another update, for those watching at home

I lasted five months in a small, unpleasant conservative little town and am now back south of the lake in New Orleans proper, which is home-home. I don’t need Google maps here. My friends are here. I’ve joined a writing group and I am making art again, tentatively, slowly. One of these days, I’ll have a show on Royal Street or Julia Street. I quit clenching my jaw and my back is better. My left thumb is no longer bloody from worrying the skin. I am carrying far less stress in my poor body now that I am home.

Life continues to challenge. Thanks to all of the hardships with Spain last year, I got the worst performance review of my career last month. My company seems to have decided that the relocation failure is 100% my fault and I am being punished for it in a myriad of sadistic unfair ways. I have had meetings with HR and have filed formal complaints. It doesn’t matter, nothing changes. My Spanish landlord stole the entire house deposit so now my paycheck is being garnished to pay back the 5600.00, with no adjustment for the Euro to Dollar difference from last year to now. I am in touch with a lawyer, sort of, but he won’t write me back. I have no hope of recovering any of the money she has stolen from me unless I fly back to Spain and get it myself, and I’m not going to do that. Also, someone stole a USPS package from me last weekend that was worth 130.00. No recourse, just gone. More money I don’t have wasted. Sometimes I worry one day I will start screaming and not be able to stop.

I’m determined to focus on what brings me happiness and on the parts I can control. I do nightly gratitude exercises. I sleep deeply. I keep a routine. I am writing every day. I’m making beautiful interesting things again. I will get through this. Slowly, various parts are moving back into their correct places like clockwork guts that got thrown way out of whack over the past two years. My checks won’ t be garnished forever. Debts will be paid off eventually. This is temporary, I keep telling myself. This is temporary.

That said, I am tired of struggling. I am really really tired of struggling. I would rather struggle here, though, than anywhere else.

Like I said in a previous post, I doubt I will make any international trips this year. I am quite literally eating beans and rice and laying low til this storm passes. I love being back in the city. I am happiest here. New Orleans is picky about who she lets live here, and I’m happy to say I’ve been welcomed back with open arms again. That is something to be grateful for, and I am.

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