There’s a big part of me that wants to delete that previous post, or the previous two. After all, I am trying really hard to be positive and strong, and I’d like to look back at myself during this time and think that I acted with grace and dignity. Starting the new year with my dukes up just doesn’t seem dignified. The historian in me, however, won’t let me delete the posts. After all, they are accurate depictions of how I was feeling.
I’m not here now to say that I feel particularly better about things; there has been no progress on the job front as no one seems to be working any more. In fact, I don’t even know why I’m writing. I can’t say that I’m not mad anymore, because I don’t really feel not-mad, I’m just tired. Tired of being kicked around. Tired of working so hard and feeling like all I’m doing is treading water between regular and increasingly dangerous disaster.
When we finished school and moved out here, ready to start our lives and be grown ups, we saw the housing bubble immediately. This is unsustainable, we said. This cannot continue. But everyone poo-pooed us as being small-town and we just didn’t know how things were in California, the cost of living is the price you life for being in such a perfect place. (I’m sorry, did I just snort?) We did the best we could, spending more than half of our take-home income on rent and trying to make it work. When housing started to soften (it’s still pretty high here, but it is dropping) and we had clawed our way to finally making more than twice our rent and we felt like maybe we could think about another step, we lost two of our three jobs. Now we are, quite literally, living on a prayer which is at times very faith-affirming, but it’s equally frustrating. Job or no job we have been living on the edge since we moved to California with the except of a few brief months in 2008 where we actually felt like we were on the right track because we were working three jobs between the two of us. I guess this is what we get for having a few good months? Knocked right back down to square one.
I have a certain friend who was my very first friend when I moved to California. She was vivacious, thoughtful, and very, very kind. She set me up with the resources I sought, and as a result has positively impacted nearly every day of my life in California. I am forever grateful and will always cherish my memories of our friendship. I hope we will always remain friends. Over the years she had her own struggles, and depression took its nasty toll on her. She has overcome it in many ways and is a stronger, wiser woman for it, but depression left its scar. And while she may return to many of her old activities, she will never quite be the same again.
I have struggled with depression in the past few years, too, during the summer of tears, and the summer following Boy Blue’s birth, in particular. It’s a tough road, but I know I have to win. I know that in the end the person I really am is a happy, hopeful woman with faith and vision. I want to be wiser, and take lessons with me along the way, but I refuse to be permanently scarred by the potholes of life, no matter how rampant they are.