My comment to Teresa this morning after a night of me having Walter White dreams in the early morning. Because I am in exile - albeit instead of fleeing from something, I fled to something.
So, it's good - this sheltering with Teresa and Phil and Kyle. They're a very loving family and it's safe and welcoming here. Phil has a big heart - turns out that attic room is basically almost always in use. Some people stayed 9 months, others three years. When its empty, it's always open to someone.
Last night, all us guys, including Kyle's friend, sat around talking D&D and World of Warcraft. We're all nerds.
So now I'm living a simpler but richer life and starting next week, will get on the search for jobs. I'm under no survival pressure, just my desire to get back involved. I feel best when I'm working.
It was sunny my first day here, which was nice. Today it's raining in the sort of manner that would trigger flash flood alerts in SoCal. I don't really mind, thanks to the North Face jacket I've been saving for almost a decade.
Yesterday, I braved my way aboard the skytrain and went to the Metrotown mall. In ye olden days, I lived at three of the stops between here and the mall so it was a very nostalgic ride. When I was married, there were many nights Nathaniel and I would head there, sometimes to meet up with Chloe, because there was a time when she worked there. Still not sure how I feel about looking her up. Hell, I'm not even sure if we're still married. Nat is grown up and living in Toronto now. So far I haven't run into anyone from my previous life here though I did just read about a friend in the paper who won a defamation lawsuit. He and I should have plenty to talk about since I have my own history with bad employers.
I'm sleeping better in my attic room. I was cold a few nights but an extra blanket makes all the difference. The house cats, Elise and Poptart, are warming up to me so I'm getting headbutts. I found a bunch of Fizzy photos on this old computer, which makes me miss the little guy.
Bare-bones update: I made it to Vancouver, am set up in my new house and so far, all's well. Customs was a breeze, my old bank welcomed me back and I spent most of yesterday exploring my old neighborhood of Commercial Drive. So many changes.
It's going to take a minute to get used to everything. I'm missing the cats a lot. But I love my new housemates and they have nice cats. It's all going to work out.
I sent her off to her new home today. She got up with me at 4am and we had some play time. I was hoping to have the weekend with her but it was today or probably not at all. Fizzy has some delicious canned salmon and while he isn't a morning cat, he'll have to soak up some extra affection in these last days here.
Except in fits and starts. But I had a weird half-awake, half-asleep thing telling me my passport would arrive today. Sure enough, all shiny and blue, it was in today's mail. So, the move is on. A week from Monday I fly back to my favorite city anywhere.
What happens from that point on falls on me but I feel ready. I'm going to change up my look and hopefully outlook too. We don't get many second chances, especially as we get older. I'm embracing this.
And Teresa's a really good friend. It's the best possible setup.
For the next several days, I'm just enjoying the cats, playing on my computer and mentally preparing. Because I'm resetting my entire life. There's a positive side to this, indeed it's mostly so, but I'm also going to have to adjust.
Last night I had a steak with the neighbor. Who again and again, shows what a decent guy he is. I'm going to miss Jason. I think I'm going into this new year on a high note. And now to my coffee & hash browns.
It seems obvious my psyche likes this decision I've come to. Now I'm in problem-solving mode, which is where I'm at my best. The weekend here, I'm going to figure out how to handle the Passport situation. Standard new passport takes 4-6 weeks apparently. That could be on the far end of my time here, which is 6 weeks from Monday depending on the plane reservations. I can't go up there without it.
Expedited passports cost more but 10-12 day turnaround. Money is tight but maybe it's the sane option and would save me worry and potential serious hassles.
Oh and Jason really wants my computer now so I have to tell apartment manager no. Minor hiccup - neither the manager nor I want to be on his bad side.
Time to drink some coffee and go walking. I've noticed, I no longer get sore legs or arches from a mile hike. I'm getting stronger.
My dad lit me up. He was truly furious. And for my part, I know I had it coming. I can't argue with anything he had to say. Because I haven't had a plan and treading water and getting handouts from family and friends hasn't gotten me anywhere. I think I needed it.
The second bit of news is that I sold my iMac. My apartment manager is a big Mac guy and while his offer is on the low end, not having to deal with eBay and scammers and 14 day return policies is probably a worthwhile tradeoff.
Honestly, I don't think I want to be here and that may underly what's really going on. I love the cats and have gotten complacent in this climate and apartment but I have no connection to this place anymore. I think I have to be willing to face the elements, live in shelter for a time, and just deal. I'm smart enough to climb out, even I believe in myself that much.
That was playing in the Smart & Final as I went shopping for the hamburger part of Hamburger Helper. Don't judge - I'm a midwesterner at heart and hence, like casseroles. The one pot dinner in general is something I'm fond of.
Another part of my plan is to secure lower-cost housing since escape from California isn't an immediate option. A room in a house, whatever puts a roof over my head. The problem is that this state is expensive and such spaces are in high demand. Luck will play a role. I've accepted that one or more cats will need to be re-homed, I don't like it but I'm not in control at this point.
People are unrealistic around here with what they demand. Room for rent, first, last, damage deposit. Shared kitchen. Demands proof of full time job and no pets. Only $100 less than I'm paying now. Part of me wants to send hostile messages to people who post places like that.
Neighbor says I'm looking stronger and healthier than he's ever seen me. The daily one mile hike up and down hills probably is doing that. I'm trying to counter my emotional distress with eating as well as I can and getting decent exercise.