I’ve been having a hard time.
March 23, 2009, 12:04 pm
Filed under: daily | Tags: , ,

I guess I ought to update.

I have been avoiding this blog for a variety of reasons. I alluded in an earlier entry that I’ve been having a hard time. My instinct is to curl up in the fetal position and avoid all contact, let alone admit that I’m having a hard time.

I’ve been having a hard time.

We bought a house, and by ‘we’, I actually mean Bear. Bear bought a house! Holy mother of god! I don’t quite believe it myself.

It was stressful. Who knew? Buying a house is stressful! Bear even found his first gray hair over it. And then, because he’s so kind and thoughtful, he saved it in the bathroom for me to admire.

So Bear bought a house. It’s a nice, little house. It came with all appliances included, and all the important stuff, including the house, has been recently remodeled and updated. It’s 115 years old, and it’s  kind of funny looking, due to various owners with various tastes and levels of cheapness adding onto the house. It went from a 4 room, 2 bedroom house with no indoor plumbing to a 6 room, 3 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom house.

Most importantly, The Dog loves it. Most of the windows are old-fashioned, so she can just stand and look out the window, supervising the neighborhood.

It has a dishwasher! My standards are so low, I’m kind of embarrassed.

So, it was part of the hard time. For a while, we fell in love with a beautiful old house in Dormont: 4 bedrooms, 1.5 bath, hardwood floors, lots of windows, two porches, lots of charm, big back yard, low price. It got snatched out from under us. It was sad. We had to give up Dormont, because none of the other houses on the market fit our needs/wants/price.

So we moved from Dormont. That was hard. I love Dormont. It’s quaint, charming, friendly, walkable. I love the church, and I love the Dor-Stop, and I loved living there. I just didn’t love where I was living in Dormont. I don’t deal with change very well, and I had pretty much gotten my heart set on Dormont, and on the beautiful house. It was hard.

Then we found Crafton. Crafton is not Dormont, but it is similar to Dormont in good ways: it has charm. There are lots of things to walk to, like an Italian restaurant in an old-fashioned pharmacy, and a great bar/restaurant with an award-winning list of Belgian beers. It is walkable, with lots of beautiful Victorian mansions to admire. The bus way goes right through town, and the 100 takes me directly to Oakland and back every day. It’s a closer commute to work for Bear. The yards are bigger, much bigger, and the houses are less likely to be perched on a cliff. It’s even a bit cheaper.

But getting to that point was hard for me. Picking out a house that I knew for certain wasn’t a forever house was hard for me. I know it’s insane to think that this is the last house I’ll ever live in, but I never professed to be entirely sane. This house is not a forever house. Two of the bedrooms are really small, and one doesn’t have heat/AC vents. The bathroom is hard to turn around in. The kitchen is small, and so is the living room. But it’s a good enough house for now, and we’re definitely planning on staying in it long enough to make a profit.

The month between making the offer and settlement was stressful. We were not given the option of extending our lease month to month, so we had to tell our landlord that we were moving out in 60 days before we had made the offer. If it didn’t go through, we were going to be homeless, and have to scramble to find an apartment. That was stressful: I only wanted to move if it was to a house. If we signed a lease, we would be stuck for another year.

To add to that stress is the fact that I am graduating in April, into one of the worst economic scenes in a long time. My two main options for employment in Pittsburgh instituted hiring freezes indefinitely. Nobody is hiring librarians, and nobody else seemed interested in a medical librarian, no matter how much I spun it. I was looking at graduating after 4 years of hard work in a difficult major, and a year of my master’s, only to have no real job prospects.

Ego crushing, to be sure. I’ve spent my whole life being told that I was a shoe-in for success. I could do anything I wanted, and I would succeed. So far, I had no reason to doubt myself: I am smart, I am driven, and I am hard working. Everyone said that that combination was a great guarantee, and here the economy was taking all that away from me.

And I was sad. While I am so very proud of Bear for buying a house less than a year after graduating with his bachelor’s, and so happy for him that he has such a good job, I was jealous. I was sad that all the good things panning out for him were not happening for me. I spent a lot of time crying over my own failings, and the wretched timing.  I was disappointed in myself.

My only option is to leave Pittsburgh. And that makes me sad, too. I love Pittsburgh, if I hadn’t already made that clear. But I have to leave. My adviser recommended a fellowship program down in D.C. that would be a perfect way to jumpstart my career. It’s a one year program, and it’s everything I ever dreamed. But it’s in D.C. The day I decided to apply for it, I cried the whole way home.

I managed to get an interview, which is a very good sign. I will be heading down there, Bear in tow, for an all day interview next week. I know I can do this: I know I can get this fellowship. I know I have to do it. I have been told by those in the know at my current internship that if I get this, I can come back and do the second year there, which is a good path into getting a job there. This opportunity is incredible. It will be an easy way to ride out the recession, and a safe way. It will give me everything I want.

I just have to leave for a year. I am no longer crying about it. I am actually kind of looking forward to it. I know Bear and I are safe and secure. It’s just a year. It solves the whole ‘living in sin’ thing before we get married. It quells the arguments form the peanut gallery that we’re only together because we’ve never been apart. It will be hard, very hard, but it will be good. It’s great for my career, which is consequently good for us.

But I’ve been sad over all of this, and I also feel that I have no right to be sad. But there it is. I’ve been having a hard time, and that’s all I could think about whenever I sat down to blog, and it was the last thing I could stand to write about.

By the way, I asked my 94-year-old saint of a Grandma to pray for me a few weeks ago, to help me get a job. She prays a lot, and I think she likes being given something to pray for. Hot damn! I didn’t know the woman had so much pull upstairs. Within a week, I was offered an interview at one fellowship, and invited personally to apply for another. I should ask her to pray for me more often.

Coming up: pictures of the house! And probably the dog!

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