Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Pondering My Life
So, pondering my life... I worked all day today (which was an awful day, but that is another story) and as I was driving home, I was looking at the river and all the beautiful colors of the trees, and at the mountains in the background. I was thinking to myself, "I've been here over six months now!"
On one hand, I am excited that I actually am here... that I actually made the move, came out here, despite all of my anxiety and homesickness, and that I am surviving. I visited home once so far, and I am going back for Thanksgiving and for Christmas, and each time I go and come back, I think I will feel less homesick... not because I won't miss home as much, but because home won't seem so far away and unattainable. I will start to realize that I am still connected to my family and home by an invisible thread, and I can go back any time. That is, until my parents retire, sell the house, and move out here, at which point, I can still go back to Illinois to visit, but not to my childhood home. But we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
On the other hand, I feel a little disappointed in myself that I have not really been living and experiencing life out here to the fullest. Although I love the concept of adventures and trying new things, I am also a homebody in many ways. On the days that I work (which was every day for most of the summer) I feel like I don't have the energy to do anything else. I come back to the house, and the house absorbs me for the rest of the day. Even on the days that I don't work, like on weekends, it is hard for me to leave the house. Although I have wanted to try to go to church, to go to Meetups, to go explore, etc, when the time comes, I just want to stay home and snuggle with my small dog. Which is okay, I guess, but it is not really taking advantage of the beautiful area I now live in. I barely swam in the river at all over the summer, although I wanted to (and my dog wanted to) because I just wanted to be in the safety of this house where everything stays the same, except for when I change it by writing on the windows with chalk markers or hanging a plastic skeleton from the loft. I am trying a little bit... I have been doing some activities at that center for people with special needs. And I've gone to Portland a few times with my aunt or my uncle or both. But I feel like I should be spreading my wings more here. But I also want to hide under the covers with my teddybear and my computer and my dog.
Part of the problem may be that I am so financially strapped right now. I did not work a lot in September or October, and when I do sub as an assistant I only get about $60 for a whole day or $30 for a half day. This month my measly paycheck wasn't even enough to pay "rent" to my aunt. (I put "rent" in "quotes" because its really just helping pay for the extra expenses of my living here, like food and water and stuff, not that my aunt is trying to make a profit!) When I'm not even sure I'll be able to pay for my therapy, plus my phone bill and car insurance, plus put gas in my car all month, it doesn't make sense to go do something fun that could cost money, even if it only costs the price of a little extra gas. (This should improve... I just got hooked up with another substitute provider in Oregon, where I am actually licensed as a teacher, and when I work there my pay is way better. So then the only real hurdle is my anxiety about subbing!)
Maybe after this month is over and I have a few more dollars, I should make a goal of trying to do something new each week. It seems unfair that I should spend all of my "out of the house" time at work... I should also spend some of my time doing something fun... except that since I HAVE to go to work and I don't HAVE to do something fun, it is a lot easier to change my mind and stay home instead of doing the fun stuff.
Ugh. My brain is a pain in my butt.
Okay, I think that is it. Are you still here? See, that wasn't so bad, was it?