I've been in Phoenix for the past week, taking care of some things there. Today, I flew back home to Charleston.
I'm relaxing a little before going to bed to recover from the long day (Phoenix to Denver to Chicago to Charleston), and the long week. I've got a couple of very busy days here before heading out of town again. My 35th high school reunion happens in Buffalo, NY next weekend.
I'm driving there. It's about a thousand miles if I went straight from here to there. But I need to make stops along the way in Charlotte and Raleigh NC. So, it'll be a bit of an extended trip - starting on Tuesday. And to be honest, I'm not sure when I'll be back.
It would really make my life a lot easier to NOT go to this event. But I've been looking forward to it for months. I can't explain why. What I do know is that I'd regret not going. I just would. But the thought has crossed my mind given everything else that is happening right now so we'll just have to see how the week unfolds.
For some reason I went to my donnarose.com home page tonight to look at some things in my old blogs and found, to my dismay, that the link to my Blog Archives (2004-2008) was broken. It's not as easy to fix as it once was but I uploaded all the files (over 1,000 of them) and made the appropriate code changes. It works now.
I may have mentioned it here already, not quite sure, but I expect that my days here in Charleston (at least this chapter of it) are down to a precious few. It feels a little like a relationship that you had hoped would work out, but at some point it just doesn't, but there are no hard feelings. I still really love it here, and I'd love to be able to call it home. But the fact of the matter is that the thing I need most right now, as I've harped on for quite a while now, is a place where I'll be able to establish some roots.
The reason I didn't come to Charleston earlier than I did is the simple fact that it's not good for my career. It's good for my soul, and it has other charms, but it simply does not have the IT environment that can keep me busy, and pay my bills, on a continual basis. It just doesn't. At some point the practical question of, "if not here, then where?" becomes something that just can't be ignored. I've got some really exciting options right now. But they're not in Charleston.
I remember waking up here for weeks on end here, feeling like I was on an extended vacation. It strikes me that I probably was and that's the way I'll always think about this city. I'm not saying I won't be back. Who knows what the future holds. But unless a miracle happens in the next week I'll be getting ready for the next step in my career, and in my life.
I've had a lot of time to think over this past week, with long hours going through all of my tangible life "stuff" in a hot storage unit. I found my dad's wallet, and his birth certificate. I found lots of stuff from younger times in life. And it struck me that I feel very much like I did when I moved to Austin a dozen years ago. Or graduated from college and started my first job.
I had an extraordinary job interview - it lasted 90 minutes the other evening - that was really affecting for some reason. I've found it a little sad that my industry now relies simply on phone interviews or Skype video calls to try to match people to roles. I'm all too well aware of the transient nature of contract work - I've done it for the better part of 30 years - but whereas there was a time when I'd do whatever you asked given the right price now there are other needs at play. Deeper needs.
It's a little sad to admit that the thing I need most now is what I needed most then. Roots. I've been looking for a long time for a place to set them. And rather than get discouraged at each new beginning I'm both relieved and encouraged at the optimism I continue to feel. It'd be sad if my life ended and I still hadn't set them. But it'd be even sadder if I hadn't set them, and stopped trying.
A week from today is the 12th anniversary of my SRS. Jeez Louise. I've fit a half dozen lifetimes into those years. Chapters. New things. Happy things, and sad things. Encouragement and disappointment. Beginnings. And Endings.
So....that's where we are tonight. I've got some work to do tomorrow and Monday to get things in order. I've got lists, and I hope I can fit it all in. One way or another - I will.
Before I started writing I was looking through some of the photos I took in Canada last month. Two of them struck me, not because they're anything amazing photographically but because of the symbolism.
One is of a Cairn from along one of the trails. For those who don't hike, cairns are little piles of rocks that people build to show where the trail is....often when there is no trail to be found. Sometimes, the only way to find your way is to look for the next cairn so in a very real way, the cairns are guides.
It'd be nice to have cairns in life. Sometimes, I think they show themselves in unexpected ways.
The other was from the evening that it rained.
No explanation necessary.