never married, over forty, a little bitter

dream states

I currently have eight job applications outstanding, but only six of them are within my field, and of those, only one of them is within this city.

This definitely has had an impact on my psychology. My move here was intended as a bid for permanency, but now I have begun to think of this place as a mere interlude, a relaxing way-station of sorts. I spent months fixing up my home, but I might well be selling it rather than settling in. When I see my extended family over the holidays, it might be hello and goodbye.

I saw a flurry of acquaintances when I first moved back, but I continue to see only three or four of them on any kind of regular basis. Communication has petered off with a few because they work for my former organization, and that makes for some awkwardness.

It felt slightly surreal being back, and now that I might not stay, that feeling hasn’t dissipated.

Of course, it’s likely none of the jobs will pan out, and I’ll be here longer than anticipated. In that case, instead of my dream of working part-time, I might end up working full-time for a part-time salary, the worst of all possible worlds.

For the next few months, however, I’m in a suspended state.

cushy jobs

I had always balked at pursuing a top post in my field because I thought it would be too stressful to take on as a woman alone, especially if I had to move somewhere solo to do it. Now, ironically, those are the posts I’m applying for, as I feel more refreshed and up for the challenge and because I don’t really fit in entry or midlevel jobs anymore.

I just read a blog post by someone who took a Director job in my field, and it did confirm my worst fears: having to cope with substantial increases in the homeless and mentally ill population; death threats, lawsuits, and physical attacks; unsupportive and critical staff; critical letters from “support” groups; and complaints from the public. If people knew the “helping” profession I was in this would seem unbelievable and comic, but that is only because most people have no idea how badly the behavior of the general public has deteriorated.

On the positive side, this particular employee did not hide her unconventional personality and refused to adopt a bland, corporate persona. So there’s that.


Freelance writer and meditation teacher Michael Taft has experienced his own version of cerebral congestion. “In a normal working day in modern America, there’s a sense of so much coming at you at once, so much to process that you just can’t deal with it all,” Taft says. In 2011, while finalizing plans to move from Los Angeles to San Francisco, he decided to take an especially long recess from work and the usual frenzy of life. After selling his home and packing all his belongings in storage, he traveled to the small rural community of Barre, Mass., about 100 kilometers west of Boston, where every year people congregate for a three-month-long “meditation marathon.”


These principles are derived from the rituals of the exceptional, but they are useful for just about anyone in any profession, including typical nine-to-fivers. Corporate America may never sanction working only four hours a day, but research suggests that to maximize productivity we should reform the current model of consecutive 40-hour workweeks separated only by two-day weekends and sometimes interrupted by short vacations.


This is how I felt my last few years in L.A.:

There’ll be so much I’ll miss – too much to even write about here – and I know there’ll be times when I’ll feel lost and lonely. But I have those times in London too, more often than I care to admit. The crowds, the buzz, the packed cafés, the queues and the endless list of things to do make me feel I’m at the centre of the action, that I belong to a big club, to the London family. But on many occasions, I’m walking through the crowds on my own or peering into restaurant windows before eating alone at home.

the untethered

I totally agree with this article:

I’ve made great use of my time off– I’ve upgraded my skills considerably (just started another computer class this week) and recharged.

It will be interesting to see, however, if employers pass me over for consideration because I’m currently unemployed.