Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Phase 1 Complete

I have purged all clothing and linens that have not been used in the last sixth months. Moving onto phase 2: furniture.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Let's do the time warp again!

I've been working on reducing. When I moved east, I moved all my belongings. It was a headache. Now I'm about to move west, and I plan to move very little. I am tempted to just burn my house down as I back out of the driveway, headed for 80-W.

She won't. Arson is illegal and she should want to make some money on her investment.

Every couple of weeks, I donate another pickup load to the Habitat for Humanity. I take another box to the library. The last trip I took a file cabinet, a kitchen island, two outdoor chairs, and a box of glassware.

The file cabinet was a Saturday project by itself, because I had to empty it. Its contents were a freakish and undesired time warp of the last 12 years of my life. Things that are now shredded and in the recycling bin include:

1993: 6 love letters from high school boyfriend; I did not reread them.

1993: Parts of a high school journal that depict loving tales of the high school boyfriend, who--in the end--left me for a much thinner girl named Rebecca.

1994: Speech from high school graduation. So. Sappy.

1995: Tax return. How did I live on $7564.00?

1996: Job offer letter from my first engineering internship. I was paid a huge $11 an hour, which allowed me to buy food every day.

1994-1998: Perkins loan promissary notes with a wide variety of addresses depicting how much I moved as an undergrad, always trying to find a cheaper place to live. These also included repeated threats from the government about what might happen if I didn't repay my loan.

1997: The first letter I ever wrote to two boyfriends ago.

1998: Sallie Mae coupons from my student loans that, 10 years later, are still unpaid and living in magic deferral land.

1998: Photograph from two boyfriends ago.

1999: First mortgage, including all the payment coupons.

1999: Sticker from the 1999 Jetta: my first and last new car.

2000: Receipt and limited warranty for my Natuzzi leather couch.

My 2-drawer vertical file cabinet has been reduced to a small Rubbermaid office solution. There's a lot more to reduce before I head west, but I'm happily making dents every week.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

We can be heroes, just for one day.

I'm having nightmares. Their theme is that I have to be somewhere far away, but I am running late. It began six months ago. In the dream, I'm on a Tri-Met bus, trying to get to PDX for a 9 pm flight to Spain. In the next dream, I get smarter, and ask my brother to drive me. But again, we are running late, he's driving 90 mph around a curve, and the car rolls three times. Tonight, it was even more violent. I murdered someone to get to where I was going.

The nightmares are a transparent outlet for my daytime anxiety.

Good news first!

I got a job. A very smart scientist gave me this advice: the best way to graduate is to look for a job. So I looked. And I got one. In fact, I got my dream job at a small liberal arts school on the West Coast; it has an engineering-based computer science department with a gender-balanced faculty. This was the school I wanted to be at for a decade of dreaming about becoming a professor. This school was the reason why I chased a Ph.D.

I started my job search last summer when I went on a little tour of liberal arts schools on the west coast. I had to know one thing: Had I romanticized the "teaching university" after my sentence at GradShitTownVille? I talked with professors at three different schools. Some took me to coffee. Some to lunch. They talked about their favorite parts of their job. The warned me of their biggest challenges.

The result: I knew, despite the cons, that I still wanted the teaching university. I had some great new friends. I had some news of upcoming job openings. And the dream school was one of them.

Fast forward to now.

The nightmares are a transparent outlet for my daytime anxiety. I have roughly four months before I should head west to start my new job. I have lots to do. I have no interest in doing it. I procrastinate by remodeling the bathroom.

Admittedly, the bathroom needed remodeling to increase the sale value of the house. Yet, that's how I procrastinate. It's why my house is so clean.

The stress of doing very little has lead to three illnesses this month. Certainly, the nightmares will stop once I leave GradShitTownVille. The fever and throwing up will stop once I begin working diligently again.

That starts tonight, bitch.