Life and circumstances brought everything to a hard stop. I decided to try to move to Canada to be with my now husband, but it didn’t pan out. I returned to California with no job, and a lot of confusion as to what I should do next.
I put a shout out to my peeps, and got some responses back. I was still doing some writing and freelance work, but I needed bread and butter. I took two jobs: one was as a bartender on the ferry, and the other was as a prep cook.
The ferry turned out to be just what I needed. I was able to decompress, watching the water go by while pouring drinks for commuters. The sound of the water was therapeutic, and I was surrounded by light and color every day. I never got sick of it.
The prep cook job wasn’t bad either. I enjoyed the physicality of the work. This wasn’t my first cook job, but it was my first in over twenty years. It turned out I liked being a worker bee.
For most of my professional career, I was striving to be in charge. I could pull miracles out of my ass, but the cost to my physical and mental health was too much. I changed my focus. I decided to live a life with far less stress.
I gave up a lot of things: political involvement, community obligations, achievement in general. My only goal was to make a living and be happy. In a lot of ways, I met that goal. I got chickens, had time to see friends, and play music, but even that sometimes seemed like a chore, like I was trying to prove some point.
I was content, but not exactly satisfied. Stifling my ambition was a continual effort. I was learning to slow down. I had to. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, which despite medication zapped me of most of my energy. It was a learning curve. I had to figure out how to not wear myself out.