Monday 10 January, 2011:
My holidays are very quiet. A bit… routinized, in a good way. I get up around 7 and spend the morning working on school stuff – today I finished off everything for 12 History. Got the radio on, mostly. I must know everything on the charts at the moment.
Round 1pm, I go out and get coffee. After that, the afternoon kind of stretches out a bit. I’m not that good unless my afternoons are busy. Today’s alright. I do some editing and stuff; reading what I’ve written up.
Around 5, I feel like that’s ‘work’ done for the day. After that I just get some downtime, watch TV for a while; cook dinner.
And then, at night time – if it’s cool enough in the kitchen – I just piss round with writing and listen to downloads. So that’s my routine, kind of; that’s my holiday routine, lately.
Tuesday I get paid. I’ll pay the bills (whatever I can pay) and put $800 in my savings account – it’s not much I guess, but it’s enough to start with. I’ll go look at some places then.
Wednesday 12 January:
800 dollars in my savings account seems so puny when I look at rentals online this morning. Set up costs would be like – I dunno – $1400. Bond; rent in advance. And then the whole cost of the move: another few hundred, at least.
I actually waver. For almost half an hour I say to myself: well there’s no point; not until I get another 800 together. And my heart kind of sinks, at my own presumption to think I could do it; and then sinks further at my own fear.
Then for some reason I just sigh and think – oh well I’ll just start now anyway. So I ring one of the Real Estate places, speak to a woman there, and she gives me the address of two houses in my price range to go see. One’s all the way out in Carthill – too far, really. The other is near Municipal. She tells me, “It’s not pretty – but the guy’s promised to get it done up before we let it. It’s just listed today.”
I drive out and look at it (just the outside) – and I’ll phone her back tomorrow morning. She’s right; it’s not pretty. But I’ll go look at it – why not?
Thursday 13 January:
I get hold of the same estate agent this morning, and then I get momentarily diverted by the exam results which have just come online. The kids have done alright – that’s good – but my mind switches right back to the house hunting. I’m kind of terrified, I feel like I could still pull out. Last night I lie in bed unable to sleep, thinking – what am I doing? Really, what a dumb idea. I’ve got no practical reason to move; not enough money; nowhere to go. School’s starting soon, and it’s all so time consuming – and even if I do get a place, what then? Will I just be sitting out there by myself? Am I a total idiot? And I think: oh, probably yes.
But the thing is – it feels like if I don’t at least try to do something now, and to use that odd sensation of flow (from wherever it’s sprung) then I think I could… wither on the vine. And writing that down is honestly the thing that makes me want to put one foot in front of the other and somehow get back on top of this.
Even so, some days it feels like there’s a lot riding on things. Everything tries to kind of climb on board and cut in and slow it down. Today I have to go to the doctor and get antibiotics for a UTI – which just kicks in out of nowhere – and I feel slammed down hard. My head hurts, my stomach gets bloated from all the water I’m drinking to combat the infection.
It’s painful, but that isn’t actually the thing I mind the most. It’s that all the good intentions in the world and the positive things I try to tell myself don’t disguise the fact that I’m fuckin’ scared and don’t know what I’m doing – and what on earth am I thinking? And why doesn’t that make me just wanna hold it right there, instead of just going ahead anyway. As if – and I said this once before – as if I have a clue what I’m in for.
I only know I’ve had it to the limit with playing safe (as safe as I can ever play, which frankly is all pretend).
So I’m off to see the place; I’m meeting the estate agent at 2:30 tomorrow.
Friday 14 January:
There’s a break down on the motorway (wouldn’t you know it) and I get there late. Luckily the estate agent (Lorna) is nice about it. But the house is far too run down. Probably once upon a time I would have taken it anyway. But not this time. It could be cool – but not for me; not now.
So we drive and look at another place, which is also only okay. But if I’m being honest; all I’m doing right now is establishing my grip on the situation. And that grip is pretty tenuous. It’s only my stubborn little streak that prevents me from forgetting the whole stupid plan.
I think: oh, why didn’t I leave it? Why did I just calmly step right across that line, on the first day of July 2009, and with no fear of the consequences – because I didn’t know. I had no idea of how things joined up: my past, my future. I didn’t see the intersecting lines and the direction I was headed, if I just took one… little step.
Maybe because no-one else had any expectation of me choosing anything different. And suddenly, I was free to choose it.
What makes me catch my breath now is the way these things have their own momentum. I didn’t control the timing – I was ready, that’s all. Ready to go, without fully understanding the conditions.
And so, it’s not for me to ask: why now? Because this is the only time; it’s the only time I’ve been offered, for whatever reason there may be. At least, I hope there’s a reason.
I’m not gonna write any more tonight. I’m tired, and I need to sleep. But I can’t afford to waste my energy being scared. What it is, is what it is.
‘Which time do you want, which time?’