Today was the first time since I moved that I managed to finish the entirety of my morning weights routine. Depression, laziness, and an inadequate room set-up for working out were keeping me from bothering to do it properly. Some of it is also that I don’t have a fixed time for getting up in the morning, which is a problem. I’m usually up by 9:30 am, but I’d like to be up at something more reasonable like 7 or 7:30.

A lot of the trick to being unemployed and living off the good graces of others is not to let yourself wallow – you’ll end up regretting all that time you wasted once you’ve got a job again, so I’ve been making an effort to work out some kind of lay-off routine or schedule.

I’ve been making an effort to get in some cardio everyday, but I realized yesterday that instead of bike riding or working out on the elliptical, I was starting to get used to the idea of taking long walks instead. Sure, that’s better than nothing, but it’s not going to get me looking buff again. I’ve been feeling rather doughy. There’s a boxing gym here in Dayton, but that’s going to involve me having money, which will involve me being employed. So.

I have a lot of things that need to get done right now, but this week, the focus is getting GW line edits done and getting it in the mail by the end of the month. Seriously. I was supposed to have this out in February, and having a bunch of unfinished projects lying around is driving me crazy.

The good part about living in Dayton is that, you know, I haven’t had to move back in with my parents yet. But I stress the “yet.” The problem with Dayton is that there aren’t a lot of jobs here, and you’re lucky to get offered something for more than $8 an hour. As somebody who was used to making nearly $19 full time and $15 an hour as a temp, there’s been some sticker shock when interviewing with temp agencies.

I can also get away with not having a car in Dayton. If I moved back home, we’re talking insurance, car payment, and worst of all – gas. I can make it in Dayton on $950 a month. I’d need a lot more to make it in BG.

Right now, the plan is to stay here until I can get back on my feet, financially, or until I can get a good job offer elsewhere and afford to move out. As it is, I pretty much blew through the last of everything I had in getting here, and I have a long way to go to build things up again.

I’m nearly but not quite fucked.

And I stress the “not quite” part.

In the meantime, I’m spending my days drinking pots of coffee and getting on with Ian and Stephanie’s dog. Ian’s a materials scientist PhD student, so he’s usually out of the house by noon at the latest, and Stephanie works as a medical receptionist, so she’s out of here at godawful early hours, and I’ve got most of the day to myself. Most of which I spend reading and doing line edits and scraping paint off doors, as Ian and Steph have been renovating the house, and it gives me a sense of accomplishment to help out with the more mundane tasks involved in that.

As far as self-esteem goes, yeah, that’s been a really fucking tough one. It’s been difficult to build that back up, not to wallow in a lot of self-hatred. When you’re used to being strong and capable and figuring things out and you suddenly fail, utterly, again, yeah, boy, that’s pretty fucking hard. It’s the way life is, sure, “Fall Down Seven Times, Get Up Eight,” but that doesn’t make the falling down or getting up part much easier.

Some of the miserable self-esteem stuff comes from how bad things were back in Chicago. Removing myself from that situation has helped with some of that, but you know, selling a book or having a job or succeeding at something sure as hell would help, too. Being able to afford my meds would help.

You know, every little thing helps.

But I did do some traveling last week, and that was divine. It’s nice to just get away from bullshit for awhile and get to a place where you feel hopeful about the future instead of terrified. OK, there’s some terror, too, but mostly, hope, and there’s nothing like navigating a foreign country to get some of your self esteem back. Just because you fail at things doesn’t mean you can’t do anything. It just means you failed. And you have to keep trying.

It’s like writing a lot of bad books. Doesn’t mean they’ll all be bad. Just means these ones are bad. It doesn’t mean you give up. It means you learn from the last one so you can make the next one even better.

Which also sounds a lot easier than it actually is….

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