I’m still alive.

I know. Blogs are supposed to be updated regularly. And in the last three months, I’ve often thought about it. Written entire posts in my head. But then stopped because I wasn’t sure I wanted to release all of the intense emotions of the last few months out into the world. I’ll give you the big picture though.

Jumping out of the Ivory Tower: Right after New Year’s, I decided to quit my PhD. Probably the hardest decision of my life. But it had to happen. I had never been so miserable. It felt like my soul was eating itself from the inside out. My marriage was probably on track for a quick end (I don’t want to how much longer I had left before N pulled the plug. It probably wasn’t long at all.) My normal happy, easygoing personality was being subsumed into a quagmire of extreme self-doubt, depression, pessimism. A year and a half of misery. The worst of it though was that I kept being told that in order to get through this program, I’d have to basically do nothing else. No dancing. No social life. Someone actually suggested that it was perfectly OK to not do laundry or dishes (ever? I asked myself, incredulously – I’m sorry, but there are very few reasons that I would ever re-wear underwear without a toss in the washing machine. A thesis is not one of them). Spending TIME with my friends and family? Effectively out of the question. And then I realized that this would all be for nothing. I don’t really want to do a thesis. I don’t want to be a professor. I figure if I’m good enough at what I do, I should be able to get whatever job I want, degree or no degree. And more than any job, I want a LIFE. A life that includes all the things I value, like my friends, like travelling, like sleeping, like dancing, like sitting in a park reading a book if that’s what I bloody well want to do.

So I jumped. Scary as hell, I thought I was going to vomit the whole way up the hill to tell my supervisor I was quitting, but I was caught by an amazing parachute of support. The best thing anybody has said to me after quitting: “You’re yourself again”. Who the heck else would I want to be?

Leaving a house, but gaining a place where I can live on my own terms: I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say that when your father-in-law moves back in on a day’s notice, you start looking for a new place. So we left my husband’s childhood home (that we’d lived in for almost two years and gotten married in) and, in a bit of a hurry, and with a bit of couchsurfing along the way, found ourselves an apartment. Two blocks away. Which is just far enough. We’d had pipe dreams of raising children in that house, but alas. At least we’re still in the ‘hood. But for someone who is extremely sensitive to space (being an HSP and all), having a month where I didn’t know where I was going to live was unnerving to say the least. Now we’re all moved in.. but it doesn’t feel like home yet. Half of our stuff is still in storage, so there are empty bookshelves and things that don’t have a proper spot. And it feels temporary in a way I can’t quite describe. Maybe this will force me to become completely at home within myself, so I no longer need to define “home” as a collection of space and stuff.

Surviving a week in San Francisco: Combine a four-day salsa festival, my troupe’s biggest performance to date, sweaty nights of dancing and partying, a cold that came out of nowhere, a crazy long hike, sleeping in five beds in ten days, a fair amount of wine (almost all swigged straight from the bottle, classy girl that I am), and the only city I’ve ever visited where I could actually see myself living in (like actually envisioned in my head what my life could be like there)… and you get a physically and emotionally drained girl. (Add in coming home to an empty apartment as the Man is on the other side of the country for three weeks). To add insult to injury, I was channel-surfing late last night and happened to stumble across a travel show about the Bay Area. My heart actually ached to see all these streets and neighbourhoods that I’d been in just hours before. Oddest sensation, that.

30 has been the most intense year of my life so far, kinda being a continuation of the craziness that was 29, but with lower lows and higher highs. I keep hoping that at some point things will chill out. I could use a break in the clouds.


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