Inbetween: The Limbo Before the Storm

I’m home. I’ve been traveling so much for book events over the last few months that after the Pacific Northwest leg that ended about a week ago, I was so looking forward to being home. No more readings for almost six weeks. Finally, a chance to rest.

But. (There is always a but, right?)

I’ve been feeling weird since we returned. Maybe it is a resistance to getting back to normal life, because I’m not sure what that means for me anymore. Maybe I need to decompress after all the socializing. Maybe I just need some time to digest the last few rollercoaster months of life-changing events. Yes. But it’s also more than that.

I feel lethargic and restless at the same time, like I want to get out and do something but am feeling too blah to get off my ass and go. I want to both start new things and curl in on myself and ignore the world. Limbo. A feeling of suspension. We are hovering over this big decision about possibly moving to a new city, again, and what I really want to do is decide so I can move forward. I’m the kind of person who needs to know what the next step is and then I’ll make it happen. There are so many important chunks of our lives up in the air right now—where we’ll live, what we’re going to do for income, if we can buy a house—I have a shaky panic in my chest all the time, a lack of grounding that makes me constantly off-balance. I feel lost and unstable and unable to commit to anything, so I just get stuck in this space of doing nothing except fantasizing about moving to LA, buying a house near the beach, and getting everything else I want.

I want to start a new business running private creative writing workshops. I want to start seriously selling my handmade cards. I want to own a home; to stop throwing money away on rentals that always have things wrong that the landlords don’t care about fixing and aren’t ours to improve. I want the ocean to be a part of my daily life. I want to live by an ocean that isn’t always freezing. I want to be around more young, smart, interesting people, and more writers. I want to be part of a literary community that isn’t subject to the transitory nature of graduate programs. Oh, and I want to work on my second book. And my third and fourth eventually. I want to settle into a stable and fulfilling and generally happy life—three things I’ve never had at the same time—and just be.

I know I need to work more on being present in the here and now, but I feel like these wants don’t stand a chance until I know where we’re going to be for the foreseeable future. We’ve been talking about moving again since we decided a few months ago that our small town wasn’t a place we wanted to live long-term. We’ve moved five times in the last six years—for jobs, for schools—and have yet to find a place that feels right. I want to be settled.

Each time we discuss where we might be happy, Los Angeles comes up, and I think it could be a really good fit for both of us. So I want to make a decision. Like, right now. If we are going to move to LA, I will make it happen, but I need to know. We are going down in the next few weeks to scout neighborhoods but I wish we could go tomorrow so I could start making plans. I feel like that limbo might be shifting, and I’m excited to see where we go as we move forward.

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