Sunday night nail pals.
Here is a picture of Cyndi and I before we went to Weegees and I drank a hundred things and then burst into tears at the shuffleboard table because I finally realized that I’m leaving Chicago forever.
It should be noted that Paul McLeod died last night.
I want to say that it is Saturday morning, but it isn’t. It’s Saturday afternoon and I haven’t gotten dressed yet. I put some stuff in boxes and dyed a tote bag with the indigo that I’ve been dyeing everything else with. I put one hairpin leg on the piece of yellow particleboard that I got in the as-is section of Ikea before my drill battery died and now those things are spread out on the living room floor with everything else.
Do you need things? We’re having a yard sale tomorrow morning and I am getting rid of so much stuff.
July is strange so far: we took two days to drive here, and I swam naked in two great lakes, making that all five. I left my bathing suit on a picnic table at a campground on Lake Erie and we tried to see Niagara Falls but got overwhelmed immediately. The sky opened up when we were on the beach on Lake Huron and we sat soaked in the line to cross the border. Over breakfast in Detroit I tried to pull up the message that Mike had sent me two summers ago while I sat in a Wendy’s near the bridge to Belle Isle with Sparks, but he grabbed the phone out of my hand just as I found it, and it infinity scrolled somewhere else, which was okay.
Since then I’ve been tearing my house apart, making piles, sitting on the floor and looking quietly around.
We spent the fourth of July on Geoff’s rooftop watching the horizon bubble with fireworks and the fifth of July making more piles.
My bike is back from the bike hospital with a new fork and an old wheel, which is a relief because I’d been riding Maureen’s extra bike. I am no longer used to fixed gear and I will never be used to a seat that causes pain to places that you don’t want pain caused to. Soon enough I’m going to have to buy a bike with gears because we are going to live on a hill.
This is all mostly just to say that I feel strange and out of sorts, that moving is hard, that leaving a place is hard.
But seriously, do you need things? I have a lot of things.
Also this selfie of my little brother and I at my grandpa’s 89th birthday party tonight is too good not to put on every social media.
Last Tuesday I had a phone interview, last Wednesday I had an in person interview, and last Thursday I accepted the position to be a Post-secondary Success Fellow at a Providence charter school.
It is a thing that I have mixed feelings about— on the one hand, I am very, very excited: they just graduated their first class this spring, so I’ll be working with their alumni and supporting them through their first year of college. Besides that, I’ll collect a lot of data (qualitative data!! woo!) and use that to help design college access programming within the school. I’ll also help design college counseling curriculum for 9th and 10th grade students. All of this is awesome.
Here is the downside: it is a one-year position and the pay is garbage. But after months of job searching, it seems like you cannot get a job in higher education in New England without a strong network, and you particularly cannot get a job working in service-learning (one of my focus areas) without experience in that specific community. I didn’t even get so much as a phone interview for the job that the director of my department (who is fairly well known/respected blah blah blah blah in the field) personally recommended me for to their director, who he knows. And this was a job which was basically exactly what I’ve been doing for the past three years.
So I’ll take a year to build my network, do an awesome job in this position, enter a fifth year of my poverty streak, learn some things, and see what happens.
It is early here, just past five, and Mike is asleep next to me. I can’t sleep— a bad cold got me on the drive from Chicago and I have coughed and snotted myself wide awake. Gross, yes.
This is what it looks like outside, except more pink in a way that my telephone is no good at capturing. More orange, too, and more by the minute. I probably jumped the gun on the picture.
I’ve spent the past few days mostly in bed with the exception of a brief and exhausting trip into Providence yesterday. I got lost in the twist of streets near Brown and stood on the street squinting in the sun, feeling weak and wondering how I’d gotten there.
The whole first year I lived in Wisconsin I’d felt that way, startled to be in a place I’d never expected. And here I am there again, ten years later, ninety minutes from the place I grew up and just as startled if not more so.
When I finally got home I told Mike how strange it was, and he reminded me we’d been planning this for two years. It’s stranger when it happens, I told him. Or maybe I said different. It is different, to stand in a place that is unfamiliar, a place you never expected to be, and to know that it will become a part of you, that it already is.
It is my last day of work, mostly. I am coming in for a meeting tomorrow but won’t have an office or a desk or a key. I am wearing my cowboy boots. There will be pizza at the staff meeting. My to-do list takes up a whole page. I slept well and should probably get to doing things. Fill out paperwork, move papers around, make sure I have everything saved from my email, from my drive, clean out my office. I still have my final performance review. “You’re great, whatever,” is what my supervisor said to me yesterday. And I am great, whatever, good-bye job!