A few months ago, I posted that I was moving back to D.C.. I did not expect to reach Tax Day and still be in Spokane. And I know some of you are curious as to what happened and what my plans are, so it’s time for an update.
The last job I had in D.C. destroyed my self-worth and bruised my spirit. Maybe some day I’ll be able to talk about that experience in depth, but not yet. What I will say is that I was so decimated that it seemed like the only solution was to radically change my life.
But looking back, I didn’t do the thing I should have done, which was to take a break. I couldn’t stand the idea that I would be without purpose. So I just found a new goal, a new journey.
It never dawned on me that taking time to heal myself could be my purpose.
When I graduated from law school and passed the bar, I knew I wasn’t ready to be a lawyer. I still wasn’t healed. I couldn’t commit myself to a career path that requires so much both intellectually and emotionally. You can’t pour yourself into something when your bucket is empty.
The only stable, positive thing in my life (besides this blog) was my relationship with Kyle. It seemed like a good idea to see where that was going and stay here for a bit. So I found a campaign job out West, kept blogging, and tried to go back to my roots in politics in a different way.
The campaign trail is a grind. Always has been, always will be. After a few months, my health deteriorated. I could get well, but I couldn’t stay well. My doctor was brutally honest: You’re depressed, and you’re body physically cannot handle this much travel. You keep this up, “it’ll be a race to see who throws in the towel first, your body or your mind.”
I walked home from the doctor’s office that day in ballet flats, during a snowstorm, powered by one crystal clear thought: I am not being true to myself. I am settling for what seems logical, instead of doing what feels right. I need to go back to D.C.. That is what my soul needs.
I was exhausted and sick and cold by the time I got home. But I hadn’t felt so alive or hopeful in years.
For a while, moving back looked like it would be easy. I lined up job interviews. Talked to a realtor about selling my home. Started purging any belongings that didn’t need to make the move. Things were falling into place.
Then, the Republican congressional retirement exodus hit full tilt. Two job offers were rescinded; one due to a retirement, the other to concerns about how a previous job would reflect on the new employer. Now, the number of available jobs is shrinking. I’m in a strange spot where I need to move in order to find a job, but it would be unwise to move without a job.
It’s not easy being in this limbo. There are days when I just want to roll the U-Haul into the driveway and say to hell with the rest of it. To hell with worrying about money, waiting on a job, figuring out what comes next in my personal life, how I will raise two rambunctious dogs in the big city, to hell with all the thoughts that keep me up at night. But that feels more like impatience induced recklessness than a solution.
I’m still committed to moving to D.C.. I have a plan to get there, and I’m lucky to have the resources to keep looking for a while longer. Being back in the city and back on the Hill is the brass ring that I’m chasing, but I’m cognizant that I can only chase it for so long before financial and professional necessity may demand a pivot.