedoed by whatever hurricane is in progress. And this makes me think I will be content to be Alex’s favorite aunt rather than a mom of my own right.

Whew. I’ve been doing waaaaaayyyy too much thinking lately. 🙂 But I don’t have internet access other than my painful voyages to Kinko’s (this satanic hellhole though it may be) while Shan goes to the tanning place next door.

In any event, I guess I am doing such an exhaustive mental search for home because I don’t know where that is right now. And I’m really wondering and maybe even hoping that I have something to go back to when I finally return to D.C. next month, because even though that’s not where I expect to end up permanently, well, that’s where I want to be for the time being.

9 Responses to Searching for home

  1. Pratt :

    I’m glad you are having a good vacation. Hope it gives you some peace of mind.As Buckaroo Banzai once said ,
    “No matter where you go…there you are.”

  2. Dave Tepper :

    And wherever you call home, I hope you’ll take a small part of me with you! xoxoxo

  3. A.McSholty :

    I’ve always wanted to visit there. I visted LA once and I hated it, but Oregon looks beautiful.

  4. Erica :

    I’m glad you’re having a good time. Getting some peace and quiet to do some good thinking as well as making some important connections.

    I’ll make you a deal: If you move west, I’ll move west. 😉

  5. Anonymous :

    Dawn, check it out! You are totally having a vision quest!!! Just allow the universe to reveal the answers to you! Know what I mean?


  6. Helen :

    I wonder if most people ever really know where home is, or if that’s a myth. I myself don’t know, I will never know. But you said something yourself that made me think:

    “when I finally return to D.C. next month, because even though that’s not where I expect to end up permanently, well, that’s where I want to be for the time being”

    Where you want to be for the time being.

    Home, in other words?

  7. Anonymous :

    I tend to find that I want to be anywhere but the place where I actually am. And then I miss the place where I was, once I’ve left it. Self-defeating, no?


  8. Erica :

    I tend to find that I want to be anywhere but the place where I actually am. And then I miss the place where I was, once I’ve left it. Self-defeating, no?Well, not really. It seems perfectly natural to me.

    There’s always hope and excitement associated with a new place. And it’s easy to forget the bad things once you’re removed from a location/situation. Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do? Leave the bad behind, but carry the good with you?

    It comes down to what you value more and what you need at that particular point in your life: a new experience/opportunity, or the comfort and security that come with familiarity.

  9. Anonymous :

    There’s a saying in the military: the best assignments are always the next one and the last one.