Thursday, May 14, 2009

Packing up and heading out

I’m a victim of the economy, people. I got laid off. THE RECESSION IS HERE FOR REALS. I say that all in half-jest. I don’t really feel like a “victim,” per se. I work in the advertising industry, which is basically another word for a revolving door of employees. Business is doing poorly. People are cutting marketing budgets. Marketers are losing their jobs.

I’ve never been laid off before. It feels a bit like being broken up with, but in this case, I was already checking out some fresh meat, so it wasn’t a horrible blow. But rejection, in whatever form, is never pleasant, and it is a harsh reminder that I have an ego, albeit one that is now a bit bruised.

I had been exploring a job prospect in California, so when I got the news that I had lost my job, I reassured myself that I was at least up-to-date on my interviewing skills. My second thought, after my surprise conversation with my boss? At least I won’t have to sacrifice my bodily fluids in the North Cackilacky humidity one more summer. Electrolyte retention is really that important.

So fast-forward a few weeks: My apartment is completely packed. For the first time in my life, I put my clothes in real boxes, instead of the standard garbage bags. I have real movers moving my stuff. I don’t have to bribe friends that moving is fun! And I’ll give them free meals and a lifelong promise of my undying friendship and fidelity. I don’t have to hang onto a man I don’t really like any more for just a few more weeks because he may be part of my moving crew. (Not my current situation, but it’s definitely occurred before.)

I’ve been crashing at my ex’s/pseudo boyfriend’s house during my packing/what-the-hell-has-my-life-come-to/I’m-about-to-move-back-in-with-my-parents-again ordeal. And I’ve got to admit, Internet: It’s not such a bad lifestyle. I cook nice meals for us every night. I ride my bike or run whenever I want. I’ve packed my belongings at a leisurely pace. I do errands and hang out with my dog all day. It’s fun because it’s temporary. If this was my life for reals, I’d be on some serious psychiatric meds. I miss business and work and purpose.

I decided, pretty much immediately, that trying to find a job again here would be futile and silly, since I so clearly want to be back in California. IT’S A SIGN FROM THE HEAVENS. That’s what it is. So until I find said job, I’ll have to stay with my most generous parents, who probably aren’t super stoked that I’m hitting their doorstep with a house-full of belongings in tow. And a dog. But they’ll adapt. Because whether they like it or not, there's a very clear clause in their parental contract that states they must love me unconditionally.

I’m heading out sometime around Memorial Day weekend. The movers are picking up my stuff next Wednesday. I’m not super worried about my exact departure date because I have a nice place to stay in the meantime, and I’m sharing the space with one of my most favorite friends.

I’ve driven across the country before, and because I’m not in the most adventurous mood at the moment, and I have this secret fear that my car is going to explode, I’m just going to take the very same route I came out here on: The Forty. 1-40. Through Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and finally, California. I might pause to see the Grand Canyon this time. Last time I blew right by.

Part of me thinks, EMBRACE THIS! I’m free for the moment. I should hit Colorado and do some serious mt. biking. I should drive through new states. I should get a tattoo or hide out in a foreign country for a while.

But I’m too boring right now. I’m going to be conventional and just point my car westward on 40, for four solid days. I’ll try to blog* and take some pictures during my drive. I’ll most assuredly bore you with tales of getting hit-on at truck stops, the endless Oklahoma plains, and with complaints of how my iPod doesn’t hold enough of my music collection.

If you don’t hate me by the time I reach California, don’t worry: my dog and trusty- trip companion surely will.

*What also might appear on this blog is a late-night nostalgic look back at my almost three years in NC. Take it with a grain of salt. If I get around to writing it, a bottle(s) of wine will assist me. I'm saying here, RIGHT NOW, I'm not holding myself responsible for any editing/grammar issues, if such a blog appears. You'll have to cut me some slack and forget for a moment that I was once employed as a copy editor.


Anonymous said...

Joanna I don't think we have ever met but I enjoy your blog and wished at some point this summer I'd run into you during a cycling event or even a weekly ride sometime.
I am sorry you are leaving NC as I think it a wonderous place to live but clearly CA has hold on your heart. Perhaps you'll come to miss NC after you have left it for a while.

DO, DO, DO, DO stop in CO for some biking. Heck, why not head up towards MOAB on your way?

yummy mummy said...

I think you should bike home and leave your car in NC. That would give you a fresh perspective on things...

Lizzie said...

When you figure out what you want, you always just go and get it! I am so excited for you. Please call me on these cross country adventures. Can't wait to come visit you in CA. Look up Mr. E, he is always open to NC'ers coming home to CA

I love you