And what did I decide? Only time will tell, O readers. Because I’m not making a habit of writing about work. WORK!! Real WORK! It’s been almost a year now that I’ve been unemployed, and, since the job is part-time, I still technically AM unemployed, but oh man. What a relief.
I look back at the past year sometimes and wonder why it took me so long to get where I am. I didn’t have the idea to start shooting weddings until late March, and never answered any of the freelance camera ads on Craigslist. Now I’m booking gigs left and right, making money, buying equipment, I mean, the people at the rental place know me by name. So I was unemployed since June. What on earth did I do with all that time?
I was coping, my friends. I was just barely getting by. I talked a good game, but the months after I got out of the hospital were rocky at best. I saw my therapist every week, saw my psychiatrist every two, had an ill-fated stint with a well-intentioned nutritionist, and, twice a week, trekked up to McLean for DBT-based group therapy. I started work on a new film with my old friend Steve – our first meeting was only weeks after my release from the Bin – had lunches with my old friends from FRONTLINE, and presumably filled the rest of the time with shopping, cooking, and cleaning the apartment. I don’t remember the days, I don’t remember the nights. But I remember needing people very badly. And I remember fighting with my husband. Quite a bit.
After Katsu moved out, the heat stopped working in half the apartment and I moved onto the pullout couch. Group therapy started to seem like a joke. Other girls would talk about roommates or boyfriends, standard fare given that the average age was 24, and then I’d chime in with my dismal tale of woe. Husband left me. No job. No money. Wah. But I didn’t really feel bad, is the thing. I cried, and I hurt, and I stayed the night at friends’ places when I couldn’t stand to be alone, but it was a pain I could deal with. A suffering I could wrap my mind around.
And then there was B!. Sometime in December we started talking – just a quick call to see if he’d want me to come out and visit him on my way back from LA – and our first conversation lasted four hours. It was great – I stayed at home, got delivery, drank wine, and just relaxed. It was almost like actually doing something with my evening, but without all the messy running around. It was so great, in fact, that I did it the next night. And the next, and the next, and the next. Eventually, our nothing became something, and as I took off for the West Coast just after Christmas I felt, for the first time in a long time, something like happy.
And then things started happening. I moved out, I readjusted, I quit group therapy. I went back to Arizona (twice), I went back to LA. I started taking charge of my life instead of just treading water, and it was pretty balls-out fantastic. I started taking pictures, started shooting more, started my own business. I started my own film. And now, next Wednesday, I start my new job.
I’m not saying it’s B!’s doing that I’m doing so well. It’s taken a lot of work and a lot of energy to rise above my disease, and I’ve fallen and failed many times. I’m sure I’ll fall and fail many more. But just for now, enjoying a glass of Shiraz in my old neighborhood after a day filled with emails and errands, I feel pretty good about where I’m at. Cheers.